Coffee shops are popping up all over the world, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. According to Globe Newswire, the global coffee shop market is expected to reach an estimated $237.6 billion by 2025. That’s quite a bit of competition for current coffee shop owners. If you are one of these owners, you may have to get creative and find something that sets your shop apart from the others. Hosting special events can be a viable solution to this problem, but who has the time to come up with event ideas while trying to run a business? Relax. I’ve got you covered.
Five amazing event ideas for your coffee shop are:
- Open Mic Night
- Public Cuppings
- Game Night
- Guest Performances
- Date Night
Open Mic Night
This is perhaps the most tried and true event for your coffee shop, and with good reason. Open mic nights are wildly popular with coffee shops both in the United States and around the world. Wherever your shop is located, there are talented comics, musicians, and poets who would love the chance to showcase their talents in front of an appreciative audience. So, what’s the best way to host an open mic night at your coffee shop? There are a few things that you can do to ensure that your event island is a success.
One of the most essential elements to a successful open mic night is to find the right host, according to How To Start an LLC. The right host for your event can keep the audience engaged and entertained between performers, which can make your open mic night a smashing success. You should also research which forms of entertainment are popular in your area, and host your events accordingly. If you have enough local talent, you can have separate events for music, comedy, and poetry. Finally, charge a cover or have a beverage minimum to boost sales.
There may be quite a few people who are interested in stopping by your coffee shop, but they have no idea what you serve and may feel awkward walking in and asking. This is where a public cupping event can draw those people into your shop who may have been on the fence as to whether they want to give it a shot. Just in case you weren’t aware of what public cuppings are, these are events where you invite the public into your shop and provide samples of some of the coffee you serve. If your guests like what they taste, this has the potential to significantly boost your sales.
Pulling off a successful public cupping event isn’t too difficult. There are only three things that are required on your end. The first step that you should take is to make sure that you prepare your coffee shop for the event. Have bags of coffee readily available for your guests to buy. Next, schedule your event appropriately. Choose a time of day that is fairly slow to allow your guests room to breathe. Finally, it’s time to select which coffee you are going to serve. Try to pick coffees that are unique to your shop, and showcase local coffee if possible. Stumped on where to purchase your coffee? We’ve got tips to help with that.
Having a game night can be an incredibly fun way to promote your coffee shop. Whether you want to choose board games, trivia competitions, or even set up some nostalgic video games, most people will enjoy the chance to socialize with their peers while having a little fun. You can even expand on the whole game night idea by having checkers and chess tournaments for your customers who enjoy playing and may want the thrill of a little competition. A good suggestion would be to host separate nights for each event, as some games may require more concentration than others.
Hosting game night events for your coffee shop will require you to do a little work. The first thing you should do is choose some games that are both fun and popular amongst particular demographics. Once you have done your research, the next thing you should do is plan your game nights accordingly. For example, be sure to plan a chess tournament on a different week than another type of game night. With the proper planning, you can have a different game night each week. Finally, just like any other event, you have to get the word out if you want people to come.
One promotion that has been quite popular with bars, which can also work as a portion for your coffee shop, is inviting special guests to perform at your shop. Depending on where your shop is located, there are probably several local artists that are quite popular with current and potential customers. Inviting these artists to your shop for a “special guest performance” is a great way to help the artist reach a broader audience while also bringing more people into your coffee shop. It’s a win-win situation.
Preparing for a “special guest performance” is similar to hosting an open mic night because there is going to be some research on your part for both events. The first step to a successful guest performance is to find out which artists are popular or trending in your area. Once you have convinced the artists to perform at your shop, you need to promote the event as much as possible by flooding your social media accounts with details about the event. Finally, make sure you implement a drink minimum and a cover charge for your event. After all, there’s nothing wrong with increasing your bottom line while boosting your presence in the community.
Date nights have been successful promotions for restaurants and bars for years. Why wouldn’t they be as successful when it comes to promoting your coffee shop? This promotion would give couples a chance to do something a little different, as opposed to the typical dinner and a movie date. All you would need is a little ambiance, which is nothing more than some mood lighting and the right music. If you want to pull off a successful date night at your coffee shop, you just need to follow three simple steps.
The first step that you should take for your shop’s date night is to make sure that you are promoting it. Get the word out there early and often. Use your social media accounts for maximum exposure. Next, make sure that you have a few good promotions on your menu. One good idea is to have “buy one, get one” drink promotions. You should also be sure to have date-appropriate food items on the menu. Finally, you need to ensure that you are creating the right atmosphere for people to want to go on their date at your coffee shop.
If you want to increase awareness of your coffee shop while also increasing your bottom line, hosting an event is a fun and creative way to get new customers into your shop or welcome back old friends. It’s basic human nature to want to be a part of something, and these events are just what your coffee shop needs to draw attention to its atmosphere and its menu. Promotional events are proven ways to increase interest in small businesses, provided that they are properly planned for and promoted. After all, if nobody knows about your event, that’s exactly who will attend them.
One of the oldest ways to draw people into your coffee shop is by hosting an opening mic night for local comics, musicians, and poets. Public cuppings are a great way to showcase the coffee you serve to the general public while increasing sales. Game Nights are fun and creative ways to make your coffee shop the new hot hangout spot in your neighborhood. Having a local artist give a special guest performance can benefit both you and the artist by getting both of your names in the public eye. Finally, hosting a date night is a unique way to boost business. Whatever event you choose, you will not be disappointed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Having a theme for your coffee shop is a creative way to draw interest from the public. It can also be an effective way to give your older coffee shop a fresh new facelift. According to IMPECCABUILD, here are a few of the best theme ideas for your coffee shop:
Rustic Coffee Shop
Industrial Style Cafe
Film/TV Show Fans
While many coffee shop owners may choose to build their shop from the ground up, there are also those who may choose to buy into an existing franchise. For the latter, some of the best coffee franchises in the United States according to topfranchise.com are:
The Human Bean
Gloria Jean’s Coffees
To learn more on how to start your own coffee shop checkout my startup documents here
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Hi! I’m Shawn Chun
My adventure in coffee began when I first launched my first coffee shop back in the early 2000s. I had to figure out so many things on my own and to make it worse within 2 years of opening two large corporate coffee chains moved in just blocks away from me!
As I saw smaller and even some larger coffee shops in the neighborhood slowly lose customers to these giant coffee chains and slowly close up shop, I knew that I had to start getting creative…or go out of business.
I (like you may be) knew the coffee industry well. I could make the best latte art around and the foam on my caps was the fluffiest you have ever seen. I even had the best state-of-the-art 2 group digital Nuova Simonelli machine money could buy. But I knew that these things alone would not be enough to lure customers away from the name brand established coffee shops.
Eventually, through lots of trial and error as well as perseverance and creativity I did find a way to not only survive but also thrive in the coffee/espresso industry even while those corporate coffee chains stayed put. During those years I learned to adapt and always faced new challenges. It was not always easy, however, in the end, I was the sole survivor independent coffee shop within a 10-mile radius of my location. Just two corporate coffee chains and I were left after that year. All told the corporate coffee chains took down over 15 small independent coffee shops and kiosks and I was the last one standing and thriving.
Along the years I meet others with the same passion for coffee and I quickly learned that it is not only “how good a barista is” that makes a coffee shop successful, but the business side of coffee as well.
Hence why I started this website you are on now. To provide the tools and resources for up and coming coffee shop owners to gain that vital insight and knowledge on how to start a coffee shop successfully.
Stick around, browse through my helpful blog and resources and enjoy your stay! With lots of LATTE LOVE!