Should You Reopen Your Store? 3 Challenges + 4 Helpful Ideas

by | May 5, 2020 | 📨 Newsletters

3 challenges + 4 helpful ideas for making the most of it.

For better or worse, many countries are letting up on strict lockdowns, allowing for restaurants, cafes, and other stores re-open. 

In the US, most reopen plans are restricting stores to 25% capacity.

For many coffee shops, this will be a godsend.

But for others, this will pose a new list of challenges. For instance:

Problem #1

Many shops are “camper” friendly. Customers sit by their electrical outlets and work from their computers for hours at a time. Some of these customers only buy drip coffee or the cheapest thing on your menu. You’re not going to get much foot traffic if your shop fills up with laptop people.

Problem #2

You’ll need to dedicate one or two employees to counting customers and turning customers away at the door. You’ll end up paying bouncers rather than baristas.

Problem #3

If you’ve transitioned to being drive-thru or delivery only, you may find that juggling those new revenue channels WITH a partially opened store is… difficult. A 25% capacity store probably isn’t going to cut it, so you’ll need to continue all of the COVID stuff and clean tables and clean bathrooms and be hospitable.

Here’s what you could do to avoid some of these pitfalls.

Let’s consider a few ways you can make the most of changing regulations and customer behaviors.

Open your store via reservation only.

Have people reserve time slots at your shop. This way, you can easily plan for in-store demand and you won’t have to turn every 26th thirsty customer away. 

Marketing ideas: family afternoon coffee, couples date night, small birthday get-together.

Offer a monthly co-working space membership at your shop

Get on the ‘gram, drop a post about a first-come-first-serve co-working space opportunity, and rent out time at your shop. Many professions are really tired of working from home – this could be a tempting alternative to screaming kids in the next room.

25% of your max capacity paying $175 a month to chill in your already existing space… sound like $$$ to me.

Manage employee time efficiently

If you want to open your doors and say hello world, I don’t blame you. Just make sure you optimize employee time. If a barista is at the door counting heads, make sure they can take to-go orders if the shop is over capacity. Or at least have them working on your social media or online assets.

Create a banner or sign clearly showing your house rules so customers can self-regulate as much as possible (and your baristas can stick to doing what they do best).

You got this – we’re all getting through it together ?

Hey 👋 I'm Garrett Oden

Hey 👋 I'm Garrett Oden

Freelance Coffee Marketer

I'm a coffee industry native who works with coffee brands around the world to create and execute captivating marketing strategies.

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