For Business Owners

Top Ten Ways to Get More Customers in My Cafe

Heather Young
Blog Header Image More Cafe Customers|

From working with local businesses across the UK, we know that one of the biggest hurdles is acquiring new customers. And it’s even harder to keep them! For cafes, this is often a struggle. So, if you’re here asking “what are the best ways to get more customers in my cafe?!” then we have some good news for you. We’ve put together 10 tried and tested methods you can take away in order to get more visitors through your cafe doors as well as sharing some of the benefits that Swipii has to offer. Check them out and let us know what you think!

1. Get Referrals

So we put this number one because we think referrals are hugely powerful! If one of your loyal customers recommends your business to their friends, this is one of the most effective forms of marketing you could get. Why not incentivise your customers, with a “recommend a friend, get a free coffee”? The Swipii app has an integrated referral feature which rewards shoppers with £5 bonus cashback when they sign up their friends, meaning even more customers for you and your cafe!

Illustration of reviews for restaurant ratings to get more customers

2. Great Reviews

We’ve spoken to some businesses who haven’t even claimed their TripAdvisor listing, or got set up with Yelp! What!? Great reviews are a brilliant way to expose your business to thousands of new customers, as well as being a way to help you improve. Work hard and those five-star reviews will come flowing your way. With the Swipii app, we’ve introduced a rating feature which will allow small businesses to get the feedback privately to allow them to improve and grow before going public with their ratings! Head here to read how you can build your reviews with Swipii.

3. Run a Competition

As you may have seen on our social media channels, Swipii is fond of a good ol’ local competition. It’s a brilliant way to advertise not just a loyalty program, but also get your name out there via liking and sharing from current fans. The more exciting the offer, the more likely your customers are to share your content and give you free publicity!

4. Build customer loyalty

There are so many ways to encourage customers to stay loyal to your cafe, and some of the other points mentioned in this blog will help with loyalty! But you can increase the chance of repeat visits by introducing incentives, or a loyalty program. The Swipii app, for example, promotes small cashback incentives to help local cafes attract and retain more and more customers. Think of it as your own personal loyalty program, but with no stamp cards, no faff and no hassle. Check out how you can build customer loyalty with our cashback app.

5. Build an Online Presence

We’ve already briefly mentioned improving your online presence by setting up TripAdvisor and Yelp to make the most of your brilliant reviews. There are other ways you can build an online presence, that you may not have thought of. For example, are you really making the most of Google? Make sure you have Google My Business set up properly so that when someone Googles you, they have all the information they need.

Want to promote your cafe to foodies looking to spend at local businesses? Book a free 15 minute demo with our team to hear how featuring on the Swipii app can help you reach customers in your area!


6. Imaginative A-Boards

Our neighbours at Primal Roast in Glasgow are pretty good at this. A-boards are a popular, long-standing feature of marketing for small, local businesses. However, making them more creative can really catch the eyes of passers-by. Check out this example:

Example of an A-Board to Get More customers in cafe

7. Collaborate with Non-Competing Businesses

A great idea we’ve seen used in action is to collaborate! For smaller, independent businesses there can be a huge advantage to using your relationships with other local businesses to find new customers. Here’s an example, say you're a cafe with a hairdresser across the road from you. As an introductory offer, you could get the hairdressers to offer 25% off a coffee for everyone that gets a cut and blow-dry. And vice versa! This can be a great way to collaborate and get new visitors to both shops.

8. Make the Most of Social Media

Not on social media? You need to get up-to-date and make the most of the social platforms available at your disposal! Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are incredible places for businesses to build brand awareness and get their product out in the open. Did you know that seven out of ten hashtags on Instagram are branded? (Sprout Social, 2018) (Source: Hubspot). Businesses big and small are already on there, and this is one channel you don’t want to miss out on.

9. Use Freebies

Just last week, some of team Swipii were heading out for lunch and we passed by Feist, a new cafe on St Vincent Street in Glasgow, near our office. They were giving out little coffees and (delicious) cake. The guy in charge of handing out the treats was full of chat, and by the end of the entendre, we’d all decided we’d be back! If you are lucky enough to have your cafe in a location with good footfall, one of the best ways to get more customers in your cafe is to use freebies to your advantage.

Aerial view of coffee cup as way to get more customers in cafe

10. Join a Pop-Up Event

Most cities in the UK now play host to loads of different, quirky pop-up events- which your cafe could easily feature at! From the Glasgow Coffee Festival to the Hampshire Coffee Festival, find somewhere you can showcase your brand, sell great coffee and find new customers!  

11. (Bonus) Draw Attention to Free WiFi

We decided to sneak an extra little tip in, don’t say we’re not good to you! Free WiFi is a huge draw for local shoppers. As a cafe, many people want to pop in, have a cup of great coffee and catch up on all the latest funny memes. So why not let them know that this is totally possible? We know a lot of cafes have WiFi these days, and there are some that have done the opposite and introduced “no laptop zones”, but if you can make it a draw for your business, you totally should. Why not use your creative A-board to let people know about your super-duper internet?

Find out how Swipii can help you and your cafe keep customers coming back for more by signing up as a Swipii merchant, our automated marketing tool will help you reach customers who want to shop locally and increase customer loyalty.