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Do You Need To Have A Large Coffee Shop To Be Successful?

Jan 22, 2008
Based on customer surveys, you should be confident no matter how large or small your coffee shop is. This isn't really a factor for customers even though many have the impression that large coffee shops have more to offer. A customer may try a new large coffee shop but then go back to the smaller one they have gone to for a very long time.

Large coffee shops don't necessarily make more money than smaller ones. They have to pay more for supplies, electricity, the building, employees, and other overhead expenses. They also have to spend a great deal of money to advertise. After all they can't have that large facility being empty - it has to be full of customers.

A large coffee shop can't make it if they don't pay attention to the needs of the customers. This means a small independently owned coffee shop can have a good piece of the market. People want to make sure all of their coffee needs are met. The size of the location isn't something that matters to them a great deal.

The atmosphere is very important though. Many people find it is more personal at a smaller sized coffee shop. They are able to get to know the people behind the counter. They are also warmly greeted by name each time they walk in the door. With a large coffee shop this may not be possible. There are simply too many people and too many different employees for it to work.

Many of the large coffee shops are able to succeed due to being a chain. They are already known in the eyes of consumers as a great place to get coffee. There is also a stigma that comes with visiting such a location for some people. They still have to work to meet the needs of the customers though or they will lose business rapidly.

People don't want to feel crowded, so that can be an issue to address with a small coffee shop. If people want to sit down and enjoy their drinks, it may not be possible due to the small number of tables available. You may be able to find a way to reorganize them though to give more room. Consider more tables for one or two people instead of larger ones as well.

You need to be confident no matter how large or small your coffee shop is. The fact that consumers aren't placing their orders based on this information is good news. It means you have the chance to prove what you can do for customers on your own merit. You can focus on meeting their various needs instead of playing the size game.

For small coffee shops, take pride in what you have to offer. Should you decide to expand it needs to be based on your customer base. Don't do it just to have the same amount of space as some other coffee shop. You don't want to have more expenses than you can cover based on your sales.
About the Author
Karyn Lewis is passionate about great coffee. If you are thinking of opening a coffee shop, and avoiding the common mistakes new owners make, you can read more at her recommended at her coffee business website.
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