The seasonal calendar comes around like the speed of a windmill in a gale, with relentless energy. You can’t stop it but you can harness its power for good. Christmas and New Year are one of those times when you can really use the season to take more money, but planning is essential.
Firstly you need to mix up your menu, your guests are looking for the Christmas drinks menu, they have been trained and programmed by the Costabucks to expect an indulgent winter treat rather than their usual latte. Don’t forget your food offer either, by adding a seasonal variant of both your sweet and savoury range you will be helping your guests celebrate with a treat, getting them into the spirit.
You should create gift packs of what you already sell by packing them in clear film wrap with some ribbon, and don’t forget the gift vouchers. Planning some fun events like an ‘Ugly Jumper‘ or ‘Silly Hat‘ Day doing some special offers for Black Friday or simply a ‘Thank you for being our guest this year‘ day. Planning your marketing over the busy times will save your time and ensure you don’t miss the key days. You can use Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts. Your guests will want to know your opening times so make sure your website has been updated otherwise they may assume you are closed!
Just as you would at home, putting up decorations, will add to the cheer and planning for the quiet time in January by offering ‘bounce back promotions‘. One of the most successful of these is the ‘secret envelope‘. Give each of your guests a voucher in a coloured envelope, the voucher can only be redeemed if it is opened in front of you when they come in January.
Don’t forget about your team either; planning in some fun, a Christmas party, getting the schedule done in plenty of time so they can make plans are all things that will make them feel more appreciated.
Your suppliers will also be changing their delivery & order patterns, watch out for the short-dated stock being delivered as well. You will want to make sure you don’t run out of key ingredients so ordering a little more of these will give you peace of mind. Remember the boring stuff too like till rolls & dishwasher liquid.
When the banks are closed for a few days you can virtually guarantee that suppliers will bring forward direct debits without telling you. You might even want to bring your payday forward a week to give your team more money to enjoy their Christmas too. Vigilance with your cash flow will be essential to prevent embarrassment and the dreaded bank charges.
Now is the time to get your equipment in good fettle, so if a regular maintenance call is due, bring it forward a week or two. If there is a squeak, rattle or strange noise coming from anything, now is the time to get it checked out, there’s no point in developing the fault by putting the radio up louder. Your maintenance engineers will want time off as well, so don’t expect an emergency response to come cheap!
(If you are researching before you open or interested in books that will help your coffee business have a look at our recommended reading list Click Here)
Andrew & Claire Bowen, The Coffeepreneurs, are the Authors of the Amazon best seller, ‘The Daily Grind – how to open and run a coffee shop that makes money’. They are also the founders of Cafe Success, ‘The ultimate resource for coffee shops’. They own and run their own independent coffee shop, Java&Co, based in Oxfordshire, UK. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, they have been franchisee’s, regional franchisees single and multi site operators, as well as developing their own chain of independent coffee shops. They make coffee shop owners more money, by helping them ‘Start Up, Scale Up or Tune Up’ their coffee businesses.