Strategies for the Coffee Businesses During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in ways that many of us couldn’t have imagined half a year ago. Amongst the businesses impacted are the coffee roasters and coffee shops. Coffee shops provide more than just coffee, they thrive on their ability to cultivate a social atmosphere. Coffee shops are frequently visited as gathering venues for many occasions, or even as just a comfortable place to sit down and enjoy a good book. With the large-scale social restrictions, people stop visiting their local coffee shops and many cafes as well as other coffee businesses are forced to shut down, at least temporarily.
The ones that are still open find ways to adapt to their new circumstances. Reduced operating hours, a simpler menu, mandatory masks for both workers and customers, hand sanitizer and hand-washing facilities in place, and a cashless payment system all help in reducing the risk of the virus spreading. But how to maintain, if not increase, the coffee sales during the pandemic? In this article, we will share some strategies for coffee businesses to thrive during this difficult time.
How Coffee Businesses Can Survive During the Pandemic
While many businesses are experiencing revenue loss and a substantial slowdown due to COVID-19, it has also inspired business owners to get creative to stay afloat. Some coffee roasters and coffee shops have reacted to what has been an immediate and shocking blow to the business by responding to the demand increase in the direct-to-consumer home segment.
Below are some tips we can share on how to survive and thrive during this pandemic:
1. Strengthen your Standard Operating Procedures
Health protocols are of the utmost importance in today’s business. Take your time to do thorough planning for new business standards and training the employees. From inventory management, cleaning protocols to service protocols, everything has to adhere to the new standards for cleanliness and sanitation for the safety of workers as well as customers.
2. Offer delivery services
As customers stay at home as much as possible, businesses should try to bring their products to the customers’ homes. A lot of coffee roasters and cafes offer free curb delivery or home delivery, and also partner with online delivery services. You can even collaborate with the online delivery services to have regular promotions to attract more customers to purchase your products.
3. Get creative with your products
Going with a simpler menu doesn’t mean that your customers are stuck with very little options. Start selling cold brews or other beverage varieties in 1-Litre bottles for takeaway or online orders that your customers can drink over a two or three days period. Sell specialized coffee beans or coffee beans in seasonal themes with attractive packaging. Collaborate with your local food provider to offer a bundling package of coffee and a special food menu or snack items.
4. Focus on online sales
With reduced hours and fewer visitors, it is time to increase your online presence. Take the extra time to maintain good social media content, organise online coffee-related workshops and meet-ups. Also, shift your focus from in-store sales to selling coffee online by offering discount vouchers for online purchases, coffee subscription plans, or bundling coffee beans with a home brewing kit.
5. Support the community
Tie-in your promotion with charity to support those affected by the pandemic. You can sell gift cards with a pledge to donate a certain percentage to baristas, coffee farmers, hospitality workers or healthcare workers. Customers will feel they are getting a good bargain and do their part for a noble cause as well.
No matter how disheartening the situation looks at the moment, the economy will eventually turn around. Your business may look entirely different a year from now. Just remember to always plan for growth, to ensure that you are still in business when the good times are back.