The answer to this question has little to do with chance and all to do with solid planning. While there will always be some wildcards, the location and the style of your café determine in large part the clientele you’ll have, so you need to take both into account when making decisions.
For example, if you’re close to large offices, a lot of your customers will be clerks in a hurry or on the other hand, employees that want to have a work meeting off site. If you’re on the main street, next to shops and restaurants, your customers will probably want to spend a longer time inside your café as they meet their friends or rest between errands. And unfortunately, stereotypes are still alive and well: if your decor is very frilly, but you’re next to a dock, you might struggle to attract those working nearby, who’ll probably be burly men with traditional tastes.
The type of coffee you serve and how you serve it also play an important role. Higher-quality, specialty roasts deserve to be explained, which suits a slightly slower service that focuses on the product, and this might be incompatible in certain high foot-fall areas. There are some common behaviors, however, which can be found across the board – let’s take a look, shall we?
The one in a hurry
Don’t try to slow them down with chitchat or questions, the best thing to do is to provide a swift service. If you have a large selection of coffee roasts, simply pick the one with the more mainstream taste and say “I picked xyz for you, let me know what you think about it the next time you come in” as you prepare it.
There will always be someone who’s in that part of town just for one day. Even if you’ll probably never see them again, don’t let your guard down: a negative online review can be harmful!
Learn a few sentences in English that might be useful to communicate with foreigners. Even if you’re far from the local attractions, there may always be people travelling for work or their health, so it’s best to be prepared.
The one every barista is after! It differs from one coffee shop to another, but the people that come in day and in day out are essential to your business, as we’ve seen during the recent pandemic.