10 smart hacks to increase your café sales

At iZettle, we talk with thousands of café owners like yourself every year. Your creativity and ability to sell smart never ceases to amaze us. Here are some cool sale tips we’ve picked up over the years.

Place the goodies by the counter

Put your most popular and delicious goodies on the counter and make it impossible for your customers to resist! Bonus if they’ve just come out of the oven.

Still or sparkling water?

This one’s a bit sneaky. For most cafés and restaurants, cold beverages are the most high-margin items on the menu. So when someone orders a water with their meal: consider asking if they prefer still or sparkling. Or, offer ‘still, tap, or sparkling’. In that order. Why? The answer is the serial position effect, which is the tendency of people to recall the first and last items in a series best, and the middle item(s) worst. Sneaky, but smart.

Set up an outside stall

During the Christmas rush hours, set up a temporary stall outside your café and sell gluhwein, coffee and other warm treats on the go. This strategy can not only help you increase your sales, but also make a good impression and tempt people to come inside. Put on some Christmas tunes and you’re good to go!

Reward loyalty

Customers like to feel special and be rewarded for their loyalty. Hand out loyalty cards and give every seventh coffee for free. A small price to pay for gaining a repeat customer.

Everyone loves a free sample
Everyone loves a free sample.

Offer samples!

How can you expect your customers to pay £4 for a brownie when they don’t know how heavenly it tastes? Offer them a little nibble, and they’ll be hooked. Some reports have found that food samples can increase sales by as much as 2000%.

Package it!

Assemble pre made packs for customers on the go. Breakfast and lunch packages can include a drink, dish, something sweet and some bread. In London, 52% regularly eat lunch “al desko”.

Plat du jour

Serve daily specials. Larger quantities means lower costs, and higher margins. At the same time, you’ll have an ever-changing menu that attracts locals again and again.

Ask questions?

Yes! Instead of trying to upsell in the dark, strike up a conversation. Ask your customers what they’re currently craving, THEN recommend.

Quality over quantity

Keep your menu simple. Studies prove that too many choices can make customers overwhelmed and lead to fewer sales. You don’t have to offer your guests 10 different green tea sorts. Identify the items you sell the most and focus on them, while getting rid of the ones that are less popular.


Your business is in the cards

And obviously – if you don’t already – make sure you accept cards card payments. Tons of research shows that consumers tend to spend more, and are willing to pay more for a specific item, when they use their card.

What have we missed? Tweet your best sale tips to @iZettleUK!

Published by

Lotten Karlsson and Natalie Eklund

Commercial Relations Managers at iZettle

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