Coffee is no longer the main draw for a cafe!

by chee Leng (on coffee makers)
(Singapore)

Coffee Fest

Coffee Fest

Have you ever visited a cafe because the coffee is better than the one near your house? You should have, I did.


Coffee was then the main draw for a cafe or coffee shop. A good espresso or well done cappuccino is enough to draw the crowd. But, that is not enough any more.

Coffee fest is all about good coffee and generally about coffee.

In an article on an upcoming Coffee fest in San Diego, of the 12 lessons that they encouraged participants to take part, only 1 is really about coffee.

The rest are about branding, social Media, leads generation, setting up of cafe etc. The focus this year is on social media, with quite a few classes on it.

This makes sense, one cannot just set up a cafe and depend on "old customers" or walk in customers anymore, there is simply too much competition on the street.

Location, location and location just doesn't really bring in the crowd anymore (even though you might be paying a premium for the rental).

Everyone is crowding in the "premium location". There are too many similar cafe around. The situation is of course make worse by the chains, which has probably 2-3 stores in a one mile radius.

We have a series of Should asked questions that one should know about prior to opening a coffee shop, these questions comes with answers that one might not quite expect -similar to the "location, location, location" myth.

So, how can anyone know about your coffee? That is the reason why the focus on coffee fest is on social media -you need to build your own community, your own fans so that your cafe is able to survive.

Even if you have the best coffee in the world, but if nobody knows about it, it means nothing. The whole idea now is to "get the word out" to as many people as possible.

You still need a great product, you still need a good cup of coffee in order for consumers to keep coming to you, but now more than before, you need to tell people about it.

The big chains are doing it, many other F&B are also doing it, and if you are not on it, you are missing a large chunk of consumers' mind share.

Without the adequate positioning, you are almost sure to lose the battle in occupying market share and of course generating more sales.

Maybe it is because of the way we communicate, or the dependence on technology, consumers would not visit your shop if you are not on the platform which they are communicating.

Sure, it used to be much easier by waiting for the walk in customers. But, trust me, once you start using the Web 2.0 platform, and has some coffee folks raving about your shop, the potential is way much more than the previous "walk in" business model.

My $0.02.

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