In this week's post we offer you some advice and rules reported in a famous Forbes article in which Professor Peter Baskerville lists the things that, in his Australian experience, transform a bar into a successful café. Can they also help us in a market like the Italian one?
There is no perfect and unique recipe to ensure fame - says Baskerville - there are no secrets in the business world, success comes from hard work, vast experience, luck or more easily from a combination of all three together .
However, there is a list of his tips from which we invite you to take a cue; here is our adaptation freely drawn and adapted for you.
  • Serve the best espresso
    Especially when it comes to coffee, aiming for maximum quality is the best business decision you can make.
    Espresso coffee is one of those rare products where quality counts 100%.
    Customers will be able to pass in front of 10 other bars and keep going to get the best espresso.
    So buy the best espresso machine, use a water purifier and demineralizer, a conical grinder, buy only top-quality Arabica, and make sure every cup is made by a capable barista.
  • Work in an ergonomic environment
    Make sure that the work surface and the counter are such as to allow the barista to carry out all the preparatory gestures for making coffee without having to move from his workstation and that this is not shared with other staff members.
    Making a high volume of sales is imperative, but the space has to be organised. Some key elements: front counter at the right height, easy access to cups and supplies storage, fridge and trash.
    Also, place the cash register on the opposite counter near the bartender's work surface.
    This allows him to listen to customers' orders at peak times, gaining a time advantage over them, and to work efficiently on his own during off-peak times.
  • Use loyalty cards
    I've resisted for a long time, but they actually work. Make sure it's a quality card that will last the wear and tear and that it's the right size for your wallet. There's nothing better than seeing a new customer's face light up when you give him a card which, after 7 drinks, entitles him to the free octave.
  • Sell ​​more matching products
    A bar can never earn enough from the sale of coffee alone.
    Coffee can be the main motivator for retaining customers, but they need to leave your establishment having bought more products if you are going to be successful. As a goal, coffee should not exceed 40% of weekly sales. Make sure traditional coffee complements (muffins, cookies, cakes) are displayed near the counter, and also offer hot and cold items to ensure the best chance of multiple sells.
  • Limit your assortment
    Many newbies think that large assortments and numerous product offerings are a competitive advantage. It forgets that the customer is simply hungry or thirsty or both, and that a large choice creates anxiety for most people. So, cover the necessary categories, but with limited and strategic offers.
  • Work on your profit margins
    The price is defined at the value perceived by the customer, not by accounting. For some items it is necessary to maintain or even offer a low price, compared to the cost of the product to us, and this loss should be balanced with high margins on other products that are unique to your store, and which we will aim to promote more.
  • Implement your strategies
    Standing out in a competitive market like that of coffee shops is of vital importance. It is essential to fully understand how to win the trust of customers and implement a customer loyalty plan and word of mouth to their friends.
  • Select the right products
    We often assume that customers know exactly what they want. They don't. Customers see the bartender as the expert and expect him to suggest which combination of food or drinks to order. In a cafeteria context, it's much better to pre-structure the product and leave the custom build just for the coffee.
    Custom food is a high cost option for you because it does not allow for economies of scale and limits your turnover at peak times when you should be busy pumping sales as quickly as possible, not spending time making custom orders.
  • Arrange for takeaway
    I know all your friends will tell you to set up comfortable lounges, free Wi-Fi, waiter service, and other entertainment, but the customer who sits over a cup of coffee for hours and enjoys all these benefits is not going to make you to pay the rent.
    My most successful coffee shop had a limited number of not-so-comfortable counter and bar stools to make the café look lived-in and loved, and I focused on building the take-out business. Customers who buy takeaway products pay the same price as the customer who stops by, but without the additional costs.
  • Be present
    While a business of other products can still be successful with a non-owner, a coffee shop needs the owner to give it care, attention and commitment. Customers expect the owner, and staff are more responsive when the owner is nearby.