Selective coffee - how to arouse customer interest

Why is specialty coffee special?

A cup of choice coffee has much more value than it may seem at first glance. Before a customer tastes a choice coffee, the coffee bean goes through a long and careful process that results in a price increase. And this is the most common problem with customers. For some, one cup of coffee is like another.

The café as an ambassador of fine coffee

In addition to roasters, it is you, the café and barista, who can spread awareness of specialty coffee. You know your coffee best, just as you know what the cake or sandwich in your display case is made of, you know where your coffee comes from. Let your customers know what they are paying for and why your coffee is unique andthey can only taste it from you.

Prepare baristas for inquisitive customer questions.

Many customers respect and trust baristas (especially those at their favourite coffee shop). Much more than information on the internet. Trained baristas who can answer any question from inquisitive customers are essential.

So your staff should be trained in both coffee preparation and coffee as a raw material. They should know the answers not only to what coffee is on the grinder today, but also toprocessing methods, origin or flavour profile. And also what the difference is between choice and commodity coffee.

Start a conversation with the customer when they arrive at the café

Take advantage of the customer's decision-making phase. It is this phase, what kind of coffee the customer wants to have, that is a good time to introduce the differences between the preparations and thus the choice coffee.

You can also introduce a conversation on the topic of choice coffee with customers sitting at the bar. During this, you can introduce the coffee you are working with and tell them more about it.

Speak in a way that even a layman can understand you.

This point builds on the previous one. The most important point when introducing customers to your coffee selection is language. If you have above average coffee, talk aboutit that way.

That way the customer will better understand why the choice coffee is a bit more expensive than the coffee from regular coffee shops (I'm not referring to coffee chains, of course, where commodity coffee is often more expensive than choice coffee).

Describe the coffee, and the way you prepare it, but ideally in a way that your grandmother will understand. Talk about the flavour profile and what your customers can smell in the coffee. Emphasise the transparency of the coffee. Customers will become more open to discovering their favourite coffee and may ask for more information themselves next time.

Customer service goes hand in hand with how you talk to your customer. Help them and explain everything they need. Preferably already on your menu, describe all the alternative coffee brewing methods so the customer can get an idea of what theAeroPress and V60 actually is. You can also link this to how your current coffee will taste using that brewing method.

Never give the customer the impression that their choice is a bad one, even though you might never give it to yourself. In matters of taste and flavor, you can never tell someone they are wrong.

Coffee education in practice

One tip for introducing your customers to choice coffee is through various coffee events and workshops, such as cupping or filter coffee courses.

Through cupping, they can not only get to know the taste of coffee, but also better understand how coffee is rated and how cupping scoreswork .

Preparation courses, on the other hand, are good for understanding how to work with select coffees and why each coffee needs to be treated differently. If you don't have enough experience to run a course or cupping, invite a roaster from your roastery.

The atmosphere and appearance of the café

The atmosphere and appearance of your café should go hand in hand with the quality of the products you serve. When a new customer comes to your café, they should immediately know that it is different from the commodity coffee shops with 20 cent cakes, over-whipped cappuccino foam, dirty cups and rickety chairs.

Sometimes these cafés are more like a bar with red leather chairs than a café. Even the tacky and cheap-looking merch is unrepresentative.

You can also add educational materials such as coffee books or thecoffee magazine Standard. This gives the customer the opportunity to educate themselves about coffee.

When you want to take your coffee selection further, you can also include beans for sale or coffee accessories. This way, customers will be able to prepare their favourite coffee from your café on the go or in the comfort of their own home.

Your staff should also be dressed appropriately to add to the atmosphere of the establishment. Thedress code of the service staff looks neat and every customer can safely know who to contact.

While you're investing in quality coffee, don't forget about quality accessories to help you make even better coffee.

Less is more. Don't forget that. It can be tasteful design that can drive customers to the coffee of their choice. They should be able to tell that it's something special when they choose it. You can also introduce a short introduction toyour coffee selection or the roastery where you source your coffee from. Show what makes you unique.

But at the same time, make the menu clear and don't overwhelm customers with information about location, varieties and altitudes of coffee. However, this information often means nothing to the customer.

If the customer is interested in the information, they will ask. You can also put the information that more information will be provided by the staff on the menu. Your job is to take care of the average customer and coffee lover.

Selected coffee on social media

You can start educating and informing your customers before they even come to your coffee shop. You can let them know that you are one of the cafés with a selection of coffee on social media.

I personally seek this information out frequently on coffee shops' social networks. What beans they use is then often decisive.

On social media, in addition to what coffee you have, from which roaster, you can let customers know more about theorigin of the coffee, the processing or the preparation methods. Right away, you have additional content that is suitable for your coffee shop's social networks.

Ask questions and get feedback on your coffee

Ask for feedback from your customers to help you improve. Ask them how they liked the coffee or what they found interesting about it. These basic questions should become your daily routine so you can improve and offer your customers what they like best

If someone walks into your business who can't even tell the difference between aRobusta and an Arabica, they'll struggle to explain what a choice coffee is. It's equally unsuitable to explain to someone who is in a hurry and is always on the phone, or simply out of sight and out of mind. But don't hang your head and try to explain exactly what you offer

Don't be a coffee snob who will hold his nose up to others who are still learning the flavours of fine coffee. Teach them too. This will create a very strong bond with your customer.

Have you decided to work with choice coffee? Then you also need to pay attention to how you handle and prepare it. If you tell the customer everything you know about choice coffee but don't prepare it correctly, the experience will not improve their relationship.