Mix it up
Cafe goers are a discerning lot and when it comes to coffee they like to have a wide choice to choose from. Long gone are the days when a latte or expresso was something unique and exciting. Instead customers want a variety of coffee beans and alternatives to regular cow’s milk such as oat milk and hazelnut milk.
And what about tea? It’s no longer just a question of with or without sugar. Green tea is growing in popularity as are herbal infusions with customers looking to explore new tastes and sensations. Be sure to add some homemade cakes and pastries into the mix for a totally authentic experience.
Decor you can be proud of
Likewise you can make your cafe stand out with décor that is totally different from anything else that is out there. As an alternative to bland walls why not get some vintage prints of your local area and frame and hang them on the wall. They make a great talking point. Or alternatively, how about displaying local art work – taking a small commission for any sales you make.
Fairly lights trailed around the bar also add personality as does a hand-written menu on a blackboard which you can easily change around to display your specials.
Brightly patterned cups and saucers can make your cafe stand out but they don’t all have to be the same. Mixing them up creates more of a homely feel. If you serve tea then perhaps you could display a collection of decorative teapots on a high shelf. How about your takeway cups? These offer a great opportunity to stand out from other cafes and you might want to consider branding, which may cost a little more, but advertises your cafe every time a customer takes one out.
Chain cafes are probably the worse offenders when it comes to furniture since it all looks uniform and rather boring. Cafe chairs are a great way to add colour, and they don’t all have to be the same. Mixing and matching colour gives a great sense of warmth and personality, letting customers know that your cafe is owned by a single human being rather than a corporation.
You can also attract interest by arranging your furniture at different angles rather than in straight rows or try mixing heights by using a combination of standard cafe tables with some dry bar tables in the window. Or if you have the space throw in a sofa or some tub chairs for lounging.
Finally with all the publicity relating to plastic straws and cups which affect the environment, perhaps it’s time to ditch these and try using paper straws and biodegradable cups. Don’t be shy to show that you’re embracing an eco-friendly ethos – stand tall and be proud.