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Ambience, Beans, and Baristas: What Makes a Good Coffee Shop?

By Maria Hickey on September 27th, 2023

For coffee shop owners, creating an establishment that keeps customers coming back takes more than just brewing a good cup of coffee.

It requires paying attention to details and ambience while sourcing quality beans and hiring skilled baristas, all of which contribute to the overall customer experience.

Crafting the Right Ambience

A coffee shop’s ambience encompasses the overall atmosphere and design that makes customers want to stay for a while. When running a coffee shop,consider the following elements to create a satisfying atmosphere:

  • Interior Design – The decor, furniture, lighting, and layout should all coordinate to create a cohesive aesthetic. Consider your target customer and the vibe you want to achieve, whether it’s a cosy cafe or modern lounge. 
  • Music – Set the mood with the right playlist for your shop. Choose acoustic, jazz, or chill music to encourage relaxation. Make sure volume is just right – not too loud or soft.
  • Aromas – The smells of freshly brewed coffee and baked goods entice customers. Keep intense food smells away from main sitting areas. 
  • Cleanliness – A tidy, spotless shop gives an inviting impression. Stay on top of spills, trash, and dirt through hourly sweeps.
  • Temperature – Customers won’t linger if your shop is too cold or hot. Maintain a comfortable 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Seating – Offer a mix of seating like plush armchairs, bar stools, couches, and standard tables and chairs. Having options encourages customers to settle in.
  • Lighting – Use layered lighting for functionality and ambience. Incorporate pendant lights and table lamps. Natural light is also welcoming when available.
  • Accessories – Add finishing touches like plants, artwork, mirrors, and decorative signs that reflect your shop’s brand.

By paying close attention to these physical elements, you can create an environment tailored to your customers that keeps them coming back.

Choosing Quality Coffee Beans

Whether you roast your own beans or use a roaster’s blends, selecting exceptional coffee is crucial for any cafe. Here are tips for choosing beans:

  • Source single-origin beans from reputable regions known for quality coffee like Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Kenya. 
  • Look for fair trade and sustainably grown coffee to support farmers.
  • Choose the right roast like light, medium, or dark to complement your menu items.
  • Buy whole bean coffee and grind just before brewing to maximise freshness.
  • Sample different beans to find flavour profiles your customers will love.
  • Offer a variety of beans and blends to suit different tastes. 
  • Maintain relationships with reliable, transparent coffee suppliers.

By carefully selecting beans and understanding their nuances, you can serve coffee that truly wows.

Hiring Baristas 

Your baristas directly influence the customer experience through their skills and customer service. Look for baristas who share your enthusiasm for coffee and have a passion for learning. They should also be keen to explore and experiment with new techniques.

Once hired, invest in ongoing training to expand their skills on new equipment, trends, and speciality drinks. Also be sure to coach them on your shop’s culture and customer service approach. Knowledgeable, personable baristas will keep customers coming back.

Training Baristas

Provide ongoing training and education that covers topics such as:

  • Coffee origin and tasting notes.
  • Different types of espresso machines.
  • Milk steaming and pouring techniques.
  • Grinding beans for espresso and other coffee drinks.

Protect Your Shop with Coffee Insurance from Brisco

Creating a welcoming ambience, offering exceptional coffee, and having a talented team of baristas all work together to make a coffee shop truly shine. 

At Brisco, we offer tailored coverage options to protect your business if you are starting a coffee shop. Our coffee shop insurance protects you from risks like property damage, loss of income due to closures, and liability. Contact us today to get a quote and to learn more about our comprehensive coverage options. We’ll help you find the best solution for your coffee shop insurance needs.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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