Open A Coffee Store
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KMO Coffee
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You have to do this, no matter where you are.  If you are so busy you don't need the business, then ok, forgetaboutit. But ...  Clubs are easiest, least expensive means of rewarding customers and giving them a reason to come back.

Buy 6 Get 1 Free

Classic thing to do to reward someone quickly for being a good customer.  Some very adventuresome stores will keep the gift meaningful, some cut it down to fit the more rapid granting of the gift.  Six is not a big number so I understand this.  But always make the gift meaningful, not a token.  Tokens are not worth the effort to your customer.

Buy 10 Get 1 Free

This is the more standard method and quantity for clubbing your customers.  And it is easier to do a meaningful gift.  I always did a buy 10 get 1 free, no matter what it was.  The cost to you is the cost of goods of the item you are giving away.  The value to the customer is the retail price.

So a drink cost you say $.20 but has a value to the customer of $1.50.


Momentum builds winners.  Your task is to build momentum and the more your give, the more you will get.  I repeat this here because it is difficult to give away a pound of Kona or a pound of Jamaican Blue Mountain.  I did, but only to those who purchased these regularly.  If someone bought ten pounds of Colombian and then came in and wanted a pound of Kona as their gift, we would talk about it and I would end up giving a 1/2 pound of Kona.  Same for Blue.

You will have to lead your staff on this because they will not want to have customers take advantage of your business.  Customer are known to do that.  So train your staff in how to handle these situations before they happen.

There are those people who will take advantage and cut corners and call you on mistakes or the absence of rules.  This will happen.  The rule of thumb is you give what they buy but you don't want to get into a Roberts Rules of Order situation.  You are a retailer and an entertainer and since you are always smiling and always cheerful even though this wonderful person in front of you has made you seethe inside, you will smile and work it out.  Happily because the sooner you do the sooner they will leave you alone.
Learn from your mistakes.  Just keep it friendly.


I would keep this at buy 10 get one to keep the traffic flowing.  This is fine and you will find people keeping several cards, one for coffee, one for chai, one for latte, and so on.   This is fine.  If they forget their card issue a new one and then combine them at the customers request.  Be easy, be free with your water.  Drinks are inexpensive good will builders.  What do you think Bartenders meant when they described a free drink as "on the house".  Free drinks helps the bartender buy his house.  No doubt.


Buy 10 again.  Combine and do soups as well.  It is not a bother, well perhaps a bit of a bother to initial the card, but it goes fast and the people will love you and build your legend and the well will get deeper.


If someone buys 10 mugs at $9 each they have purchase $90 of merchandise.  A free mug costs you $5.  A $90 customer in a coffee store is a big customer.  You want these people, who probably give the mugs as gift to come back at Christmas and have you make a mug basket with a couple of pounds of coffee.  Just keep digging and giving.  Free mugs are good for business.


Ten teapots is a $500 customer.  Do I have to say more.  For this person you will keep special gold cards and write the gift purchases and a date on the back of the card.  Gold treatment.  Gold is Good.  Your Kona will be Good as Gold.  Brown Gold is a term people once used to describe coffee and it will be true in your case if you dig deep and give freely.


This is a repeat of Beans

Gift Registry

At minimum keep track of who buys what for whom.  More to come.  Think Bridal Registry.  People who love coffee have very specific tastes and this registry helps their friends and family satisfy their needs.

Customer File

I know, who has the time to get names and addresses and e-mail and phone and ...  Well.  Remember the well.   Put this baby in the well.  Don't give me any backtalk.  Just do it.

In the Cumberland Mall, after five years, I had a three ring binder, full of pages, each page had 50 or sixty names on it, and to the right of the names we had boxes to check off or put in the coffee they bought.  Thousands.

There were thousands of names in that file.  Back then we used the old tried and true 3 x 5 card boxes and we had so many we stopped using them.

Today you have no excuse not to have a computer and a data base into which you put this stuff.
First, your customer will love the fact that you remember what they buy.  Do this for yourself.  Do this for me because you will become our biggest customer.  I know this works.  I did it and amassed a huge list of very thankful people.  They still seek us out.  And this list will demonstrate to a buyer of your business that you are not kidding.

Second, you will be able to send out specials.  You must get e-mail addresses so you can send them out for no cost.  At the risk of insulting you, you would be foolish not to do this.  Here you are reading on the web, you know your customers do as well.  Do this.

Mail cards. 

Call customers about specials.  Yeah, during the day only. And good customers.  Be short and sweet.  This is Julie form Coffee Time and we have your favorite coffee on special.  Don't tell me you don't have time to do this.  Your highly paid, flexible staff will do this between at two PM.

You can so call if you are nice.  Local people who identify with you at the store will talk and welcome your call.

Try it out.

Use this for gifts they buy.  Who they buy them for.  SERVICE SERVICE  SERVICE with a smile and with substance.

Keep it Simple:

One way to do it: Buy business card size forms and stock.  Have all your clubs on the card with a check box next to the item so you can tell a sandwich from a bean from a drink.  Have ten boxes across the top and initial each as an item is purchased.  If the customer forgets one, give them a fresh card and combine them at the customers request.  Be easy to do business with ETDBW.

One way not to do it: Keep meticulous records, tell your staff to never give out a free drink if they don't recognize the initials, or use punch tickets with a special punch that no one will find at the right time.  Your staff and you customers will hate the system and know that it is a trick or just a PR thing.  Not good for business.  This is being Hard to do business with HTDBW.  This is like bad Cholesterol.  Get rid of it.
















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