Most commercial locations are not the most encouraging sight these days, since they are a far cry from the bustling business hubs they were before COVID-19. However, marketing experts reveal that despite the many almost empty stores in business centers, the online operations of many of these enterprises are doing well enough. For example, cafes appear to be thriving because of the steady online demand for their beverages and baked treats.
Additionally, social media reports show that despite some economic setbacks, there’s been a significant increase in new food and beverage-centered businesses since the global pandemic started. What’s even more surprising and impressive is how they are thriving.
Getting Into the Cafe Business
What’s apparent is people still want their cafe food and drinks. Many of them say that takeout or delivered food and beverages somehow help to restore a modicum of normalcy during these strange times. This implies that if you have been furloughed indefinitely by your company, and you’re looking for a high-success rate small business venture as a source of income, a cafe is a worthy consideration. Naturally, for this business, you need to research thoroughly. Study how the business works and all it entails. Also, follow the six pieces of advice from food and drink industry professionals listed below.
- Start with a solid business plan
Even if you will be working using your own resources, it’s good to prepare a business plan. This way, should your venture pick up, it will be easier to find people to partner with to support the operations and assist you with funding. A business plan will also provide you with a clear direction for your cafe and mitigate risks.
If you need lessons on how to create a business plan, you can find a lot of those online.2. Find reliable suppliers
For a cafe, you will need reputable and reliable baking suppliers. For your alcohol-free and branded instant beverage offerings, you also need to find reputable beverage ingredient suppliers known for their consistently high-quality products.
Look for ones that can provide you with fantastic deals for wholesale purchases. Besides that, you want to make sure that all the ingredients are high quality because that’s what customers are looking for. They want their orders to feel and taste like a treat.3. Establish formulas to ensure consistency in your offerings
One of the most important tasks for new cafes is establishing procedures for consistency with product quality. This is one of the most critical aspects of building a brand. Therefore, take the time to study your recipes thoroughly, determine the best workplace layout, brand ingredients that achieve the best outcomes, and other variables that can affect your final product offerings.
Write everything down and train thoroughly in following those formulas that guarantee consistency in the quality of your food and drinks.4. Invest in smart packaging
Now that cafe operations are thriving through take-out and delivery services, smart packaging is more important than ever. It will serve your business well to turn to package consultants for advice on how to package your products.
Consultants will point out packaging features that will ascertain your products hold up during transportation and ensure the delight and satisfaction of customers.
For instance, if you long to lock in older customers for your cafe, your beverage packaging should be designed for comfort and convenience. Packaging consultants can help you study different bottle and cup designs that will serve such customers well, and your packaging will be a smart selling point for your business.5. Find ways to set your products apart
One of the most common reasons for businesses folding is their inability to stand out. In a highly saturated market, customers may feel that they’re getting the same thing from different vendors. If you want your cafe to soar, your customers should never think that they can get what you’re offering elsewhere.
Again, the quality of your ingredients should be a priority. It’s okay to spend a bit more money sourcing top quality ingredients. Also, be creative. You should not only note what your competition is doing to see if you can improve on it or do something else with it. But, try to be as original as you can possibly be.
One of the best things to do as a cafe owner is to grow your knowledge and fuel your creativity effectively by taking culinary classes. A lot of beverage masters say that cooking lessons helped them discover unique ingredients and preparation techniques to bring something new to everything — from hot cocoa to coffee, tea, juice, and other non-alcoholic beverages.6. Market like a pro
All businesses require effective marketing. According to Country Business Magazine, a startup should allocate at least ten percent of its startup budget to marketing. It is not enough that you have the most delicious drinks to offer; you have to get the word out there about your offerings. This is what marketing does.
Promote on social media, and it would help a lot to create a website as well. A website can actually serve as your virtual cafe because it is where your customers can see the full range of your offerings and also place their orders. Once the business picks up, consider SEO too because this will allow you to reach an even bigger audience.
Unusual Times Can Lead to Fresh Opportunities
As challenging economic circumstances may be at the moment, there’s no denying that it’s paving a path for innovative approaches to thrive. This is evident through the sudden switch to online services for cafes, which are working out really well. At the same time, the new way of business has redirected focus on the true essence of a cafe — which are its offerings that, fortunately, people have access to online. Evidently, if you’re set on starting your own cafe, you are already blessed with a welcoming market. Just make sure you deliver all the goodness they love and more. In doing so, there’s no doubt you’ll establish a loyal clientele that will stick with you until these restrictive times are no more, and things are back to normal. Who knows? They might still be there when you do have a brick and mortar cafe.
Lamia Rochdi is the Marketing Manager at Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA. A successful family-owned business, Bell’s core competencies include customized solutions for the food and beverages industry, the household and personal care sector, and the perfume industry.