How to Increase Cafe Sales in a Competitive Market

How to Increase Cafe Sales in a Competitive Market

It seems like there's a cafe around every corner. In this market, how can you ensure your business stands out and increases sales?

We've got you covered with our comprehensive guide to increasing sales in your cafe. We'll cover the top methods to help old and new businesses thrive.

The Importance of Attracting Customers in the Cafe Industry

At the centre of increasing sales is attracting customers. Customers bring revenue into your business and help to spread the word about your business.

As a result, enticing customers to visit and return to your cafe is essential to its long-term success. It's important to define a clear strategy to encourage customers to do just that.

What Factors Can Affect Cafe Sales?

Sales in your cafe don't just come down to the number of customers you serve. Other important elements include:

  • Menu: Properly optimising your menu involves understanding menu reading patterns and using techniques such as not including currency symbols to secure bigger sales.
  • Location: Location impacts the levels of foot traffic in your venue. If your cafe's location is subpar, marketing is critical for letting customers where your venue is and what it offers.
  • Operational efficiency: From inventory management to staff rostering, prioritise operational efficiency to keep service running smoothly. This ensures your customers have an excellent experience and want to come back again.

9 Strategies to Increase Cafe Sales

Here are 9 of the very best strategies to get your business on track to profitability.

1. Collect and Implement Feedback from Customers 

Customer feedback lets your diners tell you exactly what they are thinking and how they believe your business could be improved.

You can invite customers to leave feedback via QR codes in your restaurant or when they make a booking. Then, review the feedback with your team and decide how best to implement the ideas you find. This leads to more satisfied customers and a better business.

2. Build Your Business Brand and Social Presence

Cafes can blend together in the minds of consumers, making a distinctive brand essential.

Research from the International Journal of Social Sciences established several key steps for creating a cafe brand:

  • Having a key vision for your business.
  • Establishing an internal culture that supports this vision.
  • Consistency in quality of food and customer experience.

A strong social media presence is also essential. With 53% of Millennial TikTok users visiting or ordering food from a restaurant after seeing it on TikTok, it’s important to find creative ways to use the most popular channels available to you.

3. Manage Your Local Search and Reviews

Sixty two per cent of Australians discover restaurants on Google, making Google Search critical for getting the attention of diners.

To improve your restaurant's performance in Google Search, ensure your Google My Business profile is optimised with pictures, opening hours and FAQs.

Additionally, focus on your Google Reviews. Ask your most loyal customers for reviews and respond to every review you see so customers can see their feedback is valued.

4. Restaurant Email Marketing

With an average return on investment of $36 for every $1 spent across industries, an email marketing strategy can be an efficient way to increase coffee shop sales.

ResDiary offers solutions to maximise the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. For example, TalkBox from Impact Data leverages customer and booking data to inform your email marketing and send automated communications.

ResDiary also integrates with me&u's Connect CRM. It offers intuitive email design, automated communications and rich customer profile creation.

5. Identify the Reasons for Reduced Sales

If your venue is seeing fewer sales than it has in the past, it's important to identify exactly why.

A comprehensive 2005 study from Cornell University identified some of the most important factors for the long-term success of restaurants:

  • Competition: Have new cafes opened in your area, changing the market landscape? Compare your venue to competitors and discover how you can establish your point of difference.
  • Quality: Consistently providing delicious food and coffee cannot be overlooked as a sales strategy. Ensure standards have not slipped at all in your venue in this regard.
  • Failure to adapt: Whether it's catering to the latest diet, handling product shortages, or going digital, ensure you have an agile business that can anticipate and overcome challenges.

For an even more concrete perspective, use customer feedback to get the strongest sense of where your cafe is going wrong.

6. Cultivate Well-Trained and Friendly Staff

Serving your customers with a bright smile every time they enter your venue is the perfect way to ensure they want to come back again and again.

From the all-important customer greeting to attending to needs during service, having the right team is non-negotiable. This must be considered from the hiring process to providing the right staff training.

For further information on having a top team in your venue, see our guides to hospitality sample job descriptions and 5 tips for managing your team.

7. Cultivate Well-Trained and Friendly Staff

Consider the following tips to secure more upsells in your venue:

  • Ensure your upselling techniques are a sincere attempt to improve your customers' experience rather than a profit-seeking exercise.
  • Train your staff to ensure they know the menu inside out. This enables them to provide the best advice to your customers.
  • Offer free samples for expensive items you want to upsell, like premium specialty coffee.
8. Offer Customer Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs can be especially powerful for coffee shops. There are few purchases we make more regularly than our morning cup of coffee.

You can provide cards that are stamped or punched every time a customer buys a coffee from your cafe. Offer a free cup every 10 or so purchases. It's the perfect way to secure repeat business from coffee lovers.

A loyalty program can offer further benefits including word-of-mouth marketing as customers share information about your program with their peers.

9. Renovate Your Cafe’s Venue

This expensive option can help to boost coffee shop sales by providing a superior experience for customers. A stunning physical location can be instrumental in ensuring customers have a great time and want to return.

Renovations might even allow you to increase floor space in your venue and seat more customers. This reduces the amount of customers you have to turn away and thus make no money from.

For more information, check out our complete guide to restaurant floor plans.

Increase Your Cafe Sales with ResDiary

An outstanding restaurant reservation management system is an important part of increasing sales in your cafe. With a wide range of features in one easy solution, it's a great way to streamline your venue's processes and serve more happy customers.

It's how we've helped customers like Dan and Erin from the Boat Shed Cafe:

"We can notify guests that there might be a table available for a period of time, extend or shorten the booking and, if it’s available, book it again for later on. ResDiary allows us to structure all facets of our bookings to ensure we run a well managed and profitable business."

Top integrations include a broad range of marketing tools, powerful EPOS solutions and so much more, making ResDiary even more impactful.

Book a demo today and uncover how ResDiary can help increase sales in your cafe.

Book a demo today and find out how you can help increase sales in your cafe.

Book a demo