For many people, coffee is a necessity, and your shop has the goods to provide people with what they need. Yet, how do you get fresh faces to stop and browse in your new shop? Your shop’s design can make all the difference for getting new faces and keeping the familiar ones. It can bring returning customers and encourage them to spread the word.
All great coffee shops have similar features: a welcoming environment, an intuitive layout, and of course, excellent coffee. The trick is to create a design that’s truly your own while still adhering to the parameters that have proven successful in the industry. Just looking like a coffee shop isn’t enough to bring customers in, and lackluster service won’t be any help in keeping them around. Although it’s an important one, the design of your shop is just one factor that needs to be considered in conjunction with your overall mission. Read ahead and find out how to spruce up your coffee shop’s design so you can make some bigger waves.
Welcoming In Your Coffee Shop Customers
It all starts with the storefront. When a store is appealing to the eye, it creates more business opportunities. People will stop and want to know what your store is about, or post images on their social media accounts. Coffee isn’t a niche market, and if you find the right location, you can bank on simple foot traffic bringing in a good amount of patrons. However, it’s up to your design to draw them in.
First, it helps to look like a coffee shop; when people walking by and realize they’re in the mood for a latte, they should be able to instantly recognize your establishment as a place where they can get one. Visible signage that displays your name is helpful, especially if the name of your business makes it obvious that you deal with coffee (as it probably should). Make sure your signage fits in with the overarching design scheme and that everything from the material of the sign to the font and color scheme matches your brand identity.
Elements like outdoor seating and an awning not only provide a flexible environment for patrons, they also catch the eye. People are more likely to notice an establishment that has people sitting outside of it, and a big beautiful awning can draw attention from far away. If you want to go the extra mile, consider having a greeter for a boost in visibility.
Nailing Your Coffee Shop Layout
The layout of your coffee shop is just as important for your employees as it is for your patrons. Workers must be able to move about the space freely and efficiently in order to help customers while making sure shelves are stocked and coffee is being brewed. Employees should be able to move between the floor and the counter with ease, so keep the staff side in mind when you lay out your shop.
Your shop layout should also be intuitive for customers; it should be obvious where they can make their selections, where they’ll go to pay for their food and drink, and where they can sit down and enjoy themselves. Bathrooms and exits should be clearly marked so customers know where to find them. Keep in mind that the picture can change when your shop gets busy, so use lane dividers and indoor signage to keep the queue in order when it wraps around the store.
Creating the Right Ambiance
Just like your outdoor signage, the ambiance you create at your coffee shop should line up with your brand. What are your customers like, and what are they interested in? How do you want to make your customers feel? What kind of attitude and culture do you want to create based on your brand values? Understand your target demographic to tailor the experience to their wants and needs.
There are countless ways you can change the ambiance of your coffee shop. If you’re making a push towards a more modern aesthetic, go with a streamlined design with contrasting shades of black and white. Some wooden flair is welcome in more traditional designs, especially in the world of coffee. Be careful not to get caught up in the usual trends, though, because you don’t want your coffee shop to look just like all the others. Consider incorporating some local artifacts in your design to give the shop a distinctly unique feel that locals can appreciate.
Another ambiance element you should never skip over is lighting. The sunglasses we wear in a coffee shop should never be necessary. There should be good enough lighting behind the counter area that employees can see what they’re doing, but the lighting around the rest of the shop will typically be dimmer and more atmospheric. Consider the way your patrons use the shop, and adjust the lighting as you see fit. A change in lighting is great for renovations because it lets you create an entirely different feel for your shop even under the strictest budget constraints.
Showing Off Your Coffee Goods
Freshness is not a trait that most consumers are willing to compromise, so any old or questionable pastries or coffee brews should be tossed rather than put on display. The quality of the food and coffee is what makes many people choose smaller shops over the larger chains, so you’ll want nothing but your best products filling up your display cases. A large blackboard with your menu is also a good idea because it gives you full control over the design and you can easily change it to display your daily deals or special promotions.
Embracing the Future
If your coffee shop has been up and running for a while, you’ve already noticed the different types of customers you get. Some make a quick stop to pick up their fix and get right back on the road, while others will spend some time hanging out or working while they sip their hot beverages. In a world dominated by technology, keeping your shop connected will be important for both types.
Free Wi-Fi is a blessing for those trying to limit their data usage, and it’s becoming a bit of an expectation at coffee shops. That means that in order to keep up with the competition, you’re going to have to do your best to equip your shop with the right tech. There should be tables for laptops and tablets as well as accessible outlets so people can conveniently charge their devices. USB outlets score you extra points, as they’re often quicker, more unique, and the need for an extra charging piece. . These aren’t very steep expenses in the grand scheme of things, and they can make your business a much more desirable spot for locals.
Looking for Inspiration
Although you don’t want to create another version of the same prototypical coffee shop, it can be beneficial to look at other shops’ designs for inspiration. The design elements that are common in the coffee business are there for a reason, and now that we’ve identified what some of them are, you can figure out how to incorporate them in your own way. You can look online for tips and examples, or you can take a trip around the immediate area to get to know your competition. Just remember to keep your brand’s mission statement in mind so you can design a unique coffee shop and a home base for loyal patrons.