Correct positioning of a café or coffee shop: tips and tricks

Your café positioning on the market is important to determine further ways of development.  How to occupy a leading place in its niche? Today we will provide you with some tips and tricks of the right marketing strategy.


Thinking about opening a successful café, coffee shop or a restaurant? The essential component of your business plan should be a marketing plan. It contributes in defining the positioning of the café on the market and in producing a clear picture in the mind of the target audience. The picture is closely linked with the brand, its reputation, mission and values. Let’s consider the basic approaches which will help to make the right choice.


Dreams or trends; which one to prefer?


Every business needs to begin with marketing researches. Even if a brilliant idea comes to your mind, first you need to evaluate its potential relevance. Unfortunately, trends might not be the same as your dreams but that is no reason for despair.  Think of the most famous dishes and products which have been initially rejected by the market and now are firmly established in it and became popular delights.


Correct positioning of a café or coffee shop: tips and tricks | фото 1 | SmartTouch Correct positioning of a café or coffee shop: tips and tricks | фото 2 | SmartTouch


Classic marketing describes two essential ways of the correct café positioning:


1.Focus «on trends» —  it means that the positioning of the café corresponds to the demands of the majority of potential clients.


You might still remember a sushi bar boom when everyone who didn’t taste delicacies from the Land of the Rising Sun, was considered a backward person. It took just several years before sushi-bars became ubiquitous in city infrastructure.


Today’s trends, in fact, don’t have any trends. No styles or concepts are imposed. Gourmets and amateurs appreciate their own identity, a punch line of the establishment. People aspire to differences and singularity which they can talk about to others, especially in the social networks where everyone is keen to promote his/her own brand.     

Even an ordinary coffee shop might become a unique place. Interior design, beverages service, a unique atmosphere and pleasant surprises have memorable impact and encourage visiting the place again and again.


Correct positioning of a café or coffee shop: tips and tricks | фото 3 | SmartTouch


2.Focus «on dreams».  The greatest achievements of Mankind started with wildest dreams; however, not all of them came true. Colgate dramatically failed, for instance, in an attempt to expand beyond its traditional businesses into new food areas. The idea to get the brand’s fans on a loop «have a meal — brush your teeth» appeared, to say the least, very naïve.  


Correct positioning of a café or coffee shop: tips and tricks | фото 4 | SmartTouch

A must-have, is it in the past?


If you are able to pay heed to the market, to understand its needs, then a must-have notion won’t hang over you anymore. It relates to a bygone era of the tyranny of trends when certain products or brands were pushed around the market.

Today you’ve got the opportunity to understand the market needs and wants, and to do it quickly and with high accuracy. If you can provide it with what it wants, it will be perfect. But if you can give more to it, to exceed its expectations, to form a new demand, it will be just fabulous. 

When our team has just started promoting electronic menu, we came out to real people who were owners and visitors of cafés and restaurants. We conducted several interviews asking questions which were interesting to answer to. Questions were built regarding interlocutors’ point of view.


«What do you think about the electronic menu, is it more beneficial than a paper one? Will it be paid off?»

«Would you like your prepared meals to be delivered more quickly?»


A restaurant owner or a visitor was happy to share his/her opinion and we were able to define the demand on electronic menu. Our goal wasn’t to change the market relevance. Instead, it was important for us to hear all kind of answers: positive, negative or neutral. So, we could figure out expectations of potential subscribers and users.

Provide people with what they need by showing the most appropriate solution to their problem. That way, you won’t have to push your product around the market. People won’t just buy it once but they will come back and buy it again and again.


Positioning daily routine: a few words about boring but really important things


Once you have defined the market needs, it’s time to deal with your marketing plan details:


  • Location of the restaurant, café, coffee shop. It is believed that it has a direct impact on the average check – the closer it is to the center, the bigger the revenue is. In fact, this factor works only in relatively small towns. Because metropolitan cities usually comprises multiple districts and blocks which have their own HoReCa facilities. Many of today’s customers, however, are ready to order from any district of the city. So, if your establishment is a singular one, they will come and keep coming across the city.
  • Atmosphere of the establishment — this is the trump card in the fight for visitors. What does your target audience like? Is it the feeling of an endless party or of a soothing, enveloping comport? You should be into creating atmosphere (interior, staff uniforms, music) and thinking over details (dishes and beverages serving, bonuses and surprises). Exceed expectations; make guests feel welcome and important. Put a spin on your specialties to keep clients interested in visiting your establishment.
  • Interior — it reflects the general concept of the establishment. It doesn’t need to be often changed, but you can make minor changes from time to time. Your guests will be surely amazed with new details (like paintings, some pretty pretties, unique accessories for staff uniform).  These are the things that your visitors will talk about. They will help to turn your establishment into a singular and recognizable one.
  • Staff uniform. Uniforms requirements usually vary based upon the establishment’s type and concept. In the most cases, small establishments might prefer not to change waiters’ uniform style. So, the staff has been wearing the same uniform for many years. While other establishments often “change” their staff uniform to avoid boring their guests.
  • Menu. It is recommended to update it as the market tastes change. Do your guests have favorite dishes? Don’t remove them from the menu. Is your establishment experiencing decrease in demand? Introduce new options or specialities but remember – there is nothing new under the sun.
  • Equipment and software. Make your staff’s job easier so that your guests won’t be left waiting for a long time before their dishes and beverages are ready. For this purpose think about purchasing proper equipment of good quality and subscribe to high-speed softwares of orders management. Launch software tests before purchasing a fee-based subscription and evaluate the quality of the developer’s technical support.
  • AdvertisingPlan your advertizing campaigns at the stage of opening the establishment. Stir up audience’s interest so that your establishment will be full of visitors in the opening day.
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