Some Advice

wlltx

New member
Nov 28, 2004
10
0
san antonio texas
My wife and I just opened a drive thru coffee shop and was just wondering if there is any advice out there??? We are into our second week and things are going ok. We are located in San Antonio, Texas and are located in a great part of town. We have great car count but seem to be not taking advantage of it. any thoughts???

any advice would be great

thanks,
felix
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,735
13
Boca Raton
If you have good traffic and the numbers aren't the best..suggestive sales. A guest walks up instead of saying what can I get for you...say," would you like a cappuccino today? or after they order you say can I get you a muffin with that...you would be suprised how much it helps.
 

barefoot

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Sep 21, 2004
75
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Santa Clara, CA
give away what you want to sell.

Have a big two day or weklong grand opening celebrationa nd give away FREE drinks ALL morning for a few days with BIG banners. You will be swamped and you will get a bunch of new customers.

give coupons to every nearby business.
 

marco.crazy

New member
Nov 25, 2004
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NEVER give anything away for free, says your having trouble! do you use a well noticed brand like Lavazza or illy??? if you dont then change because people want a brand!!!get loads or points of sale and let people know what your coffee is!! (If its a brand) because if you dont there is no reason for them to stop and have a coffee with you!! is there?? and most of all :-D DO A GREAT COFFEE
 
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wlltx

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Nov 28, 2004
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san antonio texas
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:grin:

Thanks for all the great advice. We feel we have a great cup of coffee and do not use a national brand. We have started to do some direct mail and i meet with a local radio station today to do some advertising.
We are currently working on scripts for upsale and recommend drinks to customers.
Hope one day I can be of service to one of you.

Regards,
Felix
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,735
13
Boca Raton
wlltx......you hit it right no the nose...
scripts for upsale
When you are selling....you are on stage...if it is selling coffee or selling cars...Hey how's it going...you want a latte don't you...thats what all the cool kids are drinking :wink: It would complement a piece of flowerless chocolate cake! By the way....all the fat is free :grin: Thanks a Latte and have a grande!!
 

Coffee Cup Joe

New member
Sep 27, 2004
18
0
New York
San Antonio drive through

Hey Wlltx,

Great for you. San Antonio needs some drive thru's. I was in Austin for years and coffee drive thru's were rarely found. I am surprised that there are not more.

That might be part of the problem in that your marketplace is not yet familiar with it. How is your ingress/egress? Seems like there are frontage road issues off the main drags and sometimes getting back over to the right lane is troublesome at times. Are you out on 281 towrd 1604 or on the 410 loop somewhere?

There are some really good ideas floating here for you. I think you to be on the right track with the direct mailing since you can control the delivery to your area. Might be better than the radio in fact.
Again, in San Antonio traffic, the pace can be rather fast, so drivers can be tunnel vision with their direction. Often because they see the same thing every day on the commutes.

Good signage is one thing, having it hop out and grab ones attention is another.
Depending on the budget you have set up for this, you might consider some traffic stopping measures to let people know you are there.
Maybe even a rented mascot character on a Saturday to wave at traffic etc...A few days and weekends in a row. Maybe even a two person placement. One just up the road from your place with a sign about your drive thru, while the other stands near the entrance. Wake them up at the corner with one so they have time to turn in at your place. And don't be afraid to do that early in the morning. Thats the crowd you want to shoot for too.

Ideally, once they stop for the first cup they become the daily regular for you. You have then succeeded in breaking the tunnelvision ways of todays drivers!

Good luck to you guys. Next time I am down there to visit my two sons in SA I will look you up. Let me know.
 
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wlltx

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Nov 28, 2004
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san antonio texas
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Again thanks for all the great advice, we are located on IH-10 and Wurzbach road near the medical center. Or ingres/egress are good. I think your right our customers don't know we are here yet. Some we will focusing on making sure that people know we are here. Today was a good day the weather helped it was pretty cold (32 cold for Texas weather).
Again thanks for all the great support.

Felix
 

NewToTheBiz

New member
Dec 4, 2004
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DO NOT LISTEN TO THE PERSON WHO SAID DONT GIVE AWAY STUFF FREE!!!!

I repeat, DO NOT listen to them.

They are the same people who say to save money cut your advertising budget - WRONG!

Your advertising budget is the LAST thing you cut.

I have been in the restaurant/food, etc business for 15 years and have seen it time and time again, those who dont spend money / give product away to taste, parish!

To think about the cents it costs you to give a sample of something to gain a customer - its a win, win.

Good luck with your business.

:grin:
 

janie1963

New member
Mar 8, 2004
65
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I've been open for 3 months and still have at least one person per day say "how long have you been here"? And others say, " I've been meaning to stop by". It will take time...something I didn't really anticipate. We have spent a lot on signage, (even put spotlights on some) The main problem I have is that I'm a tiny dot on 6 acres of undeveloped commercial property....the owner of the land is busy buying up beach properties and developing that. I'm going to work on a proposal to him to help get more people to stop by us before they get to the beach.

I'm curious to learn more about direct mailings....would love to do that, but was told you have to buy mailing lists and pay for a bulk permit. Anyone know more about this????
 

jpscoffee

New member
Nov 3, 2004
92
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Michigan
When opening a store (in another related beverage business) we have a free product give away. It is GREAT advertising, brings in LOTS of people who TASTE your product rather than seeing an ad in the paper (which they can't drink), and generates LOTS of attention. We also give the biggest size drink to each customer at the give away. It dazzles people and that is what creates buzz. Advertise it for a couple of weeks first with banners and then do a give away for 2-4 hours. And then be ready with coupons for a free drink for the last few that show up and you have to have a cut off time. Be generous and build goodwill.
 
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wlltx

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Nov 28, 2004
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san antonio texas
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It has been interesting to see the diffrent opions out there regarding starting a new business. Like I said we are new to the coffee business and want to start things right. Just like some of the other business we have, we understand that it will take time for customers to find us. We firmly believe in giving away our product for a time being to help those customers discover that we have the best coffee at a great price. We love forums like this because it helps us gain knowledge and share knowledge as well.

Jp love your logo, its really good.

regarding direct mail, we use valpak which i believe is a nation wide company, we use them in other business and we negotiated a deal for 2 free months of advertising for three zones (zone=zip code, each zone = 10,000 coupons)

we are also using money mailer and we got the same deal (after he found out that valpak was trying to get the biz)

we saw a instant response, we are talking next day coupons are coming in and people are trying our drinks. and so fare we have had more valpak coupons come in then moneymailer.

we are working on which vendor we will go with and how much its going to run us every month.
i will keep you posted.

thanks for the help
Felix
 

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