Your cafe needs to become the comfy living room of your community if you’re going to be successful. People need to perceive it as their joint, a common place where people meet for everything from girlfriend gossip to project strategizing.
So, how exactly do you go from that place behind a window that people walk past to getting your own nickname – like “hey let’s meet at OUR JOINT, OUR PLACE, THE CAFÉ, THE GREATEST COFFEE HOUSE OF THE CENTURY (ok, that might be a stretch – but who knows maybe this one fits your place)?
Well get your pencil and paper ready to jot down the 5 very simple ways you are going to do exactly that.
1. Find your Muses and Help Them Help you
Cafes and artists are a match made in coffee cup heaven. Supporting your local art community can bring immediate benefits, since this community loves cafes for the most part and most of them have friends who will come out to support them in their artistic endeavors.
You can connect with a local arts college and allow artists to display their work on your walls – you can even hold an opening that will allow the artists to invite paying friends and family.
To continue on the artistic friend, an open mic night is also a fantastic way to draw a crowd. You can allow some local singers to take the stage or on a different tilt you can make it an evening of poetry readings and coffee.
Just remember regardless of the event, you are opening up your ‘home’ to the community and this will be appreciated. And of course you will have paying guests at these events so make sure you’ve got your tastiest items available.
2. Cooking Classes in exchange for Butts in Seats
One of the most fun things you can do is host cooking classes. You can do this in the middle of the week, during an afternoon or on a Sunday afternoon when you’re bound to get a larger crowd. The cooking class will allow you to meet potential customers in an easygoing manner while also putting you in charge as the authority on all great things in food.
Depending on your budget, you can charge for the classes or you could do a freebie per month. If you’re providing this valuable service for free, people will feel more compelled to come in and spend money and having butts in seats can only bring more butts into more seats.
3. Breathe through your website
You must, must have a website. You may exist in the physical world, but if you can’t be found in the virtual world, your potential customers will feel circumspect about your savvy.
You need to set this website up as an initial feel of your café. Your potential customers should understand what the ambiance, lighting, style, music of your café is from your website.
And don’t forget to include all the important stuff like a menu WITH PRICES as well as an about that provides your very own unique story.
These days people will look you up online before setting foot in your door, so be prepared and be sexy about it.
Now once you’ve got your website set up, you should start blogging. This will help you connect to your customers so that they see you as a person and not just the proprietor of an establishment.
You can talk about daily going-ons at the café, your family, events coming up or even share some special recipes. Just engage with your potential customers and you will see results.
Remember, however, that once you start blogging, you should be prepared to update your blog at least twice a week. It’s a commitment that your customers will expect.
Finally, your menu is very important and you can use this menu to market your café.
It is a great idea to have an open house night once a month where potential customers can come in and sample everything you have to offer. You can offer the food for free while the drinks the guests can pay for. In addition offer free water, tea and filtered coffee. This is a great way to connect and engage with existing and new customers.
Also, try to bring in seasonal items and announce the introduction of a new item outside of your storefront and on your website. And keep in tune with local events and national holidays by dressing up your menu items to theme. People love that stuff and they’ll love you for it too.
What choo waiting for … let’s make you IT
These are five simple ways you can market that aren’t going to cost you much and will make a fantastic impact. Try them out, let us know, and ultimately connect with your community and your community will support and connect with you. Done!
Written by Joti Heir.