November 29, 2018

How Cafés Can Increase Sales & Attract Customers This Christmas


The December holidays are just around the corner. With Christmas, Hanukkah, and other celebrations, this is a busy shopping period and time to exchange gifts.

All the extra foot traffic makes a great opportunity for café owners to boost sales with extra services and products. It’s also the perfect time to encourage customers to indulge in rich, warm drinks and take shelter in a cosy coffee shop. Read on to discover how to attract new customers and increase profits with some seasonal offerings.

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hands holding present

Coffee shops have many great gift options.

Offer a Unique Seasonal Product

Create a product that is made for the season and has limited availability. This is a great way to encourage existing customers to spend a little more. Just look at the success of the pumpkin spice latte.

Use your creativity and bring something new to the menu. This could be based on current trends or an updated version of a winter classic, like a limited-edition flavoured hot chocolate. Or you can always add your own twist to a seasonal drink, such as a specialty version of the eggnog latte.

Alternatively – or additionally – add new food items to the menu. British mince pies, seasonal cookies, and candy canes are all easy ways to increase sales.

coffee drink next to christmas decorations

A comforting warm drink can attract shoppers during winter. Credit: Toa Heftiba

If you don’t want to revamp the menu, consider adding seasonal decorative touches. Edible glitter, candy canes, and Hanukkah gelt can all be used to make your standard offerings something special.

Change your latte art to something wintery. Can you make a snowflake or a snowman?

Likewise, consider themed cups, decorating the café, and adding seasonal music. You can create a warm and welcoming holiday environment without changing your core business. If cold and tired shoppers see your space as an inviting place to take a break, they’re more likely to buy something.

Learn more in How to Pour & Etch Christmas Latte Art: A VIDEO Guide

man using laptop drinking coffee

Your coffee shop should be a cosy and inviting escape from the cold. Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Turn Roasted Coffee Into A Gift

Roasted coffee makes a great gift. Bring in limited-edition coffees and market them as presents. The season is an opportunity to showcase new coffees and encourage customers to spend a little more on something special. Why not take the opportunity to promote that clean, aromatic, and fruity Kenyan you only have available for a month.

Build gift boxes with both these limited coffees and your usual offerings. Try grouping coffees by origin, processing method, or profile and selling them as a themed package. With a little creativity in the presentation, you can easily make a beautiful gift and increase sales.

You could also partner with a local roaster and create limited-edition coffee boxes that raise the profile of both of your businesses.

Rethink roasted coffee as a gift item. Credit: Ana Valencia

Create Gift Boxes For The Coffee Lover

Why stop at roasted coffee? Create custom boxes for coffee lovers. Friends and family members looking for an easy gift option will be grateful that all the research was done for them.

Consider combining a bag of roasted coffee with an appropriate brewing accessory in a well-presented package. This could be paper French press filters, a set of coffee sieves, or a new grinder, dependent on your budget.

Pair a couple of bars of fine cacao with coffee from the same origin or add a mug from a local ceramic artist. Thoughtful pairings can make unique gifts that customers are willing to pay more for.

Coffee-related books, clothing, and travel mugs are other items that you can bring in for the season and keep in stock if they don’t sell out. You can also include gift certificates for your café, so that people have the option of choosing roasted coffee with their preferred profile.

grinding coffee to brew

Brewing accessories are great gifts for coffee lovers.

Offer Experiences

Create seasonal experiences such as holiday workshops, seasonal cuppings, or just a straightforward Christmas party with complimentary snacks. They will attract new customers and encourage existing ones to bring their friends. Having gift packages on-hand during events is a good way to increase sales.

If that seems overwhelming in a busy period, why not offer gift certificates for future events? A voucher for a cupping or barista workshop in January makes a great gift and can help you avoid a slow period after the holidays.

coffee event in progress

Seasonal events can attract customers and provide an opportunity for sales.

Team Up With A Charity

At this time of year, many people are thinking about how they can give back. Consider making a donation from every seasonal product sold or creating charitable gifts. This could be for a local charity or one specific to the coffee industry.

Customers will be interested to learn more about the project you support. A conversation about the initiative can create lasting community bonds.

Similarly, if you offer coffees associated with a social justice project or routinely buy from direct trade suppliers, highlight it. Customers may be more willing to support a café that they know cares about community.

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sharing coffee drinks

Celebrate the holidays with a seasonal drink. Credit: Nate Dumlao.

Whether you choose to transform your café into an all-out winter wonderland or simply add a few gift-wrapped bags of coffee to your shelves, there are many ways to increase sales and attract customers this holiday season.

Market coffee accessories as gifts, bring in new products, or throw a Christmas party. The holiday season is a great opportunity for café owners and yours to make the most of.

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Feature photo credit: Toa Heftiba

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