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How to diversify your cafe's revenue streams

Diversify – Your financial advisor was right.

Hi there,


Alright, listen up.


I'm not going to pitch that BS that "online gurus" talk about how you "should have at least 7 income streams" because that's ridiculous.


Most SMB owners are also the operators and craftsperson working IN their business, not just ON their business.


There's not time to create additional revenue streams when you're also fulfilling orders.


But there is one little nugget of gold in there.


Diversifying your revenue streams IS a great idea. But how?

Look for opportunities at the POS

Customers are already coming up to the point-of-sale to purchase their coffee or muffin, so offer them additional purchase opportunities while they're there. (read more about winning at the point-of-sale here)


I don't mean necessarily selling "merch" because that really translates into "inventory" with a bunch of SKUs, small margins, and few repeat purchases.


Instead, think about also selling grab-and-go sandwiches, retail coffee bags, and fresh fruits.


These items don't take away or replace your coffee, but they can add more to the customer's experience.

Look for ideas away from the POS

One popular additional revenue stream for coffee shops is to roast coffee in-house.


This increases margins, since the owner no longer needs to purchase from a third-party supplier AND gives the cafe a wholesale opportunity to sell coffee to other cafes or businesses that serve coffee.


Consider what else your cafe does really well and research the regulations about selling those items directly to customers.


For instance, you might make a delicious maple brown sugar syrup for lattes that you can package and sell directly.

Bring your cafe somewhere else

And the next opportunity is to bring your coffee service elsewhere.


Perhaps it's farmer's markets, weddings, coworking spaces, schools, or hospitals.


There are many places people would love to experience your coffee without having to stop into the storefront.


Look for places to show up with foot traffic and little or no other coffee options, then try out a basic minimum viable experience to put your product into people's hands.

Bring others into your cafe

Let's face it, the most popular time for drinking coffee is in the morning.


Your cafe probably isn't open very late into the night, but that doesn't mean it has to just sit vacant.


You can list your cafe as a space for rent and others can use it as a venue for their party, dinner, presentation, etc.


All you need is one staff member to keep an eye on everything and lock up afterwards.

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