The pandemic proved that life is too short for hesitations, so why not start your small business now? The problem most aspiring entrepreneurs face is the daunting question of which industry to enter and what specific business to venture on. COVID-19 has crossed out a lot of your options, but if you think coffee shops are one of them, then you’re wrong.
Your local café and bistro is the center of socialization, and now that health protocols are being eased, people are finding solace in familiar booths and brews. With social distancing and limited customers in indoor spaces allowed, however, the need for new shops will become more imminent. The trick to making your own café successful is by playing by the rules both of great coffee and the demand for safer social interactions.
More Outdoor Space
The ideal coffee shop during the pandemic has a vast outdoor space. Think a backyard-style café with tent roofing or table umbrellas to shield customers from the elements. More and more customers are preferring to dine and socialize outdoors to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. When they see that you have this option or that it’s your shop’s main aesthetic, it becomes easier for them to choose you over your competitors.
You can further step up your game by utilizing materials that aren’t breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Some of the best options you have include copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. Unlike glass, wood, and metal which can keep the virus alive for four to five days, these options usually sustain it for just four hours to a day. Still, you’ll want to keep sanitation equipment handy for both your customers and your employees to ensure that contaminated objects are immediately dealt with.
Perhaps one of the best things about outdoor cafés is that you can use people’s increased interest in nature to your advantage. Soften hardscapes with a well-balanced mix of small trees, giant shrubs, and flowering plots. With the help of a landscape artist, it won’t be difficult to transform you shop into the next go-to Instagram backdrop for influencers and small gatherings.
Invest in Equipment and Specialties
Your menu doesn’t need to be long and complicated. Specialize in certain brews and delicacies that you want to be known for and stick with a select few choices for the first couple of months. This will enable you to keep the place running with only a few employees and guarantee the quality of your products. When choosing a specialty, canvas the options within your immediate vicinity. You wouldn’t want to compete with a more established café unless you’re confident of your advantage. More often than not, customers will gravitate to what they’re familiar with when the choices are similar.
Safety will still be a primary concern when it comes to the food you serve. Making your kitchen visible is one way to assure them that you practice excellent sanitation and use high quality equipment to come up with their meals. Think top-of-the-line espresso machines for your beverages and semi-automatic piston fillers for the jams, honey, and juices you sell on the side. Make gloves and hand-washing stations visible so that customers can see your employees take extra caution due to the pandemic. It shouldn’t be difficult creating and marketing your selling point if you do your research. With the right investments in place, you’ll be set for a small but successful business.
Setting Up Your Procedures
Health and safety regulations vary per country and state, and you have the responsibility to make sure your customers comply. Simplify the process for everyone by making your coffee shop customer friendly in this way. Set-up posters by the entrance and reminders per table. Don’t make it long or complicated, and by all means, use sass to lighten the mood. A little personality can go a long way in attracting patrons, after all.
Reiterate instructions via posters or tech screens on your plexiglass counter shields so that it’s easier for them to know what order and payment procedures you follow in your shop. Go hands-free in most—if not all—equipment you use. New technology that allow for more contactless transactions are popping up around the globe, and being the first in your area to get one can be quite the exciting experience for your customers.
Meeting the Demand
People are social creatures and coffee or tea drinkers by heart. With nearly everyone ready to step out of their houses and embrace life in the coronavirus era, it’s up to you to meet the demand for safer commercial spaces that they’ll keep coming back to.