Business Lessons Learned Over Coffee

Written By Sandra Ciminelli

Sandra is a WordPress freelancer who is passionate about seeing small business flourish.

Business Lessons Learned Over Coffee

Frequenting cafes with family, friends, colleagues or even clients has become social and business culture in recent years. I’ve learned a lot about offering value to clients by observing the many different trendy cafes we visit.

Early Saturday morning drives to a local Italian cafe with my spouse, allows us to reconnect with one another. On our first visit to this one particular establishment, we immediately noticed and enjoyed the friendly welcoming attitudes in what became a pleasant first experience. The taste of their coffee and the quality of their food was impressive. Details matter. We were sold on the whole package. The place was clean, the decor was fresh and inviting. The difference between this cafe and the many others we’d visited is that we felt valued as customers. Everything they did was about excellence, offering the client value for money. We found it worth our while. the experience was worth it and most importantly, we the client felt like we were worth going the extra mile for.

To keep the customer coming back for more is not solely based on the quality of the product offered.  Although the coffee itself is a huge incentive, there’s no doubt that clients have expectations. Below is a list of the details noticed when visiting cafes. 

Questions I asked myself as a customer

Variety –What do they have to offer?

  1. Do they offer gluten-free food?
  2. The quality and variety of food and drinks available.
  3. Are there healthy options?
  4. Do they offer value for money?
  5. Is the coffee shop easily accessible to those in wheelchairs?

Service – Attitudes are immediately noticeable, affecting the atmosphere. 

  1. Are they friendly?
  2. Do they smile?
  3. Do they serve on time? 
  4. Do staff wear strong perfumes? 

Cleanliness & Practices

  1. Do they prepare gluten-free foods on separate surfaces from where they make sandwiches using wheat-based bread?
  2. Do staff wear rubber gloves for food handling, and also handle money without removing their gloves? 
  3. Are they using dirty cloths and sponges to wipe tables? 
  4. Benches, tables, chairs, floors, windows, and kitchen cleanliness.
  5. Are the cutlery, plates, glasses, and cups clean? 
  6. Do they use tongs or are they using their hands to pick up food with?

Displays – Need to be enticing and clean

  1. The way food is displayed in a cabinet.
  2. The cleanliness of the cabinet. 
  3. Dust on bench tops and shelves.

Decor – Adds to atmosphere

  1. Comfort – are the chairs comfortable? 
  2. Trendy – What does the place look like? Is it inviting? Does it have Character? 
  3. Lighting – is it a dark place or light?
  4. Would you bring your friends or business colleagues? Would they be impressed?
  5. Is it wheelchair friendly?

Successful businesses offered quality and value for money. We enjoyed being there, they met our expectations and went above and beyond. We were also impressed by the quality foods,  selection variety, and great service. They had quickly gained our trust. 

Providing quality to our customers and clients is based on paying attention to detail if we seek to meet their expectations. Happy clients are your best advocates. Click To Tweet

Good Practice: Keep tabs on, and take regular stock of what we are offering the client and find ways to improve on it. The aim is to gain the trust of others with business integrity by providing paying customers with the quality they seek and offer the value they deserve. Profit won’t simply happen without making it worth something to the client. They need to connect with you and your business.

“If we can fall in love with serving people, creating value, solving problems, building valuable connections and doing work that matters, it makes it far more likely we’re going to do important work.”  Seth Godin

All in the detail

Cafes missing the mark had the wrong staff or untrained staff, their furniture was uncomfortable, there was no atmosphere, smiles were nowhere to be seen, and the whole focus was profit-based and not people-based. They didn’t give the customer anything to connect with, to keep them coming back for more. Relationships matter. They failed to invest in people.

Sandra Ciminelli
ACT Websites

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