Indoor dining is making a comeback! With over 30 states lifting all indoor dining restrictions, the service industry is opening up again. Many office workers and students, though, are still working from home in some capacity. Now’s the time to harness this new market, and make your cafe or coffee shop everyone’s favorite remote work spot.
The covid-19 pandemic hit coworking spaces and food service particularly hard, leaving internet cafes empty. As restrictions on indoor dining are lifted, cafes and coffee shops could get a boost from workers who enjoy the flexible schedule of remote work but still want human interaction during the day. Despite many companies reopening offices, telecommuting and hybrid work models are here to stay. According to one study, 52% of workers currently working from home would like to continue working remotely and many would even accept a pay cut in exchange for that flexibility. Students also make up a valuable market for internet cafes. E-learning was on the rise before the pandemic and has only continued to grow as educational institutions adapt.
As hybrid working normalizes and the e-learning market explodes, cafes and coffee shops should start thinking about how to adapt their space and practices to benefit from a potentially growing customer base.
For customers who use a cafe as their workspace, predictability and ease are key to having a comfortable work environment. To boost the likelihood your cafe becomes a remote-working favorite, offer these 4 amenities, for starters:
1. Outlets. More people will use your cafe as a workspace if they can guarantee outlets are available and easy to access.
2. Reliable Wi-Fi. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting set up for some deep focus only to realize your computer won’t connect. Customers are more likely to put cafes with reliable wifi at the top of their co-working space shortlist.
3. A water station. A water dispenser and cups set up on the edge of the counter can satisfy thirsty workers while reducing interruptions for your staff. Just be sure to set those cups next to a few tasty treats to boost sales.
4. Clean bathrooms. Keep customers from leaving when they need to “go”. Clean and comfortable bathrooms can mean the difference between a customer buying one to-go coffee or staying for a few hours and buying multiple coffees.
After you’ve taken care of basic amenities, it’s time to leverage this new population of customers to make more sales–think multiple sales from each customer. Try one or all of these 4 proven tactics to increase sales per customer.
5. Order from your seat. Consider offering customers the ability to scan a QR code to buy more refreshments instead of having to interrupt their flow to wait in line. Clover’s Scan to Order software allows a customer to order and pay right from their seat. And, it can help your staff move through time sensitive to-go orders quickly, keeping lines and waiting areas from being overcrowded.
6. Offer specials on refills or daily deals. One of the benefits of working in a coffee shop is the never-ending supply of fuel. The longer remote workers sit, the more sales your business can make. Refill discounts can increase the number of drinks sold, and happy hour prices on baked goods in the evening can reduce waste and lost sales. Clover Promos can help you put together special deals and send them out at optimal times–right through the Clover mobile app. Consider sending out a promo to boost customer numbers on slow days or holiday specials to maximize holiday traffic.
7. Rewards programs. A rewards program can be another way to reduce people’s resistance to making multiple purchases in one sitting. Clover Rewards can help you create a rewards system that is personalized to your business and that lives on the Clover App (instead of on a punch card that’s easily lost or forgotten). For example, offer an option for loyal customers to get upgraded to “VIP”to receive better or more frequent rewards. You can even offer multiple digital punch cards to cover all the different items your business sells, like drinks, pastries, and sandwiches.
8. Extended hours. If your business is in an area with a large student population, staying open later, especially on weeknights, could increase sales. With over 63% of high school students using e-learning tools and 42% of bachelor degree candidates taking at least one class online, students make up a large group of online workers. If you choose to extend hours, consider offering a mix of decaf drinks and non-breakfast snacks to cater to evening workers.
You’ll find even more apps in the Clover App Market that can help you navigate changes to your business. Homebase, for example, can help you plan for and manage staff efficiently. Clover Customers can help you keep track of who’s shopping with you and their preferences. Whether you implement one or all of the eight ideas we’ve shared, the most important thing to keep in mind is to arm yourself with tools that can help your business meet the changing needs of your customers.
To learn more about our business management and payment acceptance solutions, contact a Clover Business Consultant today.