How To Grow Your Quick Service Retail Business


You’ve been open for a few months, maybe a year or more — your business is finally established. Then you look at your cafe, coffee shop, restaurant or brewery and it looks busy – every seat at your communal tables are occupied almost every hour from open to closing time. But come time to run your daily transaction reports, you have this nagging feeling that the sales you’re doing aren’t enough.

You wonder about how to grow your business by increasing the average transaction per visit and  encouraging repeat customers.

Before you get too concerned, take a step back. First, you’re not alone. Almost every coffee shop, cafe, brewery, restaurant business owner feels this way. Second, remind yourself that it is good business sense to measure profitability with real transaction data and customer behavior data instead of likes and popularity.


Find Growth Opportunities

Once you’ve seen what your general sales trends look like, get a closer view. Look at your busiest times and slowest times and ask questions like these to try to determine your unexplored growth opportunities.

  • What is the average purchase per guest each visit?
  • How much time does each guest spend occupying a seat, table space and using guest amenities per visit?
  • How often do you see a repeat purchase per customer each visit?
  • Do all your busiest hours fall on the same time of the day?
  • Are there certain days when you are less busy while showing higher purchase per visit?
  • Is there an external trigger, like construction on your street, bad weather, holiday or spring break (if you are in a University town) that may influence the flow of foot traffic.
  • Do you have active customer marketing automations and campaigns that drove extra transactions based on what a customer spends in your store?

Popularity Vs Profitability

A busy coffee shop, cafe, restaurant or brewery can still fail if it mismanages it’s profit margins and costs. A business owner should have a handle on what the fixed and variable costs are in order to grow the business from break-even to profitability and growth.

  • Know your fixed and variable costs to get to your average ROI per customer purchase. The Perfect Daily Grind has a great outline of what costs each business owner should know.
  • Establish a daily foot traffic, conversion goal and repeat purchase goal
  • Enforce your policy on guest amenities including guest WiFi (open policy? controlled access? require a purchase?, restroom use (guests only?), outside food allowed?
  • Encourage guests to purchase more than their first drip coffee by associating guest WiFi with a purchase on your POS

Pinpoint Your Already Loyal Customers

Do you know your regular customers? How often they come? How long do they stay? And their most frequent purchases from the menu? These customers can be your champions to help market your business.

So before you open a new location or are an established retail business looking for opportunities to grow, start looking for ways to build a relationship with your most loyal customers.

  • Ask customers if they’d like to hear from you about infrequent messages on special events and offers
  • Make it easy and simple for customers to give you permission to send offers to their inbox
  • Let them know they are appreciated with a simple warm welcome after their fist visit
  • Build that relationship with a surprise treat after their 4th, 5th and 8th visit

GoGoGuest is in The Square App Marketplace!

GoGoGuest is an official partner of Square. On your Square account dashboard, find us under APPS in Restaurant Management category. Learn more.

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Related Articles:

Introducing GoGoGuest Coffee Shop WiFi Service For Square POS

Why  WiFi Marketing Grows Your Customer List Faster And Truly Drives Repeat Business

Everything You Need To Know About WiFi Access Points

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