Getting a coffee shop off the ground is a mammoth feat, but setting up shop might be one of the easier aspects of the journey. The real work begins when it comes to keeping your business running successfully.
Too many independent coffee shops sadly close their doors, not through a lack of passion or hard work, but because their profit margin is so small they’re unable to stay afloat without working 24/7.
So to give your business the best possible chance of success you need to find ways of improving your profit without simply increasing your prices (and losing customers in the process). One of the best strategies for this is upselling products that offer a good profit margin.
So where do you start? Let’s get into it…
Sell more than just coffee
The most obvious way to increase your coffee shop profits is to sell more than just beverages. Customers will jump at the chance to buy products their favourite coffee shop uses and love. Whether it be the high-quality beans you use in their favourite order or gadgets and gizmos you recommend that will elevate their home-brewing experience – they’ll likely love to pick something up. Some easy product ideas include:
- Takeaway coffee mugs
- Small coffee makers like the Hario v60 and Clever drippers or the AeroPress
- Grinders (manual will take up less space on your shelves than electric)
- Coffee prep accessories like milk pitchers, scales, cloths and filters
- Coffee gear cleaning products
We have a great list of products you can sell in your coffee shop here. You can even sell products like gourmet olive oil or jams. Consider partnering with other local businesses to sell their fresh and artisanal produce too. The idea here is to become more than just a coffee shop. Sell things that are a little bit different. Something people can’t easily find in the local supermarket that add value for your customers. They will thank you for it – as will your profit margins.
Offer daily specials
Taking a minute before opening to map out some daily specials is an easy way to create interest and introduce products that people may not usually consider. Daily specials offer the opportunity for bulk cost savings so ask your baristas to promote these and communicate them throughout the day.
Daily specials also create excitement with your customers and provide a great way to keep people interested in what you have to offer.
Upsell cold drinks/food items with warm beverages
Create tasting menus with an ‘enjoy with’ option so your customers can see what foods go perfectly with their coffee order. Think wine pairings here except with coffee. In the same way certain wines are enjoyed with cheeses and meats to bring out delectable flavours – particular notes in coffees taste amazing with certain food combinations like fruit bread, chocolate and scones. Creating these special tasting pairings is an excellent way of taking an order that may have brought in £5 up to £10.
Offers exciting drinks for everyone
Spoiler alert – not everyone likes coffee. So offer delicious alternatives for all your customers, even the little ones. There’s a great opportunity to offer a range of hot chocolates for example, or specialty milkshakes and smoothies. Similarly, encouraging a cold drink like a bottle of water with each coffee order as a means of cleansing the pallet is a good way of increasing profits as for most cafés your cold drinks will be your high-margin menu items.
Offer customisable drink options
Look for opportunities where you can offer your customers a personalised option. Think about offering them an upgrade on their usual order for a single origin or premium bean, or even adding additional extras like syrups or extra shots. These add special touches for your customers and go a long way in helping you to increase profits too.
Get on board with takeaway apps
While this isn’t so much an upsell, it’s an important mechanism to increase your reach with customers as well as your profit. Sure, you want people to come inside your shop and enjoy the atmosphere, but you can’t ignore the fact people love the convenience of getting their fresh brew delivered straight to their door. Listing your business on takeaway apps like Deliveroo or UberEats will likely help drive your sales.
The fact is - booming coffee shops usually offer much more than just great-tasting coffee. So if you’re ready to expand your offers, why not open a trade account with Coffee Hit? You’ll receive substantial discounts on multiple purchases so you can stock your shelves with high-quality coffee gear your customers will find irresistible for less.