what makes a coffee shop agreeable?

mandaofdoom

New member
Dec 27, 2007
7
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I'm not sure if this is an appropriate question to ask in this part of the forum, but as I am a new member I do hope you can forgive me.

I was wondering if I could ask some opinions on what what makes a coffee shop or a tea house some place you want to be. What do you look for in the scenery, the smells, the people... I want to know what about a says "won''t you stay here and have a spot of tea" or "run away."

I'd love to know what the term good coffeehouse environment means to you. Any and every opinion are welcome!
 

3ternal

New member
Mar 22, 2007
126
0
Seattle, WA
"Scenery" is totally subjective and depends on your own aspirations and taste. Anything from a neo-industrial theme with exposed would and brushed steel accents, to your humble little coffee house with some pieces of local art here and there could make for an awesome experience. Don't go by what you see in other coffee houses, go by what would make yours stand out.

One thing I personally love in a coffee house is a really dense coffee smell from fresh ground beans, this can be hard to achieve but if you get it down people will get drawn in by the smell from outside.

Either way you look at it though, tens of thousands of invested dollars wont mean a thing if your staff doesn't treat your customer right, so first invest in really getting your barista's enthusiastic in both coffee education and customer service... and you'll be golden from there :)
 

LoveJava

New member
Nov 16, 2007
19
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From the point of view of the consumer: Friendly and competent service!! That goes so very far in making me want to go back to a place (I'm assuming that quality product is a given). In fact, I'm willing to give someplace a second chance if the coffee might have been a little off if the service is good, but not really the other way around.

The other thing that makes a difference as to whether I want to sit a while and enjoy the ambiance is whether its even possible to sit. There's a string of independent coffee shops a few blocks from me, all with comparable coffee and service but I never go to the one because its too hard to get one of the 4 tables that they have (even though they encourage people to share with strangers). I know space is sometimes limited and you might not be able to do much on this point, but I think having a bar stool type section or using more smaller tables (that can be moved together for a bigger party) can help.

Again, just the point of view of a consumer.
 

KnappCap

New member
Oct 28, 2007
15
0
Chicago, IL
A home away from home. People are looking for a place that is not their home residence and not where they work. A place where they can get away, but not just for the sake of getting away. The ideal shop is where members of the community can come not simply as a customer, but as a part of the community.
 

John P

New member
Jan 5, 2007
1,045
0
Salt Lake City
A place that puts its product coffee/espresso/tea above all else.
A place you come to take the time to enjoy the drink, rather than rush out the door.
Friendly, but unassuming service.
Knowledgeable and educated barista.

With that in mind, other factors would naturally come into play. Design, lighting--all those things that make the ambiance come together should be well designed to capture the essence of the coffee without hiding it (in the King's best china) or without burying it (in paper cups). Those places that are thoughtful about their coffee will also be thoughtful about how it is presented, the other way around is never true.
 

dannytk

New member
Jan 6, 2008
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I think it''s different for every person, we''ve been complimented on our drinks, service, interior design, but at the same time we''ve also gotten complaints about our service, layout, etc. We have a Starbucks across the street and they do so well mostly because of perception and image...people say their coffee is awful and there''s too much merchandising and their pricing is too high, yet they still go there because of their brand. Everyone is different, and you have to try to appeal to as wide a demographic as possible without turning off any and without losing the feel of a coffee house. Don''t know if this helps, but it''s my first post and it''s what we''ve experienced in our coffee house.
 

davidsbiscotti

New member
Oct 4, 2007
338
0
coffee shop agreeable?

From a consumer point of view:

There’s value in the experience alone. There’s a small town diner I frequent for breakfast that really just offers plain old home cooking. Their pancakes, waffles and breads suck (I hope they don’t read this), but the cook makes a mean omelette and the service is friendly but not intrusive. It’s twenty minutes from home, but worth the ride.

If it’s a comfortable, warm environment, with friendly service, I’m more likely to stay awhile. If their espresso left much to be desired, I’d find something that I did like and stick to it. I’d ultimately invite others to join me there often.

As for vibe: warm, earthy colors, coffee industry art, coffee mugs for sale, lights not too bright and of course the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans.
No white laminate countertops, no visible stainless steel, no country music and no art deco!

I love this topic and hope to read more of what others look for in their coffee shop experience.
 

Heidi

New member
Nov 9, 2007
22
0
Iceland
The way I look at it I happen to be very lucky because I work at a great coffee shop that not only does fantastic coffee but is also a place where people can be home away from home. Regulars are like friends who are dropping in for a coffee, the staff gets along really great and are also very friendly and helpful. That, along with serving good, quality made coffee, makes us the most popular coffee shop chain on this island.

I think it also depends on the store front, it only takes a costumer, like, 3 seconds to decide whether he wants to stay or not. The first 90 seconds are very important in depending on whether the costumer returns. People need to know what to expect. If you want families to come in, have a corner where the kids can play with toys - it doesn't have to be large, we have a small table and a box filled with toys and that keeps them occupied, if you want the business types, make sure you have a wireless internet connection, etc. Find out what kind of costumers you want and go from there.
 

davidsbiscotti

New member
Oct 4, 2007
338
0
Don't be "embarrassed", stainless steel absolutely has it's place.
Having been in food service for a couple of decades now, I've always been surrounded by it and it serves a great purpose. As do your espresso machines.

I guess what I mean to say is......

The coffee shop vibe should be warm and inviting, kind of like my living room or den.
Not with cold steel and white walls everywhere like a military galley.
 

3ternal

New member
Mar 22, 2007
126
0
Seattle, WA
True. My favorite coffee house has a very traditional feel to it, but there's alot of exposed metal giving it an industrial feel. I don't know, it's hard to explain, it's kind of a Seattle thing.
 

davidsbiscotti

New member
Oct 4, 2007
338
0
I see. Industrial does have a certain appeal.
Being from the northeast, I'm more into the earthy feel.
19th century style, wood floors, antiques and fireplaces. That's home to me.
I'm not the metrosexual type, looking for a pretty pink mug at a Starbucks, LOL. (Not that there's anything wrong with that).
 

3ternal

New member
Mar 22, 2007
126
0
Seattle, WA
The antique styling is actually what I'm somewhat referring to, as the coffee house I'm referring to has alot of exposed Iron giving it that look. It's hard to explain :?

Just give me a cup of coffee, a couch, and a cute girl and I'm set
 

davidsbiscotti

New member
Oct 4, 2007
338
0
mandaofdoom said:
I''m not sure if this is an appropriate question to ask in this part of the forum, but as I am a new member I do hope you can forgive me.

I was wondering if I could ask some opinions on what what makes a coffee shop or a tea house some place you want to be. What do you look for in the scenery, the smells, the people... I want to know what about a says "won''t you stay here and have a spot of tea" or "run away."

I''d love to know what is a good coffee house environment according to others, so any responses would be most appreciated.

I guess she didn't like the coffee forums environment.
 

davidsbiscotti

New member
Oct 4, 2007
338
0
New topic

New Topic: What makes a coffee forum agreeable?

This forum draws in new members each day, but so many tend to post once or twice then leave.

"Stay for awhile and have a spot of tea won't you?" :D

A contest or a drawing of some kind might encourage new members to participate and contribute more to the forum.

Coffee forums front page:

Sign in here to register for our monthly coffee challenge

1.) "Name this coffee origin"
2.) "Most original coffee quote"
3.) "Best coffee photo"
4.) "Coffee trivia"

These are some examples of monthly challenges that members can participate in. At each months end, the winner of the drawing or contest receives a gift. It could be a pound of coffee, a coffeeforums mug or even a dozen biscotti! It could be kept simple, as to not overwhelm administration or the donor of prizes.

There are real people behind postings.
This is an online community, not just a message board.
 
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