“Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.” Sam Walton
Set yourself apart from the other cafes around. Don’t try to appeal to the masses, or settle for the same brands just because they are popular. Todays customers are hunting for distinction. They want to stand out. They are discovering they are individuals and no longer want to be part of the herd. So to attract them to your café you need to find things that make you stand out from the others in your industry.
Here are 3 things you can do to carve out a niche and stand out from the crowd.
- Make your cabinet food in-house. No one likes going to a café and seeing the same generic brands of cakes and slices in the cabinet. At one of my cafés we started making our own carrot cake. Within a matter of weeks our cake sales increased by 35%, and we saved 70% of the purchase price. Moreover our customers appreciated the difference and came back.
- Change to a unique boutique coffee brand (with great coffee). Steer clear of popular coffee brands that are supplying everyone else. People are looking for somewhere with a difference. When you decide to change ask three boutique coffee roasters to supply you with some coffee and run blind tastings to see what your customers prefer. Include the current coffee as a benchmark. You might even make an event out of it. Send out invites, put on some food and get your customers along. Your customers will feel like they are part of the team, and are likely to own any changes.
- Cater to Pets. When a friend takes his dog for its morning walks, it’s his dog that drags him to a particular café. They give treats to dogs! And dogs never forget a treater! So now his dog is the one who dictates what café they will go to.
So, In order to be noticed, you must stand out from the crowd and be different to the others.