With juice bars popping up all over the map, any operator looking to open up a new one will do well to locate an untapped niche market. One arena in which a juice business would make a good fit is in the “third place” market.
What is the third place? Simply put, it is a place where people spend time other than home and work. It was originally conceived as a community building in which members gather to interact socially and which serves as an anchor of community life.i Businesses like Starbucks have done an excellent job turning their stores into viable third places for workers and students alike to comfortably spend time and, more importantly, money.
Marketing as a third place does not make sense for all business models, as turning tables is often a key element to turning profits. However, this model works well for coffee shops as they are still able to sell products to consumers on the go, even if all the tables are filled. Increasingly, however, consumers are looking for healthy snack and beverage options, and coffee does not necessarily fit this bill. Juice provides the same convenience as coffee, but with the added benefit of conforming to the ever-growing demand for healthy products.
In order to successfully entice customers to think of your juice bar as a third place, there are a few steps you should take.
- Promote your establishment as an alternative healthy hang-out. The strongest appeal juice bars possess is the health appeal. Be sure to describe your drinks as a refreshingly healthy way to grab energy during the day in order to get customers thinking of your juice bar as a coffee shop alternative.
- Encourage a friendly atmosphere. Be sure to train your employees to treat customers in a welcoming way. If a customer wants a place to stay but does not feel comfortable doing so, he or she will certainly find another place to relax. A friendly atmosphere is not hard to create. A smile along with small gestures such as not clearing empty glasses away until a guest has left the table go a long way toward making a customer feel welcome.
- Create comfortable seating areas. Comfortable seating areas are another way to make guests feel welcome. Comfortable chairs, open spaces and tables large enough to accommodate a laptop, a notebook and a drink all make sitting down and making oneself at home all but irresistible.
- Provide free high-speed internet access. If you look around a Starbucks, you’ll probably notice that most of the customers are sitting in front of a laptop. Offering free Wi-Fi will entice students, telecommuters and other coffee-shop denizens to come in and enjoy a glass of juice while they work as a welcome alternative to their usual haunts.
- Offer snacks. Offering snacks at your juice bar is a good idea for a couple of reasons. According to market research firm Technomic, snacking is on the rise, with 48 percent of Americans reporting that they indulge in between-meal snacks, up from 25 percent just two years ago.ii Secondly, while juice is wonderful and delicious, it only lasts so long. If you want customers to kick back and relax, offering some tasty and especially healthy snacks is a great idea.
With those practices in place, consumers looking for an alternative space to read, talk with friends or use the internet as well as enjoy a healthy beverage will be sure to consider your juice bar the perfect option.