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Quick Tips for Making Your Cafe Efficient & Profitable

Setting up a café from the ground up is quite the undertaking. Optimising kitchen layout, hiring reliable waiters and chefs, and finding your niche in a competitive market can be challenging. Suffice it to say, running a café isn’t easy. It’s critical that you hit the ground running and reach a level of profitability early to make your business viable.

When you’re just starting out, you can’t afford masses of time or money. You want to start making your business profitable and efficient as soon as possible. In this quick guide, we’re going to show you how to make that happen without rethinking your entire strategy or having to back to the bank. These tips are easy to use, can start in a matter of days (or less!), and won’t need a big investment.

Offer Loyalty Cards

The trick in a successful business is not always in finding new customers as much as it is retaining them. Return custom is always more profitable, which is why it’s important to treat your VIP visitors well.

Customers like rewards for loyalty to your business and for a busy cafe with regular customer turnover, nothing works better than a loyalty card. A common strategy that can give you most bang for your buck is giving customers a free coffee or cake after x number of purchases. Everyone loves a freebie, and it's a simple way to make sure customers who buy a product regularly, choose you over competition.

Don’t Go Overboard with the Choices

Most novice entrepreneurs believe that customers want choice. But this is a misconception, especially when it comes to the café industry. Most people want to grab a quick coffee or bite; they don’t want a plethora of options.

Instead of spreading yourself too thin, give customers the choice between a handful of drinks and food items that are crafted to perfection. You’ll find that most customers are happy to order the same thing day after day, as long as you deliver a quality product!

This tip won’t just improve your profitability, but it will also streamline your business. Your staff will no longer be wondering how to prepare a certain order, or where to find the ingredients to an obscure menu item hardly anyone asks for. Stick to the basics, ensure they’re delivered to a high standard, and you’re well on your way to a profitable café.

Coffee Alone Won’t Pay the Bills

This may seem like a complete contradiction, but you must realise that cafés don’t make a profit on coffee alone. The trick is not just in serving a fine cup of espresso, but also in promoting additional sales alongside that cup of coffee.

If you’re not already doing it, show off your cookies, snacks, cakes, crisps, and any other suitable accompaniments, preferably close to the till. Consider a special offer where customers can get a coffee plus another item for a lower total price. And don’t forget to encourage those working at the till to always ask customers whether they’d like anything else. You’d be surprised how many will say yes!

Keep Things Clean

It’s surprising just how many businesses in the catering industry don’t keep their premises clean. Having a dirty and grimy café won’t just put off your customers, but it also creates a horrible work atmosphere that will discourage staff members as well.

Invest in the appropriate cleaning equipment, including industry-appropriate chemical cleaners, washroom products, and clear health and safety signs. Customers expect high standards these days and there’s no reason you shouldn’t deliver.

Running a café is going to be a challenge, but if you keep the above tips in mind and combine them with a focused attitude and a willingness to succeed, there’s very little that will stand in your way. Keep testing your sales tactics, ensure staff members are trained and motivated, and always serve a decent cup of coffee!

Find this interesting? Check out these other blogs:
What Equipment Do I Need To Open A Cafe?
Maximise On Turnover And Profit With Takeout
Cashing In On Australia's Robust Caffeine Economy

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