Barista Interview: Rachel Haughey of espressoNEAT

Opening a cafe is a dream of many. Whether it’s for the idea and not knowing what to expect. Or after being in the coffee industry for awhile, it’s a dream come true. Whatever you reason to open a cafe or experience in coffee, you should read this first if you are thinking about opening a cafe.

This month, Rachel Haughey, owner of espresso NEAT, tells us about why and how she started her cafe. Along with struggles and successes and some great advice to anyone wanting to open a cafe. Continue reading “Barista Interview: Rachel Haughey of espressoNEAT”

10 Ways to Know You’re at a Great Cafe

From atmosphere and customer service to presentation and the first sip, there are many things that create a great customer experience. Here is a list of what I look for in a café’ to determine whether or not I will become a regular.

  1. You are greeted when you come in
  2. The cashier or barista walks you through the menu and provides recommendations
  3. The café’ offers traditional espresso drinks and makes them correctly
  4. The milk being steamed does not sound like a plane is taking off
  5. The staff is knowledgeable about their coffee and educates their customers
  6. The café is so clean you could eat off the floor (although I don’t recommend it)
  7. Quality of the coffee and espresso drinks is a priority to the company
  8. Wi-Fi (I ALWAYS buy something every two hours I’m there)
  9. They have events going on each week (anything from open mic to throwdowns )
  10. Bonus: Not only is the espresso great, the Latte Art is beautiful

If a café’ has at least half of the listed items then you have found your new “third home”. If on the rare occasion a café’ has every one of these, you have found a “diamond in the rough”.

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QOTD- What makes a cafe’ special for you to want to be a loyal customer?

5 Free Ways To Market Your Coffee Business

Marketing is one of the biggest ways to gain customers. You need to get them in your store so they can experience your great coffee.
Just be sure to fit your Advertising to your goals. Marketing is not created equal.
Word of mouth Marketing is best, but how do you begin? By building trust with customers so they buy from you. Then they tell all their friends! Get people talking with these 5 free Marketing strategy ideas:

Social Media

If you’re not on at least Twitter and Facebook, you are missing a huge opportunity. These are just two sites to stay connected, engage, and build relationships with your customers. You can see what others are saying about your business and to easily take care of any immediate customer complaints that may arise and quickly fix the situation. You can even post live music and cafe’ happenings to Facebooks’ “event” feature.

E-newslettes

Keep customers updated on events, specials, and coupons. Highlight an employee or co-worker. Offer a sign-up sheet for your customers at the cafe’ counter and a subscription on your site to keep them updated. Try Mailchimp or Aweber.

Blog

Write about events-music, throw-downs, fundraisers, meetups, networking groups. Be sure to take a lot of pictures so customers can see what a great time others are having and will want to make the next event. For customers that did attend, can tell about their experience (customer testimonials) of how much fun they had.

Geo-location Sites

Register your coffee shop on Foursquare, Yelp, and other sites customers can “check-in” to your business and their friends can see your shop is a popular place to be. You can also be reviewed and see how you stack up to other local businesses.

Be Newsworthy

Are you sponsoring an event, hosting a fundraiser or donating coffee? Get your name out there and invite your local community and media to your event. Build company reputation and goodwill within the community while gaining the attention of the media. And in-turn, gain more customers. Be sure to take photos so anyone who may not have showed up the first time, will see how much fun your event was and will come next time.

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How do you market your company? Do you use Leads Market or any of these strategies? What experience have you had using these strategies?