So you’ve been thinking about opening a café for a while. The pandemic had probably postponed your intentions, but soon it would be feasible to start on your project again. Let’s help you think through the basics of what you need to plan on.
You would already have a location in mind by now. The location is crucial because it will determine the accessibility to the clientele. In some cases where the café is far from bustling streets, the view or ambiance should be good to interest customers to drive to your spot.
Next to the location, you would then have to think about your look. Today’s world is so obsessed with images. People go to cafés not just to drink coffee but to post this activity in their social media feeds. You have to make your space as picture-perfect as possible. Think of a way to make it different from the others. Some cafes have set up giant swings, those that have painted interactive murals, and even those that allow customers to dine with dogs or cats.
If you already want to open your shop despite the current situation, you should think about an open-air arrangement. Even when the health crisis is done, it is still a safe space for clienteles wary of indoor air in public spaces.
Setting Up Your Menu
Businesses are selling the same things now. If your products are bland, they might come once or twice, but they wouldn’t seek out your café.
You need to offer something unique. In that case, you would want to develop products that could not easily be acquired in your locality. What fruits or herbs are not locally grown? Using mango puree as an ingredient in places where mango is not grown is a great idea, for example. You shouldn’t introduce a product that is entirely imported, as it would cost you more. Ingredients that you could incorporate into several of your drinks would be best.
Of course, you will need the basics on the menu. Get a market study on what drinks and accompanying dishes are the most popular in your place. Would you offer sandwiches or pasta? Or would you just display cakes and sweets? These things need market analysis because you have to be sure that people will want to eat and drink what you offer. For the unique drinks that you want to introduce, make sure that you do proper marketing. If people wouldn’t know about it, of course, they won’t seek it.
Your Narrative for Your Marketing
Think about your story. What is it that distinguishes your café from the other ones on the block? Maybe you can build it on your menu. Tell the story of how you have traveled the world and found a taste you could not forget and want to share it. Or maybe you can share the story of your love for milkshakes since you’ve been in kindergarten and how it has evolved over the years.
Think also of where your ingredients will be sourced. It could add to the image of your café. Maybe your dishes are made of organic produce from a farm that also has a story of its own. Maybe the supplies are from an urban poor community that has started an initiative on urban gardening. Stories like this will surely interest customers. If you take your marketing to the next level, even those from other places would be interested enough to make the trip to your shop.
Stories make the experience of dining in your café unique because it will give the customer a feel of joining a private narrative. It’s not simply ordering a cup of coffee to wake them up, but taking part in an unfolding story.
Putting up a gallery
Art doesn’t have to be restricted to formal galleries. If you have artistic friends, you could collaborate with them if they want to display some of their works. Of course, you need to give justice to these pieces. Put up pin lights to highlight them around your café. Change the exhibit regularly so that you never have the same walls.
The gallery doesn’t have to be only paintings. Have an exhibit on bead work, on weaving. You can even have an exhibit on textiles, or maybe your grandmother’s collection of ornamental plates.
It’s challenging but at the same time exciting to open up your café. Maybe it’s been your dream ever since you spent hours daydreaming in a café years back in university. If you have the determination to do it, there should be no problem too difficult.