10 smart hacks to increase café sales
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10 smart hacks to increase café sales

At Zettle, we talk with thousands of café owners like you every year. Your creativity and ability to sell smart never ceases to amaze us. Here are some cool sales tips we’ve picked up over the years.

Place the goodies by the counter

Put your most popular and delicious goodies on the counter and make it impossible for your customers to resist! Even better if they’ve just come out of the oven.

Still or sparkling?

This one’s a bit sneaky. For most cafés and restaurants, cold beverages are the most high-margin items on the menu. So, when someone orders water with their meal: consider asking if they prefer still or sparkling. Or, offer ‘still, tap, or sparkling’. In that order. Why? The answer is the serial position effect, which is the tendency of people to recall the first and last items in a series best. Sneaky, but smart!

Set up an outside stall

During Christmas rush hours, set up a temporary stall outside your café and sell mulled wine, coffee and other warm treats on the go. This strategy can not only help you increase your sales, but also make a good impression and tempt people to come inside. Put on some Christmas tunes and you’re good to go!

Reward loyalty

Customers like to feel special and be rewarded for their loyalty. Hand out loyalty cards and give every seventh coffee for free. A small price to pay for gaining a repeat customer.

Offer samples

How can you expect your customers to pay £4 for a brownie when they don’t know how heavenly it tastes? Offer them a little nibble, and they’ll be hooked. Some reports have found that food samples can increase sales by as much as 2000%.

Package it

Assemble pre-made packs for customers on the go. Breakfast and lunch packages can include a drink, dish, something sweet and some bread. How should you price your lunch menu?

Plat du jour

Serve daily specials. Larger quantities mean lower costs and higher margins. At the same time, you’ll have an ever-changing menu that attracts locals again and again.

Boris and Kim at Boki Coffee never forget to ask what their customers want. Stop by their café at 20 Earlham St in London for a coffee, cocktail – or the well-known McBoki (it’s delicious!)

Ask questions

Instead of trying to upsell in the dark, strike up a conversation. Ask your customers what they’re currently craving, THEN recommend.

Quality over quantity

Keep your menu simple. Studies prove that too many choices can make customers overwhelmed and lead to fewer sales. You don’t have to offer your guests 10 different green teas. Identify the items you sell the most and focus on them, then get rid of the ones that are less popular.

Your business is in the cards

And obviously – if you don’t already – make sure you accept card payments. Tons of research shows that consumers tend to spend more, and are willing to pay more for a specific item when they use their card.