So I have this small coffee shop in New mexico and we serve really great quality coffee. But for some reason not a lot of people come in. I need some ideas on how to get more customers fast. Any ideas?

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How are you connecting with your community? Connect with them and they will connect with you.

You could do a "Private Invitation Event" where you invite different local businesses to bring their associates at a specific time on a specific day.

I guess my first question is who is your target client? From there the follow up question becomes how are you connecting with them? How are you creating a space/environment/culture that makes them feel welcome and accepted?

How long have you been open?

Growth, educating people about coffee, Word of Mouth referrals ---- these things take time.

Don't panic. Less is more. Focus on your core. There is always something you can do better.

Please explain in terms of what you source/roast and serve what "really great quality coffee is". And How are you communicating this to your customers/potential customers.

Do the customers perceive your coffee as you perceive it? If so, Great!! if not, why?

 

Look at your menu offerings, pricing, colors, choice of ceramic, layout, etc. Do all of these say "quality coffee" to the customer? They all should. From the moment someone walks in your door, they should have an idea of what you are about, make sure everything they see, hear, read, smell, and touch conveys that.

Train. Practice. Taste. Improve. Read, investigate, and understand both internal and external marketing. Do these things daily, never stop, and things will get better.

 

Are you still in business and how is it going now?

Hey Alicia;

Is your coffee shop listed in Find Me Coffee? Here's all the coffee shop locations we have in NM. We're just getting started, but every little bit helps. At the very least, if you claim your listing and put a link to your web site in the description for your shop, it's a bit of a boost. If you can get some of your regular customers to write a review (a nice one, natch) and then share the review on Facebook, you can get the word out that way, with absolutely no cost to you.

And when our app takes off, it may well attract you some business from people browsing for a coffee shop when they want to meet up with friends.

Do a groupon or a google.com/offer have a great product and you will get repeat business.

Hands down the best way to get people in.  

Matt, 

To be brief. No. No! And. NO!!

That is absolutely the worst advice someone could give.
And if someone needs to explain why, all I can say is, "Really?"

Matt Skip said:

Do a groupon or a google.com/offer have a great product and you will get repeat business.

Hands down the best way to get people in.  

hm how come?  I think alot of coffee shops that are good yeah of course come from word of mouth.  But why not do it put a cap on it to get some customers.  Not sell 1000's limit it to 150-200.  The most expensive cost is a empty location. 

I'm with John on this one.  Groupon and other coupons like those tend to attract customers just after the deal, aren't looking for a new regular coffee shop, and do the minimum price to get the deal.  Not to mention that the company takes 50% of the coupon's price, so the shop itself is only earning 25% as much as a full priced sale.  If you were to do it though, the best way I've seen are adding restrictions.  Such as, getting $x.xx in pastries with the purchase of a large drink.

Hosting and sponsoring events, and otherwise getting involved with the community, seems to be working for a number of friends that run cafes.  It can get folks in the door when they otherwise may not, and helps them get familiar with the shop.  The idea of "If you build it, they will come," only works if they know it's there.

Just saw this pop up on NPR regarding Groupon, thought I'd share.  Does a good job explaining the potential influx of customers, but also the possible negative effects.

For Some Businesses, Daily Deals Have A Dark Side

Kevin said:

Hosting and sponsoring events, and otherwise getting involved with the community, seems to be working for a number of friends that run cafes.  It can get folks in the door when they otherwise may not, and helps them get familiar with the shop.  The idea of "If you build it, they will come," only works if they know it's there.

100 percent agree with Kevin on this one.  Don't think I'd ever get into the coupon game myself.  It just cheapens your product and attracts cheap people.  

We've found that hosting events, offering cuppings and roasting demos and supporting the community gets people into the shop and keeps them loyal.  We support the arts in our community by providing coffee to art openings and hosting local bands at the shop.  We support numerous non-profits by providing coffee at events and donating percentages of sales.  We support other food and beverage artisans in our community through collaborations. What this has done for us in getting our name out and creating loyal customers who will go out and spread the word about our coffee and our shop is priceless.  In order to succeed you've got to be more clever and thoughtful and work harder.  You can't  just hand out coupons and expect to somehow get rich. Find something in your community that you like and is successful and find some way to tie your business to that. 

Ingrain yourself into the community that you expect to support from.  Support them.  Make your shop a part of the community.  You have the chance to enhance the community you are in.  Take that chance do something great.  You will earn loyal customers and supporting friends.  Make great coffee be nice and do the right thing and it'll pay off.  

Or you can offer coupons and get some cheapskate in the door once.  It's up to you.  

Good luck!  


Agreed.

The artisan food community is small. Get to know chefs, restaurant owners, and all the great people associated with the whole culture. Specialization is what will attract and maintain your customers.


zack burnett said:

Kevin said:

Hosting and sponsoring events, and otherwise getting involved with the community, seems to be working for a number of friends that run cafes.  It can get folks in the door when they otherwise may not, and helps them get familiar with the shop.  The idea of "If you build it, they will come," only works if they know it's there.

100 percent agree with Kevin on this one.  Don't think I'd ever get into the coupon game myself.  It just cheapens your product and attracts cheap people.  

We've found that hosting events, offering cuppings and roasting demos and supporting the community gets people into the shop and keeps them loyal.  We support the arts in our community by providing coffee to art openings and hosting local bands at the shop.  We support numerous non-profits by providing coffee at events and donating percentages of sales.  We support other food and beverage artisans in our community through collaborations. What this has done for us in getting our name out and creating loyal customers who will go out and spread the word about our coffee and our shop is priceless.  In order to succeed you've got to be more clever and thoughtful and work harder.  You can't  just hand out coupons and expect to somehow get rich. Find something in your community that you like and is successful and find some way to tie your business to that. 

Ingrain yourself into the community that you expect to support from.  Support them.  Make your shop a part of the community.  You have the chance to enhance the community you are in.  Take that chance do something great.  You will earn loyal customers and supporting friends.  Make great coffee be nice and do the right thing and it'll pay off.  

Or you can offer coupons and get some cheapskate in the door once.  It's up to you.  

Good luck!  


We tried doing a daily promo everyday & a coupon in the little local paper & it really didn't bring in anyone. We are very new & with school out & this heat wave it's been slow. We were featured in an article in the larger paper & it brought in a lot of new customers. Our word of mouth is great & that seems to be the best advertisement. We are building our base and thankfully have a lot of customers that come in everyday. It just takes time. Before we opened we took samples of our coffee & pastries to other businesses in town. Also the court house, police station, town hall, banks....those are some of our most loyal customers. You just need to get the word out & you don't have to spend alot to do it. Social media has also been great for us. Sometimes just posting a drink to try on FB brings people in to try something new.

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