To open a cafeteria, there are several challenges. Among them, one of the most important is the proper development of a cafeteria menu. Although it may seem simple, this process must be carried out with great care, considering a number of factors.

Knowing the importance of a good menu, we have prepared this article! Here, we will teach you straight away how to assemble a coffee menu. We will show you what you can’t miss in your coffee shop and how to make a profit with the right items!

Before setting up the ideal coffee menu

To do a good job in developing the menu of your coffee shop, it is essential to take some factors into account. After all, you can’t just offer something generic and wait for success; it takes research, study and a lot of care!

So, before you start creating your successful coffee menu, work a few points:

Meet your audience

This is certainly a key point – but you should already know that! Your target audience dictates much more than the menu; it also dictates the appearance of the venue, the communication and even the prices of the cafeteria.

There is an immense variety of recipes that a coffee shop can serve, but not all of them are suitable for your audience. Because of this, it is indispensable that a very careful study be done to define well its customers.

Evaluating the surroundings of the place where your coffee shop is located is also a good idea; after all, by knowing what is around you, you are able to better understand the type of person that will pass by your store.

Check out some examples of the public you may be exposed to:

  • A young and attuned public likes to experiment, prefers and seeks recipes that go beyond (but without leaving aside the common!);
  • A sophisticated public is open to items of greater added value and search for more refined options;
  • Executives appreciate good coffee, practical and quality meals and drinks.

It is worth saying that not necessarily only one of these audiences will be close to your coffee shop. It is up to you to evaluate well which of them is predominant and which menu is more adequate to your value proposal! It is not a problem, for example, to attend more than one public with menu options for specific schedules.

Meet your competitors

Another important point to consider when creating your menu is: what is your competitor doing? Knowing the competition, knowing what it sells, for how much and how it communicates with its audience helps you to know what to do… and, more importantly, what not to do.

Of course, you should NEVER copy the menu from another coffee shop. Your store must be unique and win over your customers because of that. Even so, you can study what your competitor offers; this way, you will understand what works for your public and what is not suitable for your proposal.

Also take the opportunity to build your differential! Since you know what your competition offers, you can stand out with items and products that they do not have. Anyway, it is worth a lot to do this study before you set up your coffee menu.

To set up your coffee menu, remember:

  • Take care of the necessary equipment and utensils

Your kitchen should already be able to produce all the items on your menu; this requires a variety of essential equipment and utensils. A different and badly planned item may require the purchase of new utensils (i.e. more investment!). Therefore, take care to have the right equipment to make production possible.

Having the right equipment optimizes the production time of your team, besides positively interfering in the consistency of delivery of these products. This is great for the cafeteria and for your customer’s satisfaction!

  • Your menu must be balanced and inclusive

When developing your menu, be careful not to put too much effort into just one product section and ignore the others. Unless your establishment is specialized, product diversity is very welcome! It allows you to meet different tastes and audiences, creating a more balanced menu.

Besides, offering options to people with some kind of food restriction is very important. Thus, you put your cafeteria as a place able to serve all your customers with the same quality and dedication.

If possible (and always keeping your target public in mind), invest in vegan and vegetarian products; pay attention also to products without lactose, diet or decaffeinated. Never stop giving a description of your products, to avoid accidents with allergic people!

  • Your coffee menu should be dry

Excess items make the purchase decision difficult. Suit! Because of this, be very careful with the quantity of products on your menu. We have already talked up there about the risk of prejudice, but the truth is that the client’s experience can also be prejudiced.

So, analyze well each one of the proposed items and eliminate everything that is excessive, elaborated or too expensive (for the production). A quality coffee shop menu doesn’t needs products in excess, but quality products, well produced and balanced among themselves.

How to build customer loyalty from the coffee menu

You already know how to set up your coffee menu. How about learning how to use this menu as a way to win, retain and retain your customers? After all, loyal customers not only attend, but also advertise their business.

Therefore, it is very important to develop actions that promote the valorization of these clients and the conquest of new ones. Besides, you can unite the useful to the pleasant and use these actions to make tests.

Here are some tips on actions to take:

Promotions. There are countless types of interesting promotions to explore in a coffee shop. Combos between different products, gifts, discounts … This draws the attention of customers and can encourage movement in the store!
Seasonal events. – Colonial coffees and brunches with fixed rates for participation promote a pleasant environment for customers and practical for customers. In addition, they allow the cafeteria to offer new and varied products to test public acceptance.
Tasting. – Small tastings allow customers to have a taste of the products, whether new or already established. The public appreciates the chance of tasting a product before the buying decision; the coffee shop has a return on certain products before investing more deeply on its raw material.
Loyalty cards. – This method, even if already old, still has an interesting role in customer loyalty. With them, you are able to demonstrate how much you value your customer and the fact that they choose YOUR coffee shop and not the others. To take good advantage of this strategy, create an adequate ruler of gifts and awards.

How about offering a coffee with your brand?

If you’ve come this far, I’m sure you’re prepared to produce an excellent coffee menu! Is it or not? Now, you’re ready to put it into practice and win over your customers. But, if you allow me one more tip: a quality coffee with your brand can attract even more the attention of your customers!