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5 Easy Ways to Attract Customers to Your Cafe

29th September 2020

With all the emphasis on digital advertising these days, we often forget how important the physical aspects of our businesses are. After all, your cafe customers can't download your coffee over their wifi connection.

But they can get a real taste of your coffee under a cafe umbrella at one of your outdoor tables. Will they be delighted, or dismayed, by your coffee quality and storefront presentation!

Those who sell physical products can't spend all their focus on online advertising. That's why we made you a whole list of other ways to attract more customers to your cafe business. Follow these tips to reel in the foot traffic and keep them coming back for more.

Partnering With a Superior Coffee Bean Supplier

First, your choice of beans is the very core of your cafe business. In fact, if you look out the front door of your business, chances are you'll see at least three other places within walking distance where customers can buy a cup of coffee. Yours will have to be pretty special to compete with that. 

Now, of course, how you prepare the coffee is a big part of this. But no amount of cafe wizardry is going to "fix" coffee beans that are unfavourable to begin with. 

Your customers also expect consistency in the quality and taste of your wares. For both of these reasons, you should partner with a reliable coffee bean supplier.

What to Look For in a Supplier

You want a bean supplier that offers fresh, high-quality beans every time at an affordable price. It may further help your business if the supplier is unique and/or famous for their quality.

Choosing a well known bean supplier, such as Merlo, Campos or Fonzie Abbott, can help you gain business from customers who recognise their brand. Also, these suppliers will gladly provide their own branded marketing materials to help you bring in even more customers.

Local suppliers are a good choice, too. They should be unique, fresh, and affordable. And they'll also be happy to see their name proudly displayed in your front window.

Daily Specials

While your coffee should be special all the time, how about offering new specials every day? It's an exciting surprise to your customers when there's something new to consider every time they visit.

It could be that one of your menu items are buy-one-get-one-half-off that day. Or you could do a new flavour-of-the-day each day. You can advertise your daily specials on a chalkboard or whiteboard.

Daily specials give your customers something to look forward to, and something to come back for. 

Daily specials sign at cafe

Welcoming Cafe Frontage

Now, let's talk about the look of your business. Your cafe frontage is the main way you attract customers (or scare them away).

All your other advertising efforts will bring customers to your front door. And, everyone who happens to walk by sees it, too.

What will they see when they get there? See for yourself! Stand outside and look at the front of your cafe. 

Do you feel welcomed, or something else? Whatever it is, it's what pedestrians who walk past your cafe feel, too. The next few points are some things you can do to make your cafe attractive to all who see it.


A generic neon sign announcing, "COFFEE," isn't at all impressive to passerbys. Remember, most of the other businesses in your parking lot/street corner probably serve coffee, too.

You should have a unique sign that captures the feel of your business, that quality that sets you apart. Explore your various options with a professional graphic designer until you agree on a design that suits you.

Also, think of where and how you will display the sign. Take into account the placement of any trees, umbrellas, or other obstructions in front of your cafe.

Coffee neon sign

Outdoor Cafe Umbrella

Like your signage, thoughtfully designed cafe umbrellas can convey the uniqueness of your cafe and make your customers feel welcome. They are also functional to keep your customers out of the sun or rain while they enjoy your coffee outside.

Make sure you choose umbrellas that cover the entire seating area in one position. Otherwise, pick some that are easy to adjust throughout the day to provide adequate shade.

Also, you want them to be easy to take down and set up each day. If you choose permanently installed umbrellas, choose ones that will last for many years.

Lastly, don't think that the standard table umbrella is your only option. There are also cantilever umbrellas and a number of other custom shade solutions.

You don't have to choose only one type, either. You can choose combinations, like a cantilever umbrella plus table umbrellas, to really spruce up your cafe frontage.

Two people having cold drink

Branded Cafe Umbrella

To really make your cafe stand out, make sure you get your brand name printed onto your cafe umbrellas. This gives you even more advertising for your business. And, this is especially helpful if your signage is obscured by trees or something else you are unable to remove.

It's also true that brand repetition is one of the best ways to make people remember your business. Having multiple branded umbrellas in front of your business is a great way to accomplish this. Even if they don't realise it, everyone who passes by your business will see your brand name 3 times or more.

Branded umbrella in cafe

Attract Customers to Your Cafe

From coffee quality to designing the perfect cafe umbrella, the practical tips in this list will delight all your customers' 5 senses. Those who see will want to try. Those who try will want to come back.

If you want to attract more customers to your cafe, and keep them coming back, don't forget about these tips. Save this list and try these ideas at your cafe.

Now, check out 5 Ideas That Make Umbrellas Great Outdoor Shade Solutions for Home and Business.

Please note the contents of this post is information only and general in nature.
If you require advice it is best to contact one of our shade specialists who can review your particular circumstances and then provide tailored advice according to your needs.