Winter is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your customers. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, customers are often looking for a slower paced environment and something to engage in during the dreary days. Why not take this time to offer product demo classes and tasting events?
If you offer brewing products in your café you understand the nervousness and side-glancing these products receive. It can be scary to push the buttons on a ‘fancy’ brewer or work the dials on a grinder. How exactly do those tea infusers work anyway?? You know these are great pieces that can add value to anyone’s home collection. Offering a hands-on demonstration of how they work can help the product sell themselves and give you some shelf space. You could even offer the demo’d piece at a discount as ‘slightly used’.
Social Media offers great options for promoting events and getting RSVPs, both online and offline word of mouth is always a great advertising method. Equipment demos can be offered a couple of times a week for 30-40 minutes with a focus on a few products. Make the event really hands on by inviting customers to step behind the wheel (or the coffee grinder) and get a good feel for how the equipment works. A dedicated barista should host the event providing a tutorial and fun facts about the equipment to help engage the customer. Offering samples of bakery products and promotional beverages is a nice touch as well, and a great way to engage customers already in the shop that might not have been aware of the event. It shouldn’t need to take up too much space in your seating area and can be a fun way to include visiting patrons along with customers who signed up for the event.
Another fun event to highlight your product is a coffee tasting. Even regular coffee shop frequenters may not really know the difference between a flat white and a house roast. If you are a roaster this is a great opportunity showcase some of your favorite brews and educate customers on profiles and pallets. If you use an outside bean source, bring them in the loop and see if they would guest star in an event to talk about product and beans and provide a guided tasting. This can be a great opportunity to build knowledge and promote a bean loyalty program (hint hint). Food pairings are a natural addition and you could even offer a series of classes to explore different origins or roasts. These can be 20-30 minute sessions in which the customer is shown how to taste coffee using the flavor, aroma, acidity and body measurements as well as providing insight on what to expect from different regional beans and roasts.
Either of these events will be a warm invitation to bring guests in from the winter chill, and allow you to share your expertise with customers and the community…all while helping boost your bottom line. Whichever route you go, put your shop’s unique brand on it by highlighting what it is that you do best!