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20 great ideas to run a successful cafe business

Supplier: Core Hospitality Furniture
04 October, 2016

The difference between the most successful cafe's and the moderately successful cafe lies in their social media marketing strategies.

These twenty ideas will help you win over new customers and increase sales.

First, your most handy tool is social marketing. Facebook and Twitter are powerful, yet very affordable social marketing platforms because they put you in reach of millions of potential customers. Use social media marketing as follows.

Today's Specials

Do not let your customers call you to ask for the day's special menu. Use your Facebook and Twitter accounts to communicate the day's dishes. You may also incorporate live stream of Facebook posts or tweets on your business's website.

Social-Only Discounts

Organize reward criteria for your customers who interact with you through social media by offering a targeted discount, specified for a day or a week.

Changes in the Menu

Your customers should be aware of any changes in your menu. The easiest way to let them learn about the changes in is through social media.

Online to Offline Social gatherings

Invite different groups on Twitter and Facebook to your cafe and treat them to your rare social-only discounts. Get their Facebook and Twitter IDs so that you thank them after the party.

Provide Tips

Your customers may be interested in bettering their cooking experiences. Give them tips on best practices through your social profiles. You can also promote a weekly special for home cooked dish through Facebook and Twitter.

Second, you need to take advantage of email marketing. Write attention-grabbing subject lines and be brief. Email marketing strategies include:


Use periodical email newsletters to communicate information to your customers. Include menu changes and informative cooking tips and offers.

Customer Surveys

It is important to get customer feedback. This helps you know how satisfactory your services are to your customers. Use the surveys to gauge your customers' preferences and communicate new menu items.

Email Contests

Engage your customers in reading your emails. Let them know of an upcoming reward program only communicated through email.

Holiday Happenings

Communicate holiday specials through email. This way, they will keep your customers anticipating the offers in your cafe.

Third, introduce creative, yet affordable marketing strategies.

"Brand" Your Cups/Wrappers

Include a printed or hand-written trivia question or a smiley face when you serve your guests. You can stick the printed labels onto unbranded cups or java jackets.

Washroom Posters

Engage your customers when they visit your restrooms. Stick posters of upcoming events or offers on the back of restroom doors.

Customer Receipt

Include a written or printed discount that the customer will redeem when they visit next within a specified period.

Fourth, have a strategy on how to reward your loyal customers. They will feel important, appreciated and part of your success.

Reward Loyalty

Make reward programs part of your cafe business. There are different ways you can reward frequent customers. Include offers such as buy four get one free or a redeemable point's reward system in your POS.

VIP Treatment

Invite your most loyal customers to a VIP party with free drinks and selected foods. Have them bring over someone special, too. You will not believe how busy your cafe will be afterwards.

Bounce backs

For first time customers, you may give promotional offers so that they bounce back another time. The offer should be product-specific or time-bound. Include even greater offer if they return during your off-peak hours.

Lastly, get involved in corporate social responsibilities or host a function. You could also co-sponsor an event. This will help you gain reputation from the event's other participants.


Organize and host fun contests. These contests could be games, competitions, raffles or giveaways.


You can dedicate a percentage of a day's sales to a charity event. Share this news widely through the press.

Holiday Parties

Let your customers use your cafe space to host their holiday parties. This gives you a marketing opportunity, and you will be able to increase your sales during the parties.

Live Music

Invite local bands to entertain your customers on a periodical basis, either monthly or weekly.

Art Show

Discover the local art talent by hosting artists in your cafe for a monthly art gallery. They will help you improve the ambiance of your cafe.

Dont forget to please your usual customers and use them to win over more customers!