8 Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Coffee Shop

Serving great coffee is one thing, but to truly impress your customers, you must ensure every aspect of your shop is set up for success. From the music to the decor to the lighting, there are a handful of things you’ll need to consider, besides delectable coffee.

Here are eight mistakes to avoid making in your coffee shop to keep that vibe just right.

1. Not playing the right music

The music you play in your coffee shop dictates the overall vibe of your establishment. There have been plenty of studies into the psychology of music on the brain and how different kinds of music can impact people’s behaviours and decision making. Spoiler: it impacts it a lot! Slower tempo music will often encourage customers to hang around and as a result, spend more money – while faster paced music does the opposite – encouraging a faster exit.

So while a fair few of your customers might be nip in and dash kind of people – grabbing their coffee to go, there will be plenty who like to visit a coffee shop to relax while sipping on their favourite beverage so it’s vital to play the right music. Hard-core punk or hip hop might work for some, but on the whole it’s likely not going to be what your patrons are hoping for.

Search Spotify for “coffee shop music” and use this inspiration to create your own playlist.

2. Ignoring your furniture

With many companies shifting to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people have waved goodbye to their offices. You want to ensure your shop can accommodate those looking for a change of scenery and a new spot to get their work done. It’s a good idea to consider having different stations in your shop, space permitting – one with comfy chairs for those catching up with a friend or reading a book, and one with tables and chairs for those trying to work.

Be mindful of where you put each piece of furniture – it might be tempting to cram as many seats in as possible, but your shop needs to maintain its level of accessibility so make sure your customers can still easily move around your shop without hindrance.

3. Focusing solely on the coffee

Serving great coffee is of course a must but keeping customers happy involves more than that. When customers walk into your shop, your employees should greet them. Yes, your menu is essential, but it’s just as important to properly onboard your team members, so they know how to adequately welcome customers. Your onboarding process should include specific phrases and responses employees can use so the level of service is consistent across the board, ensuring your patrons feel welcomed and comfortable inside your shop. 

4. Having the wrong lighting

As mentioned previously, coffee shops serve as both a hub for unwinding and relaxing, but also a place for productivity. The kind of lighting people expect for each of these varies. For instance, those entering your shop to work will likely prefer brighter lighting, while those who come to relax might be after some warmer, cosier lighting. To get the balance right, make the most of natural lighting as much as possible. Most coffee shops have large windows at the front of their store, so position your tables and chairs for workers here.

Use the areas towards the back of your shop, or those further from the natural light source for those coming to relax and unwind. Use artificial lighting to create a warm and cozy vibe with warm bulbs and soft lamps – avoid harsh bulbs that can make your shop feel sterile and uninviting. This way you’ll cater for the needs of both kinds of coffee shop customer.

5. Forgetting to create a cleaning schedule

As with most food and beverage businesses, your shop can quickly become dirty and cluttered should you not set a proper cleaning schedule. Make sure your team members know what to clean and when to clean it. One of the best ways to impress customers is by creating a shop environment that’s polished and aesthetically pleasing. Create a cleaning schedule to ensure no crumbs, spills, or scuffs are left behind. Coffee Hit has a range of cleaning essentials that will aid in keeping your shop spick and span at all times, and with minimal effort.

6. Forgetting to consider sales

When it comes to selling more (which is ultimately the goal) it’s important to make it as tempting, and as easy as possible for your customers to buy more from you. Consider how you choose to display and arrange things inside your store. For example, putting the pastries or breaded goods right by the register so they’re top of mind for people purchasing their drinks is more likely to result in larger order spends. Likewise, if you have the capacity to sell coffee accessories like mugs, grinders, or coffee makers, try and display them somewhere that your customers can have a closer look – if these are displayed behind your till area (meaning people have to ask to see them) you may lose out on sales due to it seeming like ‘too much effort’ for them to peruse. You might also consider leaving QR codes at each table, so your guests can order their favorite brews easily at any time.

7. Having inconsistent branding

Your branding sets you apart from other shops and should be implemented throughout your business. Find creative ways to showcase your branding, from the colour of your chairs to the logo on your cups. When your shop lacks cohesiveness, it can feel chaotic. But when you bring your branding to life, it creates a more memorable experience for all customers.

8. Using poor quality equipment

Using equipment that’s outdated, slow, and doesn’t produce the high-quality coffee will hinder your shop’s success. Don’t let this be you. When you create a trade account with Coffee Hit, you’ll gain access to the best gear and accessories on the market for up to 50% off RRP making it easier for you to stay on top of your game. Get started today so you can avoid lacklustre drinks and unhappy customers.

Remember to create a trade account with Coffee Hit. You’ll get the high-quality equipment with discounts of up to 50%, delivered directly to your shop. Learn more about our offers here, and be sure to send us a message if you have any questions.

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