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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2

    How to build afternoon business???

    I have a coffeehouse in a small town and my afteroons are slow......
    any ideas on how to build an afternoon clientelle?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tacoma
    Posts
    67

    Yes

    Toss in a couple of pc's with broadband.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    323
    you could review your menu, increased beverage choices such as italian or french soda's are easy options. also if it is applicable maybe add a lunch food menu ... or get a local deli to work with you and provide sandwiches.
    The man with the many Coffee hats.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2

    building an afternoon business

    Thanks for your input! I already have free wireless and two computers.
    Also, will start doing lunch next week. I am probably impatient. I just opened the first of June, and panic when I have a slow afternoon! I have to learn to accept that there are simply times when the place is empty.
    Fortunately, I have not put any $ into the business since the end of June, so it is paying for itself. New folks come in every day. It just takes time, huh? Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    323
    yea, if you have at least broken even 4/5 months you are off to a great start.
    The man with the many Coffee hats.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Tacoma
    Posts
    67

    1st year

    The first year of any business is what is going to define the rest, if you stay out of the red during that time, you are set as long as you don't relax.

    My Dad said something to me that makes alot of sense, your business is either moving forward or backwards, there is no middle ground. How this translates is obvious, those 2 boxes you set up will take a little time to get noticed, and indeed may never be your main focul point, then again, I've seen people on public boxes playing games more then taking care of biz, so you might want to put that into consideration. The menu expansion is also a very good idea, I guess it's up to how your cook can handle it, and of course how much extra in equipment you can afford to facilitate.

    June, you are just starting out, be happy the bills are being paid, it sounds like you have set up in the right place,. Yes give it time, it takes months if not years before the people that walk or drive by your place decide to finally frequent your establishment, and even then only for a change at times, so you gotta be patient. I do like the fact that you are taking steps in the forward direction, this shows you are going to make this work and aren't afraid to reinvest which is the most common downfall of any small business.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    27
    Let me qualify what I am about to say: I am not a restaurant owner, a coffee shop owner or anything of the sort. I am a business owner in another industry.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd look at some very successful coffee shops (not in your area, don't copycat the shop across town) and find out what makes their afternoons busy. The lunch thing was a good idea, and adding some other types of drinks was a good idea. If you're catering to the college crowd, your shop needs to be set up for quiet conversation, reading, studying, unwinding......lots of areas to congregate. Normally, college students don't come in by the "one's"! The embiance is huge to them. That's who's going to come in your shop in the afternoons, working folks don't take time off work to pop down to the coffee shop (as a norm).

    My business is in it's 3rd year, and we still haven't made money! Don't fret it!

    Kim in TN

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    92
    Try double stamps between 1 and 3PM (if you do stamp cards)

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Windsor,Ontario
    Posts
    50
    Well first you have to understand that afternoons (for me anyway) will never be as good as mornings. Just the nature of the beast. BUT, there are things you can do:
    1st) make the best brewed coffee (check your roasters freshness and investigate your proportions)
    2nd)make the best espresso based (esp, capp, latte) drinks in town. Read Schomers 'Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques' and learn it well. Teach it to your staff and make sure ALL your lattes etc come out great. These are nice afternoon drinks. I give a mini biscotti with mine and sell alot.
    3) Get a panini grill and pre-make sandwiches on flatbreads that grill easily and fast.
    4) I think it best to go with premade soups, ie Nestles Trio are dry mixes, Campbells are frozen , both are good, they've really increased in quality and flavours in the past few years.
    Even with the current health food trend, I sell a ton more sandiches than salads, put alot more effort into your sandwich program rather than salads.
    Just my opinion
    Good luck!
    Ron Balla
    The Coffee Exchange Inc
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Windsor,Ontario
    Posts
    50
    Just wanted to add a couple things, I think ksbell is absoutely right about ambiance. IF you have flourescent lights over the seating area, change it to lamps that will give a softer light, especially at night (dimmable if neccessary), if your walls are white , CHANGE EM to ... well, earth tones always go well these days. Colours and lighting are huge. Did I say huge, I meant HUMMONGOUS
    Ron Balla
    The Coffee Exchange Inc
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada

 

 

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