Tune up your marketing plan and turn on your profits

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Coffeehouse marketing is all about letting people get to know you and the tangible benefits you offer. 

In a way, your brick-and-mortar coffeehouse or restaurant is its own form of advertising. If you’re well located—with significant drive-by traffic and plenty of unobstructed sight lines—visibility may be enough to keep business buzzing along. But other than your physical address, how do you market your business? And does your coffeehouse marketing message convey your philosophy while giving customers good reasons to walk through your door?

If you market your coffee shop online or with flyers, cross promotion, or print ads, consider these ideas for honing your message:

1. People know what you do. Tell them why you do it. You sell quality products and a unique experience. Your menu and your shop’s atmosphere are clues to these things. But why do you like what you do? Have you been a foodie since you were five years old, when you tasted your grandma’s peach pie? Do you love interacting with people and being part of the local community? Do you care about providing fresh ingredients from great growers? You don’t have to write a sonnet about it, but state your passions, goals and philosophies in your marketing materials. These things will resonate with your desired clientele, things that could bring people from across time to find kindred spirits at the next table over.

2. Drill down to the concrete, tangible benefits of visiting your business. Coffee, paninis and fancy cocktails are commodities you can find just about anywhere. Why should people favor yours? What do you do better than anyone? Fresh pastries? Scratch soups? Catering (and maybe bonus desserts for nearby businesses when they’re having a lunch meeting)? Make sure it’s clear in your ads, on your website, on your menus and signage (if appropriate).

3. Evoke emotion. Play this card well and it could win you the pot. Within the scope of your current branding, can you make people laugh, or feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Encourage them to reminisce (or dream) about visiting a café in Rome with the best cappuccino? Does your establishment make them feel sophisticated, or simply like they’re a part of something? An incredibly successful example of evoking emotion is the Free Hugs campaign from several years back. It’s been viewed nearly 80 million times, and not because it’s selling something. It gets people to feel something that they want to feel, over and over. You don’t need a fancy marketing firm to do this. Just make people feel something (something good) and they’ll keep coming back for more.

Get in touch with our coffee shop strategy experts