Cafe Entrepreneurship

10 helpful tips to increase your cafe sales and profit

Desktop compute on a wooden table

This is it! 

You’ve started your dream cafe business! The challenge now is to make it thrive.

Business growth involves managing your cafe business holistically. From paperworks and menu to interior design and accessibility to PWDs, these factors affect your day-to-day sales. Your sales eventually determines whether you can continue with the business. So, read on to know how to increase your sales and profit!

  1. Organizing paperwork

An organized paperwork on operational costs and budget helps you create a clearer, more comprehensive plan. 

If your business vision and mission are a little too far and abstract, then it may be difficult to measure them. To improve them, think of documents and plans you can touch and look at through softwares and papers. 

For practicality (and less eye-sore!) organize by using file drawers and envelopes. Organize systematically to avoid mistakes and confusion in the future. By doing so, you can examine your cafe’s operational costs (fixed and variables) smoothly and more efficiently. Accuracy can do wonders such as preventing mistakes and overestimating and underestimating data.

Does data say that you’re spending on extras? Make necessary changes immediately by removing extras or improving decisions. Remember, to stay and thrive, you need revenue increase and cost decrease for the best possible profits. 

Through organized paperworks, it’s easy to see how you can improve your profit goals every step of the way. These profit goals reflect what your business goal is, as well as factors needed to stay in the biz and achieve those dreams. 

  1. Always check your market 

You can also determine your market category. To simplify, is your market mostly on-the-go customers or those that prefer ambiance more than anything?

On-the-go customers can be workers or commuters especially if your cafe is situated in a business district. It can also be a homey cafe where families and retirees can dine, or bibliophiles can stay in to read their favorite book. 

Determining your market can make way to customize your menu according to each category’s needs and wants. This way, you do not take your products for granted, but you can also resourcefully find ways to boost these items to them. 

  1. Inventory management

Decrease in profit and surplus of resources can be correlated. 

Profits gained and loss can get balanced out by surplus in resources. To avoid throwing away pastries that don’t sell or sauces and syrups that weren’t used, improve your inventory management (see this article to know more). Your cafe can benefit from using POS systems for efficiency in processing, as well as managing transactions and analytics.

  1. Boost sources of profits

Loyalty programs can increase your sales over time. It helps continue the progress you have from turning satisfied customers into loyal customers. 

It is far less costly to maintain regular customers than to bring in more customers. When you target new customers every single time, expenses in advertising (among others) can cost you more than rewarding your regular cafe-goers. 

Plus, regular customers are not only advantageous for advertising through word-of-mouth, but can indicate a potential on-going, reliable source of income.

Incentives such as discounts and freebies are factors that customers take into consideration in their decision making. Just determine which is more sustainable for your cafe: giving more discounts or rewarding a loyal customer with a free drink? To know more about launching your own loyalty program, read this article.

  1. Necessary menu changes (and decent price increase)

For one, the menu is something you can change immediately. Check if your menu is still competitive with the market today, or if it is still profitable considering the overall economic inflation. See if changes are reasonable as you might lose more customers along the way. 

  1. Promos/bundles

Not all customers know immediately what they want so consider highlighting your bestsellers and/or “barista recommended” in your menu. 

You’re helping them decide. Recommending the perfect food and drink pairings while also introducing new food items is an opportunity for you to promote slower items. For food and drink pairing suggestions, read this article

  1. Online reviews and how to respond

Online reviews are very accessible nowadays, so people look at them prior to decision making.

However, some online reviews are not reliable because almost anyone can write them, even if they aren’t customers in the first place. Plus, terrible reviews are difficult to be proven credible. 

Regardless of the review, what you can control is how you respond to them. Remember to never leave snarky or arrogant replies. Instead, incorporate a formula of thanking them, knowing more, and what can you do to make it right (if applicable). 

  1. Logistic improvements

Not every cafe owner will consider putting WiFi in their cafes, especially if it does not fit the theme of the place. 

But installing an internet connection can be a response to the needs of your customers. To ensure its effectiveness, you can strategize by offering it for a certain time in a day, or offering it with a time limit for each customer receipt. 

Accessibility and parking spaces can help in increasing sales, too. When customers can park with convenience, it is more likely that they will visit more to buy coffee from you. Strategize by utilizing receipt validation, or by putting up signs on how long they can park. Try talking to your building property manager about putting wheelchair ramps for accessibility, too. 

  1. Rentable space

Another income generating strategy for your cafe is to rent out the space for hosting small events like musical/poetry performances or workshops. It does not just add to the cafe culture and brand personality you are building, but you can also offer cafe food and drinks to serve at their event. That is a sure and automatic profit from food and drinks there.

Growth entails time

Your cafe business growth is a process. It takes a lot of factors to ensure you are able to generate revenue and decrease costs. You are now plowing and scattering the seeds (or beans). It will take time, but you’ll reap the rewards once they grow!

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