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Café Marketing Ideas

Monika Kamińska

Monika Kamińska - marketing and communication enthusiast, psychologist by education. For almost 20 years he has been working in areas related to marketing activities, customer path and decision making. Experience has taught her that the most important thing is efficiency. She boldly sets goals and implements them by choosing online and offline tools. Her passion is the analysis of customer behavior and content marketing.

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Since we are slowly getting back to a post-Covid19 reality, we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the re-opening of restaurants and cafés! We are well aware that there is a great deal of cafés, which were struggling during the pandemic. But since the brighter days are upon us, we would like to present you with some cool café marketing ideas, that might not only boost your income, but also place your café at the podium of best coffee places in the United States!

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Innovative Ideas for Marketing a Café Place

Marketing is all about promoting and selling products or services. Advertising plays a significant role there too! There is no marketing without advertising and vice versa. If you happen to own a café restaurant, then you might want to concentrate on some cool marketing ideas that will increase the revenue of your business. Many food service places come up with a catchy slogan, that can attract customers. They usually put the catch phrase on the pavement in front of the café or on their paper cups. They carry a merch sale and sell comfy T-shirts with the famous slogan. Merchandise can be a good way of not only advertisement, but also an additional income. Pens, baseball caps, mugs, pencil cases, tote bags, travel mugs, kitchen towels and more – those items always sell. You can get them personalized or just like we have stated before – come up with a catch phrase and have it printed out on your merchandise products.

Café Marketing Ideas That Will Cost You Zero Dollars

Paid ads can be pricey, just like a radio ad. Let us focus on marketing strategies that can be for free! The first thing you should do is to set up a business account on Instagram and Facebook. You can manage both profiles by yourself – it is easy! There are some free programs that will help you time those posts. It is quite important to keep your social media accounts updated and preferably post some cool content quite frequently. Do not forget about pictures! Photos of coffee, smoothies, pastry – anything is welcomed! Make sure to add few pictures of the interior and your staff. People like to learn a little something about the person who makes their delicious coffee!

Cool Promotion Ideas for Your Café

We all love freebies, deals and sales, right? If you want to attract some customers to your cozy little café, then you should definitely come up with a bunch of knockout promotions. You can create a Happy Friday, where every big coffee is in the price of a small one. Or Crazy Mondays, where each coffee comes with a free mini chocolate croissant – something to sweeten up the day! You can designate one day to give your customers a 15% off on apparel and other merch. Remember that a good discount will bring those customers in. Do not forget to think of brunch or lunch specials. Keep your calendar in your sight – holidays like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day call out for some special offers as well.

Do You Have Wi-Fi?

Coffee places are usually associated not only with the delicious coffee, but also with writers and students. It is quite common to enter a café and see some people working on their laptops. Since there is a lot of people, who either need to write an essay or another page for their future book, you can offer your customers free Wi-Fi and outlets. Trust us – a lot of aspiring writers and other people, who might have to work remotely, will definitely appreciate your offer and choose your café to be their “work place”. And for those “addicted to the internet” customers, you may create an Internet-free day. Perhaps on a Sunday? So, families and friends can gather around, grab some delicious coffee and talk to each other and spend some quality time together – without any app notifications popping out on their mobile phones.

Would Anyone Like a Sample?

If you are still looking for marketing ideas for cafés and restaurants, then you should definitely try out offering free coffee sampling. This project can bring you some new customers. Let them tase that delicious coffee blend and enjoy that precious moment of relaxation. Perhaps you have introduced a new version of your peach iced tea? You can offer your guests free samples of the tea and ask them about what they really think about your new invention. Are you still perfecting the recipe for those vegan muffins? Ask your guests to be those fearless quality testers – your clients are the best indicators for food quality and taste! If they like what you make and bake – they will definitely come back for more!

Even More Café Marketing Ideas

How about hosting an event? There is always a reason to celebrate. You can have a book reading thing or perhaps you can collaborate with a local musician or artist and ask them to conduct some classes? You can also let your customers know that you can host their casual get-together by supplying them with hot beverages, gourmet appetizers and an outstanding customer service. Poetry reading? Why not? You can come up with a calendar of various events. Make sure to post the reminder on your café’s social media accounts, so all your devoted customers will know when to come. You can also send out email reminders or newsletters.

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Let Me Introduce You to…

Each food service business consists of a bunch of reliable employees, who do a lot of hard work to keep the café in good shape. Another marketing idea for a café might be introducing your clients to your devoted staff. You can either create a separate segment on your online page or devote an Instagram post, that will describe your staff a bit. Add short bio about each member of your staff. Photographs are always welcomed. You can even go a bit further and record short clips, where your employees would introduce themselves.

RSVP Please!

You can invite your local influencers and bloggers to your café. It can be for an event, or with no reason – well, the main reason of their presence is to post a picture which would promote your café. You can also invite local heroes, who are known for their brave actions – like medical staff, teachers or police officers. It can be like a weekly meeting with those special guests, where they will be able to talk about their jobs and answer questions. Events always attract people. What is more, you can cater a breakfast at your local school for PTA meeting as well. It is good to be active in the local community.

Get Those Business Cards Ready

Remember to always carry your business cards with you. You never know when the opportunity might find you. This is why having an updated website is important too. Make sure to periodically check all your social media and webpage for any outdated information. Opening hours and contact information are very essential. If you decide to stay closed on a particular day – let your customers know about it.

Café Marketing Ideas That Involve Mobile Apps

You can partner up with delivery services and take advantage of a mobile order-ahead thing, which is an easy ordering solution. People will be coming in to pick up their order, so you will minimize the crowds inside your cafe. Of course, we want to see a lot of people at your café, but if we can eliminate the wait time and therefore avoid those crazy lines where people start getting irritated -that would be great. A lot of people are showing their interest in order-ahead options. You might want to introduce this convenience at your café as well. It will also reduce the number of people who get to the cash register and spend another 15 minutes contemplating on their order. Time is money! If the system is efficient, then it means it works!

Get That Website Ready

Some of the marketing ideas for café places include creating a professional website. You might think that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are enough, but each business needs its own personal webpage. You can either hire a professional company to take care of the website, or simply go to any platform that offers easily customizable templates, and create your own website. You can search from thousands of different themes and choose the one that fulfills your vision. You do not have to possess any coding knowledge or any website design experience. Just your imagination, few images of your café, its dishes and beverages and you are on your way to create a perfect website for your café, that will serve as a great marketing tool!

Create an Awesome Menu

Does your café specialize in coffee, tea, hot chocolate or maybe even pastries? Perhaps you serve breakfast and lunch as well? Make sure to include that in your menu! Your customers should know what kind of food and beverages you offer. Do not forget about those vegan options! And some treats for the kids as well. The more you offer, the more clients might come by! Menu is one of the first things that people look at when they enter your café, so make sure to create a really good one! And post it online as well.

Reward Your Loyal Customers

Another way of retaining your customers are those well-known loyalty programs. People can collect points, stamps or tokens – anything works, as long as they want to enroll in loyalty program. Later, you can either offer your devoted customers rewards, like gift cards or discounts. When it comes to stamps, you encourage your clients to buy a hot beverage, and each time they purchase a tea or coffee they get a stamp. After buying 10 coffees – the eleventh one is for free! This option is extremely popular in many coffee houses.

Have You Heard of Display Ads?

You can create your own display ad by using different apps and programs. You can also think of installing a flat panel display in your restaurant and let your customers have a peek at those cool videos, where your chef is cooking those mouth-watering dishes, or your staff is preparing the restaurant for the opening. There is also a great deal of those generic videos, that are supposed to sooth people. Throw a couple of short videos with your special deals and offers too!

Visual Marketing is Important Too!

Some people may say that visual marketing might not play a huge role in restaurant industry, but we think differently. Food has to look good! The interior needs to be inviting and the overall experience should give your customers the reason to come back for more. Remember, that impeccable food, excellent customer service and a pleasant interior are the key elements of a successful café or a restaurant. You might want to hire a professional interior designer, who will create that unique vibe for your café. You can play with those themes: Parisian style café or perhaps you would like something more modern – like a contemporary Nordic style coffee house? An interior designer would be extremely helpful if you have to utilize a small area. They will fit everything that is necessary to run a coffee place and you will still have some storage space left.

How Do You Feel About Writing a Blog?

If you decide to create your own website with the help of one of the platforms and their templates, you may also consider creating a blog. Many marketing strategies are encouraging café and restaurant owners to actually write a blog. It might generate some sort of a bond between you and your customers. Some people like to read, and if you write about your staff members, new recipes, new coffee flavors or café’s life in general – your guests might feel that bond with your cozy coffee house, because they will know you a little bit more. Invite your clients to contribute as well. Ask them questions, initiate a conversation. This might create your own little community that will consist of some really good people. It may also lead to referrals and therefore – new customers. And we all know what that means: income!

Hello kids!

We have one more marketing idea that might work pretty well at your Café. What do you think about kid’s corner? A lot of restaurants are creating those kid’s friendly corners, where they put some toys, so the kids can play while their parents may enjoy their meal. Some people think that a café is a come-and-go kind of experience, but we disagree. For those of you who are on the run – a small flat white to go, right? But there is a great deal of customers who would like to order something to drink with a light appetizer and chat with their friends. All the busy moms out there – a café place with a specially designated kid’s corner might be the answer!

There are multiple different marketing ideas that can find its use at every café place out there. A lot of marketing aspects depend on money, so before you make any marketing plans and arrangements – set up your budget and know your financial limits. Remember that sometimes you need to invest a bit, and then the income will gradually power up your wallet.

Monika Kamińska

Monika Kamińska - marketing and communication enthusiast, psychologist by education. For almost 20 years he has been working in areas related to marketing activities, customer path and decision making. Experience has taught her that the most important thing is efficiency. She boldly sets goals and implements them by choosing online and offline tools. Her passion is the analysis of customer behavior and content marketing.

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