The goal of signs are to get people’s attention and to create enough intrigue to want to buy something. Great signs are usually bright, colorful, use large font, and are very easy to read. We usually only think about signs that are on the outside of buildings that get people into stores, but store signs on the inside are just as important! Customers confused about where to order or having an unreadable menu takes away from your business’s appeal. People want their coffee experience to be a pleasant one and good store signs can make that happen.
Walking into a coffee shop and not knowing where the line is or where to order is not only confusing, but kind of embarrassing. No customer wants to feel this way. Use store signs to help out and direct your customers to make ordering coffee an easy and smooth experience. Hang signs like “Order Here,” “Line Starts Here,” and “Pick Up Here” because no matter how obvious you may find your coffee shop layout to be, others may not feel the same way.
Some other problems may not have as obvious of solutions. We saw a trend where newer coffee shops realized they were losing brewed coffee sales and didn’t know why. Well after some digging they found out that the people who wanted brewed coffee were waiting in the same line behind those who were ordering espresso drinks which took longer, so they would just up and leave. To solve this, many coffee shops set up two order stations with signs over each, one reads, “Order Espresso Beverages and Pastries Here” and the other, “Order Brewed Coffee Here.” This is in the same essence as the express checkout lines at the grocery store and the brewed coffee drinkers walked away happy.
One of the most important signs that you’ll have in your coffee shop will be your menu sign. Get creative…make this nice to look at and very easy to read. One of the best ways to do this is to organize your sign into categories such as these:
- Hot Coffee and Espresso Beverages
- Frozen and Iced Beverages
- Teas & Other Non-Coffee Drinks
- Baked Goods and Pastries
- Salads and Sandwiches
Not only do your customers need to see your menu items, but they also need to know what exactly they’re ordering. While some people may be extreme coffee aficionados, many of them won’t be. It’s great to provide a short description of the menu item and maybe provide a visual for the milk to espresso ratios in espresso beverages. This makes sure that your customer isn’t surprised when their name gets called and that’s not the drink they wanted sitting on the bar.
This kind of store sign also helps out with customer awareness and satisfaction with what they’re buying. These can be put on items you’re selling to describe each one’s characteristics or give recommendations of pairings. You can see this a lot when you’re looking at a large selection of wines; the descriptions on these signs are helpful to tell the customer the taste of each wine and which foods go best with it. Apply this same idea to coffee! If you’re selling bulk coffee, some things you might want to include on these signs are its taste characteristics, how it’s best brewed, and what times of time is best to drink it at. You can also put these in your pastry case to give a brief description of your selection to your customers.
You shouldn’t assume that customers know everything about what you’re selling and you certainly don’t have the time to explain these things to each and every one of them. So let your point-of-sale signs do some of the talking for you.
You should definitely be displaying signs inside your cafe and in the windows about special events or promos that are going on. Of course, some of the more common special events are things like live music or poetry readings, but maybe try something new and inventive to boost the sales of your add-on items.
Some ideas are free informational events such as coffee cupping, home espresso making, or selecting the perfect coffee blend. The more creative and inventive your events are, the more interest, and probably involvement, you’ll get from your customers. These types of events will educate your customers and show that you care by giving them this information for free.