If you’re just starting out as a coffee seller, you need to learn some management tips, especially if this is your first business. Many business owners face several challenges in the early stage of their business. This is due to a lack of proper business management skills and knowledge.
I will give you the proper management tips for your coffee shop. These tips will help you effectively manage your daily operations, clients, staff, and inventory. With these tips, you can build a successful coffee business.
If you’re just starting a new management business and are in need of resources to help you succeed in your current position, improving your management skills will have a significant effect on the work environment.
I will show you some ideas designed to help you interact better with your customers first, then your staff, and finally, your inventory and daily operations.
Keeping your staff happy is as important as keeping your clients happy and satisfied. Your employees are the first contact with your customers, and they can play a significant role in retaining or losing them.
Also, they are the ones your customers will complain to first about your services, except in cases of misconduct when they seek to speak to the manager of the coffee shop.
Without any further ado, let’s discuss the management tips for your coffee shop.
Management tips for daily operation
- Taste your coffee with your employees
If you want to maintain a high level of quality in your cafe, then you must always taste your coffee with your staff. This exercise also engages your staff in a discussion about the product they are selling.
- Ensure to employ enough staff to enable proper breaks
You can give regular breaks to employees quite easily when you’ve staffed your coffee shop properly. The easiest way to do this is to schedule overlapping shifts. For instance, you can schedule your “opener” to stay an extra 30 minutes after your “closer” resumes. You will make your middle shift staff have a maximum lunch break without exhausting other employees.
- Place order only for the food you need in a day
Reduce food wastage by buying just what you anticipate to sell each day. Monitor what you sell regularly and then try to purchase various quantities of food products, such as pastries, that normally last only one day until you find the ideal quantity.
- Adjust the atmosphere
As the day advances, change the atmosphere of your cafe to match the evening setting — especially if you sell alcohol after a certain time. You can achieve that by merely changing music selections, altering settings, and adding tablecloths for a more classy look.
- Host a happy hour
Providing offers over a certain time of day on drinks and snacks can help you sell out pastries as well as other perishable food items while increasing sales all through slower hours. This strategy will work well, no matter if your business sells alcoholic beverages or not.
- Discount old-pastries
Slashing the price of pastries by half will help you sell products that otherwise would waste, while also helping you to make a modest profit. However, you should first consult with your wholesale baker and make sure you have the authorization to sell the items after the first 24 hours, as that’s not always the case.
- Invest in technology
There isn’t enough technology to help you manage your coffee shop. But at least any coffee shop should have a Point of Sale (POS) system. A POS allows you to keep track of your entire inventory, blocking theft risk, and errors made when taking orders. It also assists baristas and chefs in working on orders fast and effectively, limiting the amount of time a client has to wait to be served. The system also generates reports and data, which are crucial for robust business decisions.
Management tips for customer relations
- Develop Strong Customer Relationships
Setting an example in this attempt also helps promote good customer service skills among your staff.
- Find out what your customers want
Regulars are the most valuable customers in a coffee shop, and these loyal customers typically discuss what you want in your business. Seek their opinion proactively, consider their recommendations carefully, and execute them wherever possible and necessary. Research POS revenue statistics on a daily basis to grasp the flow of production.
- Make your cafe more accessible
First, people from different walks of life enjoy coffee, so make sure disabled people have easy access to your cafe. Second, discussing your coffee expertise with customers — and inspiring your employees to do the same — not only encourages patrons to take part in your company but also shows the inclusiveness and skills needed to make a great cup of coffee.
- Organize coffee-related events
Engage your local coffee community and clients with community events such as cuppings, samplings, and latte art contests. These events can help increase sales over a slower period of time while educating clients about your product and offering them further good experience in your business.
- Host open mic events
Motivate your customers and employees to take part in an open-mic event centered on poetry, music, comedy, or some mixture of them. Offer a special cocktail at these events to inspire the group to come together and appreciate local musicians and chill out in your comfortable café. Implement the best practice of demanding a minimum drink to ensure that you get enough profit to make these events worth the extra work.
Management tips for employees
- Allow Employees to Find Their Own Replacements
Scheduling could prove difficult on its own, and getting replacements for a staff looking for time off can be a difficult task. Fortunately, encouraging workers to choose their own shift replacements is a simple solution. This strategy not only relieves the tension involved with the scheduling cycle, but it also encourages professional responsibility for the team members.
- Sharpen Your Conflict Resolution Skills
Dispute resolution is one of the most critical parts of your job as an executive. From internal disputes to client conflicts, your skill to solve problems as they occur will have an immediate impact on your business success. Look for workshops online or in your local area to assist you in developing those skills.
- Encourage Open Communication and Ongoing Employee Training
Training workers to perform their jobs to the highest level develops a positive work atmosphere. It also motivates them to stay longer in their role, as they feel more comfortable about their position. Hold daily check-in sessions with members of your staff, in which you facilitate constructive dialogue about how best they will perform the job. This will guarantee that workers understand their position while having them brush up on work skills, which after their initial training can slip up.
- Organize a Specialty Drink Contest
Engage your employees by having a specialty drink contest to establish a robust and seasonal menu for your cafe. Use this contest to challenge staff to create sweet seasonal drinks and then display the champion on your menu. Competitions like this not only increase employee performance but also provide a chance for your team members to demonstrate their creativity – which can be an addition to a great working environment.
- Conduct periodic staff meeting
Though you may feel tempted not to hold regular staff meetings considering the level of prepping associated, regular meetings often provide a range of benefits. Such sessions, for example, aim to enhance internal communication with workers and provide employees a room to ask questions. They even offer you a chance to share feedback, priorities, and other relevant details with your whole team.
Need some help securing the best baristas? Check out this article!
Management tips for Inventory Management
- Track wastage
Coffee supervision will help minimize waste while ensuring that your shop still has the right supply to work properly. Examples of these waste include expired packs of coffee, wasted coffee grounds while dialing espresso, and some unsold drip coffee at closing time. Either create your own waste tracking system, or keep a sheet of orders, drinks purchased in a day, and waste.
- Stock Popular Milk Alternatives
Ask your clients what milk alternatives they would like to see in your cafe and modify your menu as suitable. Also, carry out a taste check with your coffee for every new milk alternative before placing an order to ensure that it goes well with your product. Since storing every new milk substitute could quickly overwhelm any supervisor, stick to the most common customer feedback choices.
- Offer Decaf as a Manual Brew Beverage
By providing decaffeinated coffee only as a manual brewing method rather than as a drip coffee, you will minimize the waste while showcasing the tasty notes of your decaf beans.
- Use weekly deals to sell bagged coffee faster
Before your weekly coffee delivery, persuade consumers to purchase your old bean bags by giving some sort of discount. For instance, with the buying of a bag of beans, you might offer a free coffee. These offers usually work best just before the weekend when clients want to restock for the cozy mornings ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many business owners believe they are not required to allow their staff have free access to their products since they get paid. Why this is a valid argument, I don’t support it. Rather than disposing your leftovers, you can let your staff have them. Also, you can even decide to let them buy at a discount. This shows your staff that you care about them, and it will improve the overall morale of your employees.
You can’t fire a staff member for having a dispute with a customer. A customer is always right, true. But this is not always the case; some customers can be very cranky. You must investigate the situation before making a decision. Also, you can only fire a staff member for violation of employment terms. So be sure to verify with your local law; otherwise, you stand the risk of a potential lawsuit.
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!