Holidays are an opportunity for your coffee shop to re-engage with your customers, attract new customers, and change up the day-to-day.
It’s almost February now, so that means two things: Groundhog’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
Obviously one is bigger than the other, but you can take both as an opportunity to boost revenues and engage in creative ways with your customers.
With Groundhog’s Day, you can offer promotions based on the potential outcomes. For example, you could say that if it’s an early spring, customers get a discount on iced coffee or if it’s 6 more weeks of winter they get a discount on hot coffee. You can also offer a specialty item (pastry, beverage, etc) referencing the holiday or even the much-loved film starring Bill Murray. Utilizing the movie theme, you could offer a BOGO event with reference to repetition: Have two drinks for the price of one so you can really feel like Bill Murray today! You could also offer free or reduced priced beverages if customers bring in their best drawing of a groundhog or you could offer a special to regular customers who guess the results of the shadow test correctly leading up to the actual day!
For Valentine’s Day, the opportunities are expansive. You can take the opportunity firstly to decorate for the holiday, livening up your space and stimulating returning customers as well as drawing the eye of new and potential customers. This can range from paper decorations to romantic teddy bears placed throughout the store. For decorations, you could also offer a discount or freebie for customers who bring in a handmade heart or a Valentine for your store, and you can decorate the store with the results. You can rename items or offer specialty products in the theme of the holiday.
This is also definitely the time to ensure that your baristas’ latte art is on point–a heart with every purchase is perfectly on theme.
You could even offer a Valentine’s message candy with each beverage.
I’m a big fan of puns and they are pretty trendy these days. You could utilize them on your menu, incorporating references to the holiday into either special concoctions or temporarily for your usual fare. “Because we love you, have a free cup(id) of coffee on us!” (I’m sure you can do better than that).
Additionally, a big thing with Valentine’s Day is the rejection of it. You could decidedly choose not to celebrate the day or decorate for it, playing it ironically with something completely opposite; many bars, for example, do a singles special on February 14th for those who are left out of the monogamy celebration. Another popular celebration comes on February 13th, made popular by the mockumentary, Parks and Recreation: Galentines Day. You could celebrate with a deal targeting platonic friends/friend-groups. “Buy a coffee and get a free one for your Gal-entine/Guy-entine!” You can find a way to make it gender inclusive that’s better than my poor pun, of course.
Heart-shaped cookies or cakes are fairly easy to pull off. I currently work at a vegan cheese shop and several vendors have produced heart-shaped vegan cheese for the day of love; pizza shops do heart-shaped pies. You could brainstorm with your cooks/employees for something more original, as well.
Speaking of employees, allowing them to wear holiday colors is a fun way to get them more engaged in the day. When employees are allowed to wear their own clothing and when they are encouraged to become actively interactive with the business and the customers, they produce better customer service, which enhances your overall business. You could also offer a special for people in Valentine’s themed clothing for the day.
As a coffee shop, holidays are also an excellent opportunity to bring in more business during regular hours of operation on during special, holiday hours. For Valentine’s Day, you could decorate individual tables to promote a date-like atmosphere during the day, perhaps with candy and/or flowers at each setting. During the evening you could stay open as a sort of post-dinner dessert and coffee spot. You could also plan a Valentine’s party for your customers, a singles mingle or an Espresso Your Love event for couples, perhaps showing a romantic movie, or just offering a type of Valentine’s Day Dance for the adults nostalgic for their middle/high school years. You could also boost the spirits of your employees by planning a Valentine’s party for them, either on or near the day, enhancing team spirit and positive associations with your business. This is especially beneficial if they are expected to handle extra business and additional tasks (like decorating) for the same wages as usual.
Take advantage of the holidays, whether earnestly or ironically, in order to keep things fresh and draw in as much additional business and positive associations for your business as possible!