increase cafe sales: tried and tested strategies for 2021

by | Jun 2, 2021 | Coffeeshop Management | 0 comments

increase cafe sales: tried and tested strategies for 2021

Looking for tips to increase your cafe sales? To increase cafe sales, you can: hire friendly staff, train your barista, expand your menu, introduce loyalty offers, offer free sampling, do social media marketing, set up an engaging website, upselling, loyalty programs,...

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Looking for tips to increase your cafe sales? To increase cafe sales, you can: hire friendly staff, train your barista, expand your menu, introduce loyalty offers, offer free sampling, do social media marketing, set up an engaging website, upselling, loyalty programs, and POS.

I know, it sounds like a lot, right? It is indeed hard work, but it is not rocket science. Just keep reading and I promise this article will detail every step of the way so you can create your own action plan in the end.

Through our over 10 years of experience in the coffee business, we’ve helped several cafes to generate their ideal revenue by using these tips. And we’ll be guiding you about the right application of all these result-guaranteed strategies. 

So, let’s get started.

Our tested strategies to increase Cafe sales 

You might be eager to know all about our tested café sales-boosting strategies. We understand it.

Therefore, to help you create a custom plan to flip your business and choose the strategies that wil work best for your scenario, we’ve discussed every point in a systematic. So, our recommendation is that you analyse the list below and choose the strategy that you find you can acomplish with less effort and that will give you best results. Then start from that one and work you way towards the more challanging ones. This will bring you a sense of accomplishment and you will start seeing results from the start.

So here are the tips:

Hire Friendly people and create a good work environment

Staff is a crucial part of your business. So finding (and keeping) staff that is engaged with your business goals is one of the most important steps to increase cafe sales. When recruiting people to work with you, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you are surrounding yourself with positive people. Here is why:

Your staff is the face of your cafe. A warm welcome with a smile goes a long way. Your staff will be responsible to create a lasting bond with your customers, which will come back and help bring more people in. This is revenue! 

Your staff is the face of your cafe. A warm welcome with a smile goes a long way. Your staff will be responsible to create a lasting bond with your customers, which will come back and help bring more people in. This is revenue!

When the customers approach your barista, they aren’t reaching out for the person itself, the barista, but for your “café.” So, the person behind the coffee machine should be able to represent what you what the image of your business to be.

How often when you visit new place and the only thing that helps you get comfortable is the people over there? 

Nobody entering your cafe is going to shake hands with the people sitting at the next table. They will interact with your staff. So, make sure you create a good environment for your team, to help them feel happy and comfortable in their workplace, and this feeling will rub off on your customers for sure..

Other benefits of creating a good environment and hiring friendly staff are:

  • The more engaged and comfortable your staff feels, the quicker they will be to embrace the changes you make. This way they will also make YOU feel confident and at ease. Which keeps you available to look out for more effective growth plans instead of solving unnecessary issues. Non-cooperative employees can be the death of a business (and of your self-esteem as well).
  • If your team is eager to cooperate with you whenever you introduce them to new challenges, the execution of your plans will be much easier for you as well.

The people working in your business will help you shape an environment that everyone loves, and that is especially true for your customers. They will love to visit and stay for a cup of java. Hence, your team can be the reason “WHY” your customers come back to you — psychological association wins.=

Invest in Barista Training of your Staff

I can hear your thoughts from miles away: “Barista training??? That will cost me a lot of money!!!” … well, it is an obvious reaction when we tell you about barista training as a sure way to improve your sales at the coffee shop. You might think that the head barista should do this job. 

While that can for sure be the case, it is not advisable to rely solely on this resource. The reason why is that your senior baristas have got so many things to do already, and staff training will commonly be the last in a list of priorities when you run a busy cafe. It’s why formal barista training is one of the most effective ways. How? Let‘s have a look.

  • Barista’s training lets your employees gain the confidence of being skillful. It keeps them motivated to brew every coffee cup with perfect art. Thus, they serve your cafe with erected heads.
  • The barista training empowers your baristas to exchange their role when you’re absent. Hence, the system efficiency is always up a level.
  • In no time, your customer can sense if he/she is talking to the skilful barista or not. Your barista’ communication and proper understanding of customer’s needs let them make the cup that your customer has in their head — the ideal. Hence, they feel your cafe to be the only suitable place for their wanted caffeinated drink.
  • The barista training induces a sense of job satisfaction. As a result, it benefits you with the lowest turnover. So, your happy customers can also hope to get their coffee from their favourite barista over the years — no prize better than this.

The barista training is an investment that favours your cafe sales for years. So, always be ready to invest.

One other tip that might save you the hassle is to make sure you partner with a good coffee supplier. A serious company will be able to provide you with the necessary training for your team, as well as make periodic visits and help you keep the knowledge fresh as well as figure out ways to increase productivity of your coffee set up.

Expand your Menu and Display it to increase cafe sales

The coffee treat can be XX with the customer’s favourite cookies, sandwiches or cakes. Snacks, breakfasts and lunch can also be the reason for your customer’s arrival at your shop.

So, it’s the cafe menu that generates the direct revenue without costing you much except inventory. For example, to meet the cafe expenses, you’ve to hit 100-150 coffees a day. 

However, by working on your menu, you can earn much. So, add niche-oriented foods, e.g. Vegetarians, vegans or Keto. 

Here are the ways you can upgrade your cafe menu.

  • Other than high demand coffee drinks, narrow down your research about the items that are also hot but not available at your competitors’.
  • Similarly, add a few items that are evergreen and also best selling at your rivals’ cafes.
  • Wisely pick the additives that’ll save you more. Avoid overcrowding your shelves or storage.
  • Some ingredients can be less expensive but might have a shorter shelf life. Thus, they cost you more when rot. So, try to plan the menu with lasting ingredients.

After deciding on your menu, the next step will be to display your menu because the customer will buy these items when they’re aware of them. Instead of keeping your barista’s head busy recalling the menu for your customers, keep it handy on the walls. 

They’re already on the menu card, then why on the wall? You might think it… Lets’ see how we justify our opinion.

Well, having read in large fonts can help your customer memorise your menu and its availability hours. So, next time they‘ll be visiting your shop because they’ve learnt all their favourite items from your menu.

Offer Customer Loyalty Programmes.

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to increase the reach of your cafe. And it’s your customer loyalty that plays the role. 

They’re your promoters to 92% of potential converters awaiting a recommendation. During gossip with friends, they never forget to mention where they sit to drink their favourite coffee. 

So, you need to start customer loyalty programs to help them favour your business surprisingly by “keeping them back” to you. Want to be more confident? Just look at these figures how customer loyalty programmes do magic.

  • 67% of your existing customers spend more on your cafe as compared with the new visitors.
  • 69% of customers affirmed the effectiveness of loyalty programs towards their brand selection behaviour.
  • 57% of customers became a part of loyalty programs to save money.
  • 37.5% of customers loved loyalty programmes for the rewards.
  • 50% of customers confirmed that they would move towards another brand with a better loyalty program.
  • 76% of customers think that loyalty programs develop their bonding with brands.
  • Restaurant loyalty programs result in 37% increased visits.

The customer loyalty programmes can further help you:

  • to connect with your customers at an emotional level;
  • Using customer loyalty programs software, you can observe your customer loyalty lifetime, gather data and make better decisions to grow your profit.

So, the customer loyalty programmes (rewards offerings) can help with the sales of your cafe.

Offer free Sampling to Encourage Purchase.

Free sampling is one of the most compelling ways to boost sales up to 2000%. You can do this to introduce new customers to your products and your new menu items to your visits.

Your customers might be reluctant to taste your heart winning addition in your menu, which could be more profitable if it gets noticed. So, you can get them a free chance of tasting it by free sampling. 

In the same way, by getting your cafe’ specialities tasted at some events, the guests can soon reserve a table to enjoy a deal with friends.

 So, you can use free sampling as surprise gifts. And, they can help you to:

  • Eliminate doubts about your cafe products
  • Generate leads
  • Nourish your relationships with your existing customers.
  • Educate your shoppers about your cafe products’ range
  • Involve the customer in the sales of new items
  • Become prominent as a brand.

It’s how you can find free sampling helpful for your business.


Upselling is an incredible way to make your customers “decision-wise” without letting them feel persuaded to buy more. In comparison, it encourages them to make additional orders than they thought.

We have a whole post that goes in depth with our favourite upselling strategies, and why this is one of our favourite strategies to increase cafe sales. Check it out.

You can train your staff for upselling. For Upselling, here are our best tips:

  • Without Waiting for the customer to call you, promptly reach out to them with the menu and politely explain specials, offer you favorite products and help them choose the best option for them. This is seen as a great service on the customer’s perspective.  

This way, besides their intended order, they’ll be more likely to add your suggestions to it. Eventually, your extended menu will get you revenue.

  • Just follow the last tips in reverse order. When your customer has finished, you can ask them what else they’ll like to eat/drink more. For this, you can tell them what other guests wanted to try when they ended their meal/drink.
  • You can also create incentives for your staff and weekly competitions among them to foster your cafe sales.

Thus, without spending extra, you can make extra.

Create an Amazing Website for your Cafe

Would you love to add more to your cafe sales? The 84% of shoppers looking for “near me” show 28% conversion towards the visits. For this purpose, you need to have a website. 

By optimising your website for the local searches and listing it in the Google business, you can:

  • Attract customers. 
  • Showcase customer’s testimonials
  • Build community 
  • Make better use of business marketing strategies.
  • Display an updated copy of your menu online
  • Link to google maps / google places
  • have insights on analytics
  • An sooo much more…
  • Again, the website is crucial. 

How can you have a responsive brand website? 

It’s not complicated. You can hire a competent website developer with further mastery of managing your website content from freelancer platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. 

Here, I’ll recommend contacting the one I hired to make my coffee business available on the internet:

Do your Cafe Marketing through Social Media Presence

We love #tags. They let you promote your business and win your potential customer’s attention on social media platforms in no time. Having social media accounts also helps you set a brand authority. 

How many times do you look at the number of followers at some brand page — lucrative? Thus, making your cafe’ social media pages/accounts on most crowded platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok and Instagram can help you to:

  • Be an authority.
  • Observe your customer’s interests in your posts: commenting, liking, sharing and website visits.
  • Boost your website traffic and get them converted toward several takeaways and promotion deals — get physical visits, eventually.
  • Gather data to evaluate customer behaviours.

By spending little time and money, you can use social media to add sales to your cafe.

Share User Generated Content and Reviews on Social Media

Previously, we’ve talked about WOMM (word-of-mouth marketing). But how to do it properly? It’s here.

The unbiased, unsponsored, authentic user-generated reviews are beneficial to generate leads through social media. Thus, they establish a credible reputation for your brand across the internet. 

The reason is, the audience’s trust them the most. Hence, they can be a necessary part of your cafe marketing campaigns.

  • Another most prominent benefit of using UGC (user-generated content) and reviews is, they’re free of cost. In contrast, paying social media influencers can cost you heavily — it might not be affordable for your new cafe.
  • It increases customer loyalty towards your cafe brand. Seeing themselves on your page wins their hearts. It gets more social shares from your customer.
  • Similarly, getting social proof is also easy. You can simply motivate your customers to share their photos at your cafe and get free coffee.

Host a Giveaway Contest on your Social media

Social media is accessible to all of us. You can make the best use of it by hosting a contest that involves your customers (or potential customers). It will help you get awareness and even bring some new people in to get to know your business and products. To increase cafe sales, you can post the content on your accounts and pages, announce rewards (e.g. free breakfast, or 00 free coffees)  with a “persuasive call to action” for sharing and tagging friends. 

  • In this way, your followers will become a source of more brand page insights and followers — which equals sales. 
  • It’ll also help you examine customer’s behaviour for future plans. This will help you have a better grasp of what kind of strategies will work best for your subsequent digital marketing campaigns.
  • It can help you build a list for email marketing strategies.
  • Again, it will generate brand awareness and authority.

To help you begin with hosting social media contests, here are some pro-tips.

  • First, design awesome content.
  • Second, add descriptions that you believe will be relatable to the majority of your customers. Use your own experience in the cafe, here. Think about things you hear from them, try to use their own words. Like “do you dream of coffee?” or “is it just me or the day only starts after the first sip of coffee?”. Also, remember to include a CTA (call to action), so tey have a direction and know what to do. For example, “tag your friend who gets grumpy without coffee”… let the creative juices flow!
  • Third, to ensure reach, you can throw a reward like, “ tag 2 friends and get a 10% discount for an entire week.” In the same way, you can also host a photo contest.
  • Last, make sure you respond to their comments and messages, interact and create relationship. You can even enter their profiles and comment on photos you think can relate to your business, such as breakfast shots or latte art photos.

By investing 3-4 hours a week, you will start to see results in no time.

Improve your Point of Sales System

A sale systems are needed in every cafe. But having a POS that works FOR you and your goals is the next level. Through their system, they help your cafe in various ways:

  • A POS system helps you enhance your business by improving the quality of communication with customers. It also ensures a positive customer experience by minimizing service errors.
  • For marketing, POS plays a vital role. It can help you plan more personalized marketing campaigns by providing you with the relevant filtered data. Thus, your cafe sales get an optimistic curve.
  • For launching loyalty programs, the importance of POS is undeniable. The POS solutions can also capture buyer trends to let you create target incentives.
  • POS is the tool of your cashier. The more efficient the POS is, the more accurate the cashier will be. Surely the overall sales of your cafe will rise.
  •  Expecting your employees to improve their checkout time is like driving a nail into concrete by the force of a stick. If you don’t have a proper system to keep a check, you’ll be abandoned — a barcode scanner and a POS system.

Some of the best POS systems for cafes we recommend are:

They work best if combined with a Tyro account. They also support loyalty programs and online ordering.

It is ideal when you have your own EFTP.

Final Thoughts to increase cafe sales

The venture to increase your cafe sales as a newbie can be a problem when you want to save money. Our proven strategies can help you meet your goals. 

You’re allowed to fall in love with these, for they’re more specific for the freshers in the coffee business. Best of luck!!!