Any good, product or service, serves to satisfy a desire or a need, which sometimes goes far beyond the product itself. At home, having coffee and pasta in the morning can cost us thirty cents, but sometimes we go on an empty stomach and stop at the corner bar for the same for two dollars. Why?
Because they give us more than a coffee with pasta and we pay it to our liking. We go not only because they save us the trouble of preparing coffee, but above all because we find a cozy atmosphere and atmosphere in which ten or fifteen minutes of our precious time will pass in a pleasant way.
Therefore, it is easy to deduce that one of the objectives to be pursued in any hospitality establishment that wants To gain a better position is to add the maximum acceptable of "marginal services" to your products.
And obviously doing it better than the others, because it is of little use to have a wonderful product or service if the others are even better. Thus another fundamental concept is born: differentiation. We must be different, the client must perceive the products or services each in a different way, and thus be forced to choose. This is the decisive moment when our luck is at stake.
Thus, a series of characteristics to offer together with our service can be considered that help to attract and satisfy the customer, sometimes as a pleasant and unexpected surprise. They are linked to concepts that depending on the moment and the type of client, can be positive or negative. We have to choose them based on the profile of our establishment and the image we want to give it. Any image is good, if everything is consistent and has a suitable and close target audience. Minorities should not scare us in this regard: they can fill any establishment if it meets their expectations.
Some concepts to choose when defining our decoration, image, staff or service
What makes us different
A customer does not choose a product or service as if he were playing roulette, intuiting the same probability of satisfaction. Usually he chooses the best according to his point of view. And this is only possible if the products are differentiated.
What is being different? It is both the physical, real and tangible difference, as well as the one that the client thinks they perceive. In fact, it is the latter that conditions the act of deciding. There is no use thinking that a product is “like this” - and in fact it is - if my potential client does not perceive it.
Establishments are born daily following the steps of a success, and the vast majority are adapting to the market, that is, they are copying what others do. Consequently, there is like a great stage with the same products on offer, with a thousand different images, ... all the same. We will reflect on the marginal characteristics and services that I can add to my establishment, different from those of my competitors, and how my potential client will perceive them
Design and decoration is what speaks to the consumer, sometimes subliminally, and makes him enter and, more importantly, return. He is our faithful and silent vendor, our traveling advertisement that is fixed in the mind of the parishioner. Among several equivalent designs, let's choose the least seen.
Let's not copy the colleague. If you are the leader, we will help you sell. If you are behind us, too. In microseconds it has to cause the appropriate impact so that the consumer is seduced. Color and shape is the first thing that is perceived: that it attracts and transmits clearly and quickly the positive qualities that we want to bring.
Let us dissect our service and compare it, point by point, with that of our colleagues in the first row or in strong ascension. Then we decide the changes to make, to differentiate ourselves and to innovate, without this meaning a significant increase in costs.
Must be well selected, trained and informed. If I can standardize them, it's a bit safe. Without being ridiculous, they can work wonders.
If I cannot make them uniform, I can distinguish them by their neatness, with a name-plate, by a cap or an anagram on the lapel ... Everything must breathe the image of the establishment
Keep in mind that the barista or waiter has not been an order picker or transporter of drinks for a long time. Today you must be almost a psychologist, a product arguer, a customer advisor, an engaging smile. Your image will be that of our establishment.
Our client does not always come in for coffee. The test is seconds of doubt when asked what you want to drink. Maybe you have come in to rest or make time and you have chosen our establishment because you already know it or in any case because you endorse the atmosphere and service that you can see from the street.
That moment of indecision is essential. After him, he asks for a value of 1, two, three or many more, without hardly realizing it, because his pocket will not notice that little whim at his fingertips. Blackboards or photos with the product and the price contribute to this, as well as being able to see in a pristine and well-lit display case, an attractive display of pastries and not a lot of cellophane bags, or some appetizing sandwiches that appear to have been freshly made. And above all, a friendly and non-threatening question from a professional waiter: “Would you like…? They are freshly made ... "
Advertising and public relations
It is not a prerogative of large companies, all hospitality establishments can do them. It only requires work, continuity and very little money. Any establishment, however modest it may be, can place small advertisements in its neighborhood or on the access streets to its cafeteria. You can advertise in the local or merchant guides of the neighborhood, or sponsor sports or cultural activities carried out in your immediate environment.
You can slowly build a file of your regular customers. It is enough to have at the counter or at the entrance, an exhibitor with some tokens to fill with the lure of a draw or to ask for your opinion of our establishment. This file of addresses will serve to send you every two or three months some interesting general information, a calendar or a voucher for a coffee. Or invite them to a talk on a gastronomic theme that any supplier will gladly give in a corner of the establishment at the least busy time.
Nothing prevents us, on a specific day, from inviting all the staff of that company with a large staff that has its headquarters nearby. Some establishment that has carried out such an action has suddenly managed to increase its addicted customers by a dozen.
We are reaching a crucial point. The price is certainly a crucial condition of the service, but in turn the service also determines the price. There would be no problem if it all ended here, but we cannot forget that we are not alone.
There is the consumer and the competition. All with interests that are not always in agreement. The sale only flows when everything is balanced. What is the fair price? No idea, but a little cynically we could say that at least it is the one that allows us to survive and at most it is the one that the client is willing to pay and, more importantly, that he pay and repeat.
If we are interested in this price being the maximum possible, we have to take an example of the traditional image of the gypsy selling the donkey, well groomed, clean and shiny -the donkey, of course-. You have to know how to present our product with all the marginal benefits that we can offer. At the key moment of the decision From a consumer, our establishment must stand out clearly, it must shine. If you have a price superior to the competition, -and in a cafeteria the differences are minimal-, it is not a problem, but this difference must be largely compensated in the mind of our client. Our success will depend on whether the client values the added qualities as much or more than what they really cost.
Why finally a Cafeteria Is successful? Because among other reasons, the client:
- It captures that the environment is what you are looking for and reassures you in your choice
- Verify that the service is comfortable and appropriate to your expectations
- You are certain that it will be served neatly and on time
- He believes that it will not have any incidence, but that if it did, it would be attended promptly
- You have the guarantee of quality
- See a modest but friendly promotion that informs and preserves the establishment
- Remember that every time you have entered the establishment you have left satisfied
If we work methodically and intelligently, we will be able to ensure that all these advantages that we offer our clients cost us almost nothing, because working well does not cost more, and sometimes even less. The costs supplementary, -advertising apart may be negligible in percentage.
How can we not forget that the price it is just what the client is finally willing to pay, in this rosy panorama that we are contemplating we can agree that our client will certainly be willing to pay what we ask for our service even if it somewhat exceeds the competition. Let us not take away this taste, nor do we deprive ourselves of it.
We will have achieved what we aimed at the beginning: sell ideas and concepts and not a simple product, this is a simple vehicle, it is like the body with respect to the soul. What we are actually selling is illusion, prestige, fullfilment of security requirements, beauty, satisfaction ..., although it is not always evident. Because after all, this is the only thing that we all want and it is what makes the world move since it began to roll and complicate the lives of those who want to succeed.
There is no recipe to implement all of the above. It is not a system to introduce or an organization to implement. It is simply a state of mind, a new culture, a perfume that will permeate the only coffee shops that will successfully survive in the XNUMXst century.
Article published by Albert Solà