How can we coffee retailers survive this scary recession?It's here and we all know what we have to do: cut costs and add revenue. Let's use this exchange for what it's perfect for! If you have a product or a promotion or something that's working to add new revenue streams, share it here. If you've found creative ways to cut costs, shave expenses or otherwise keep more green stuff in the register, shout it out to the rest of us! And please, let's not hear "Our Great Coffee!" or "My Fantastic Staff." Quality coffee and trained staff are key, but we all feel that way. Let's share things others may not know about. We have a great brain trust here and we need to work together to survive this recession.

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Our reward cards work like this: charge them with at least $25, and we will add 10% of the cash transaction. $500 on the card would get $50 from us, $25 on the card gets $2.50. Then as the customer uses their card, every 10 drinks purchased adds a free drink to their account.

I also agree with John's statement about missing the credit card fees. most all of our customers charge their loyalty cards with a credit card, most are getting mileage. Then we only have to pay the merchant transaction that one time. great for us, a little more value for the customer.
Our pos system allows us to make and track our own gift certificates, so we just went down to the paper supply house and picked up some envelopes and cards, stuck our business card to the outside of the card, and printed up little's a little bit of work (just side work for the barista during down time), but it's much cheaper and more flexible than printed gift cards, which usually require a $500 investment for a bunch of cards. ALso, we don't have any transaction fees....we did this even when we had a cash register...just made a new button.
Hi John! By the way, give me a call so I can explain the new, easier, way of doing gift cards in your software.

John P said:
Through the 1st of the year we are doing gift cards as $25 for $20, $50 for $40, and $100 for $75.
We've sold 5 of the $100 this past week and several of each of the other, but it's also increased visibility of the card promo has sold smaller denominations that don't have the discount. Today we sold 25 $10 to one of our regulars as well. After the holidays, we will streamline the offer, but it's $$ up front and most are already loyal customers as it is.

We have several customers who load up the gift card every few weeks rather than using credit. It eliminates the fees and I'd rather remind someone to use "caffe d'bolla" rather than "Discover". :)
How about this idea? Be smart about where your money is being spent. We just realized we spent almost $1k last year on these fancy papers for our brioche rolls. We decided to better spend that money on using a payroll service which will save me tons of headaches with the IRS. Sure, those fancy papers look nice, but I'm not sure they're selling more product. It just feels like money better spent right now.

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