I can’t tell you how many cafés I consultant with that don’t understand the business they operate. If you own a café you are not in the coffee business, you’re in the retail business; and most importantly, you’re in the people business.
Cafés, bakeries, espresso bars and restaurants are much more service-based businesses than goods-based businesses. A goods business can succeed with a non-present owner; in most cases the business owner’s care, engagement and attention is needed. This can’t be understated. Your customers expect this and your team is far more enlivened when the owner is hovering taking an active, hands-on approached to the business. However I must note it must be a balanced approach.
The most successful cafés are businesses that capture repeat people business and are able to keep them. They have the ability to keep the same regular customers happy, day-in-day-out while at the same time capturing new ones.
They build their community and keep them.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to talk to customers and find out what they like and don’t like – it’s that simple! However in reality your customers are probably too polite to tell you to your face that your staff are rude or your coffee and food is not to their standard. One way around this is to encourage feedback cards that can be popped into a box; or set up business feedback apps where customers can anonymously leave you honest feedback.
Next lesson: Hospitality is a sales job
Does this sound like your business? Are you a person focuses company, or a goods focused company? Let me know in the comments.
Founder | King Carlos Coffee Roasters | (02) 9580 1300