Tips for Creating a Unique Atmosphere in a Coffee Shop


A latte art leaf on in a drink.
Latte art makes each drink feel special and unique.

The way you decorate your shop and present your coffee beverages communicates a lot to your customers. Since many people frequent a coffee shop for its “vibe,” it’s important to consistently convey the message you want customers to take away from your shop, whether you are a relaxing place so sit quietly and read or a great place to meet up with friends for a cup of coffee over gossip. Use these top ten tips to help create a memorable atmosphere in your coffee shop:

  1. Teach your baristas how to make latte art.

    Latte art adds a very special touch to a cup of latte. The designs can be as simple as a leaf or a heart, or they can be as complex as a lion. The designs are made using the last bit of milk foam in the frothing pitcher and, occasionally, chocolate syrup for finer details.

  2. Give the space a personal touch.

    Coffee shops, more than other restaurants tend to be frequented more for the atmosphere and location than the coffee. Customers appreciate personal touches in the shop, such as family photos or humorous magnets. The espresso machine is a great place to display stickers, magnets or newspaper clippings. Encourage your customers to add their own piece of flair.

  3. Support local artists.

    It is nice to sip of cup of cappuccino while being surrounded by beautiful art and inspiring photography. When this art is done by local artists, you can decorate your store with great art and offer the artists a space to display their pieces for sale.

  4. Invest in comfortable furniture.

    Of course, several restaurant chairs and tables need to be available, but some customers prefer to drink their coffee while sitting on a comfortable couch or easy chair. Providing comfortable furniture for clients ensures they will have a better experience, stay longer and perhaps order another drink.

  5. Supply books and magazines.

    Provide a shelf of books for your customers to peruse and flip through while they sip their java.
    Offer your customers books to read while they sip their coffee.

  6. Use color liberally.

    Coffee is brown. Sure it is varying shades of brown, but it is still brown. That is the only color your drinks are going to be. Use your walls and mugs to bring splashes of color into the store. Use colors that support the overall feel of your coffee shop. If you have a very cozy, natural feel to your place, use warm colors such as yellow or red. If you have a busy, fresh shop, use blues and greens.

  7. Display promotional flyers and business cards.

    Support the local community by allowing bands or groups to post promotional flyers in your shop. Let small business owners leave their business card on a designated space on the counter. This will help you build positive relationships in the community.

  8. Offer some food to go with the coffee.

    People love a good pastry or breakfast burrito with their cup of coffee. Select a few local bakeries whose products you like and carry some of their best sellers. Common foods in coffee shops include scones, muffins, Danishes and breakfast burritos. Also consider offering vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free alternatives for customers that may have a more restricted diet.

  9. Banish stains from drinkware.

    Serving as much coffee as a coffee shop does, takes its toll on the ceramic coffee mugs that you serve your drinks in. A stained mug is unsightly, so get rid of coffee stains by wetting the cup and rubbing it down with table salt. This should do a pretty good job of removing the stains. It will also save you money since you will not have to buy new cups.

  10. Have a condiment area for customers.

    Some customers like a little sugar and cream in their coffee. Others prefer a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg on top of their cappuccino. Create a station on the counter or on an island away from the cashier counter where customers can dress up their java the way they like. Staples for this section include insulated creamers(for large amounts of cream), sugar pourers and condiment holders.

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Commercial Coffee Grinders

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