The Tip Jar

Thursday October 17, 2013 // By Jillian Peck

It’s not terribly common but every once in awhile I’ll discover a place I just can’t get enough of. When I find a unique coffee shop, restaurant, etc., it becomes unusually easy to visit on a regular basis.

The effort required to leave the house a little earlier than necessary, or when I don’t even need to, can be so burdenful. Often, I’ll plan to run to the store on my day off and an excuse as little as not wanting to dirty a pair of clean socks for an hour long event, works to persuade me otherwise. Sometimes when I set my alarm an extra 20 minutes early to get gas before work, I wake up and tell myself, if I coast I can probably make it without breaking down (oh the decisions made before coffee.)

Have you ever discovered a coffee shop, gift store, restaurant, or just some place you were attracted to? Whether it was inspiring, comfortable, or socially attractive, the extra effort it takes to pay regular visits becomes very easy. Just like the many times I’ve claimed I don’t have time for books until I pick up the right one and notice all the free time I thought didn’t exist.

Apply this to the environment you are creating for your customers. A number of things come into play when it comes to an altogether pleasant environment. The theme of the shop is incredibly effective to the type of clientele/personalities attracted to the shop. If you’re looking to target a certain audience or create strong connections with people, there are things to consider. As mentioned in the last Tip Jar (read here), customer service is huge. Be conscious of the personalities behind the counter. Music also has a very big effect on people. I can think of a few occasions where I have decided, based on music, that an environment was or was not suited for me and expressed through returning or refusing to return. You should also be considerate of wall decorations, the items you are selling (cups, art, swag, food, etc.,) furnishings, and so on. Consider the effect these things have on the comfort and convenience of your customers and observe how customers react to the qualities of your shop.

Read more about designing a cafe in this featured Ask The Pros Article: Opening A New Café Design It Right - Build It Once

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