Skip to main content

Jack Merriman

Content Marketing Manager

It’s not glamorous to admit, but every coffee shop’s goal at the end of the day is to make a profit. Times are tough, and the idea that coffee shop owners are raking in the cash by selling highly inflated cups of hot milk, is a wildly accepted misconception. Unfortunately, many coffee shops are looking for additional revenue streams just to keep their business afloat. And coffee sales and revenue aren’t just important for the independents: Businesses that have a café amongst a range of other service offerings (think garden centres, leisure centres etc.), can also benefit hugely and boost total revenue by thinking of new ways to expand or improve their service offering.

In the following list, we’re detailing a number of quick, popular strategies you should consider implementing when looking to boost revenue in your coffee shop. Remember, these are all just ideas for you to take on board – make sure to only implement those that you can realistically implement quickly and effectively in order to make a fast and measurable improvement to your café sales. If you find this article useful and would like support in implementing any of the following, get in touch with us at Bridge Coffee Roasters.

21 of Our Best Revenue-Building Tips for Cafés

1. Host Social Events and Meetups

Tapping into your customers and network of local businesses, consider advertising your space as a free-to-use location for social events and community. Examples include: running club meets, book clubs, game nights, speed-dating, comedy nights / open mics, art gallery launches or arts and crafts meetups.

By hosting events, your coffee shop can begin to be recognised as a warm and friendly space open to all members of the community along with increasing sales during the quieter hours. Not only this, but events also guarantee a number of bums-in-seats, help you tap into a new segment of potential customers, and improve overall brand recognition.


2. Sell Barista Training Courses

Many independent coffee shops will have amongst their staff, a well-trained and passionate barista who would is keen to share their knowledge with their customers and colleagues. If this is true of your café, consider encouraging them to host regular barista training courses in your space.

A barista training course is a great date night idea, and a fantastic gift for someone who is passionate about coffee or wants to develop their barista skills. Not only that, but coffee training is also a great new revenue stream for you and your coffee shop. Consider charging a small fee for customers to come into your café during closing hours for a one-to-two hour deep dive into coffee tasting, sensory skills, the history of coffee and latte art.

Want to upskill your baristas into being able to run their own coffee classes? Learn more about our SCA Barista Training Courses.


3. Limited-time Kitchen Takeovers

A great method for staying open into the evening, offering something new to your customers and opening up a new revenue stream, is to offer up your kitchen to limited-time guest takeovers.

Many of your customers will have an idea for their own dream business, and just need to be provided the opportunity to make it happen. You probably also have a good number of connections in the local food and drink industry, some of whom may be looking to open up their new space. To bring in new revenue, consider hosting a food and drink trader for a limited time and agree on a revenue split or a one-off fee.

4. Strategise your Wi-Fi (limited vs unlimited)

This is a tough one, and the recommendation will depend on what you’re currently offering and what results you’re seeing.

If you aren’t currently offering free, unlimited Wi-Fi to your customers, you could be missing out on a large segment of daytime coffee shop goers including students and hybrid workers. Offering free Wi-Fi could open your business up to capturing additional revenue from this segment.

However, if you do start offering free WI-FI, you may find that these working customers actually hurt your revenue by having a low order spend : table usage)ratio. In this instance, consider offering free WI-FI strategically, for example placing a one-hour limit on free Wi-Fi or a minimum spend required.


5. Offer Non-Dairy, Vegan, and Gluten-Free Options

If you haven’t already opened-up to your coffee shop to catering for a wide customer base, you’re likely missing out on some untapped revenue. By making sure that you’re offering food and drink options for all dietary requirements, you can make sure that no customers are being turned away because their allergens aren’t being catered for.

Want to start serving dietary alternatives? Ask us about our range of ancillary products -> Get in touch . Looking to serve non-dairy milks? Find out which is best for your coffees – Which Alpro Milk is Best for Latte Art?


6. Adjust your Prices

This tip is a no-brainer: if your fixed costs are rising and your revenue isn’t where it needs to be, you will occasionally be required to put up your coffee prices. As the operator or owner of the coffee shop, this can be an emotionally difficult step to take.

You’re appreciative of your regular customers, and don’t want them to be spending more on their coffee each morning. You’re also worried that putting up your prices will put customers off. However, in order to keep serving your loyal customers, it will eventually become impossible to continue running if you don’t address one of the most important factors behind your revenue.

Adjusting your prices is easy, but not simple. Make sure to conduct research into what your local competitors are pricing themselves at, and don’t be afraid to charge premium prices for your premium experience. Before deciding your new prices, make sure you have a well-designed coffee menu: Design your Coffee Shop Menu, 8 Recipes and Serving Suggestions.


7. Seasonal Drink Promotions

One of the inherent flaws in basing your business around hot drinks, is that revenue typically dies down during the summer months. The majority of our customers see the highest revenue during the colder months of the year in Q4 and Q1.  However, the changing seasons and national holidays gives you the perfect opportunity to offer new and exciting takes on your coffee shop favourites year-round.

Incorporating a flexible and rotating menu of seasonal drinks allows you to keep drink sales high year-round, capture additional revenue from regular customers and get the locals talking.

Looking for inspo? Step Into Spring, 4 New Coffee Shop Drink Recipes for Easter 2024, 4 Iced Drink Recipes for your Café This Summer


8. Fresh Cold Brew

Another fantastic low-investment and simple method of boosting revenue in the summer months is to serve fresh cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is gaining huge popularity in the UK and European markets, and can be an incredibly easy and fast drink to serve your customers along with providing a great canvas for creating unique cold dirnks.

The most cost-efficient method of brewing fresh cold brew involves steeping the coffee for 12 to 24 hours, and typically makes a lot of mess. If you need a more well-thought out solution, check out the Cold Brew by Marco.

9. Customer Loyalty System

You’ve likely heard this one already, and there’s a reason why. Printing off some customer loyalty cards where they can cash in stamps and get their 10th drink free, is a fantastic and affordable step in increasing customer retention and loyalty. Whether you introduce credit-card sized loyalty cards and stamps, or a bespoke online loyalty scheme within your POS system, offering incentive for your loyal customers is a great way of improving your CLV (customer lifetime value).


10. Improve your Coffee Quality

Now this is a huge topic to unpack but clearly, improving your coffee and overall service quality is going to lead to better experiences, more word of mouth recommendations, higher customer spend per visit, and greater revenue. Whether it’s investing in barista training or higher quality equipment, learning the basics on YouTube, practicing your latte art, dialling in your coffee grinder or mastering espresso ratios, there’s many roads you can take to improving your coffee quality.

One tried and true method is to work with a coffee supplier that can walk the walk. Want to get started? Get in touch with us at Bridge Coffee Roasters.


11. Pre-packed Food and Snacks

A number of your customers are looking for a quick, delicious, takeaway option for food and snacks. Especially in the earlier hours of the day, when they are on their way into work and haven’t had a chance to have breakfast or prepare a lunch.

Offering freshly made and pre-packed sandwiches, wraps, baps, baguettes, or simply having healthy cereal bars, snacks and protein-packed options, is a great way of capturing additional revenue from your early morning customers and throughout the day.


12. Gift Cards

Selling gift cards is just a massive win-win opportunity for bringing in additional revenue. As a gift, your regular customers can treat a friend to anything from a free coffee to a meal for two at one of their favourite coffee spots.

The beauty of gift cards is three-fold: boosting your cash flow, introducing a new customer to your business through word of mouth, and offering higher margins through the possibility that the gift card is only partially “cashed in”, if at all.


13. Reduce Equipment Down-Time

Having coffee machines, grinders and accessories break-down mid-service can cause huge losses to revenue. Depending on how well-maintained your equipment is in terms of servicing and cleanliness, you can typically expect complete non-operational breakdowns to occur once per year for traditional espresso machines, and 2-4 times for bean to cup machines.

By protecting your coffee equipment with proactive PSSR testing and maintenance, and having a service plan with fast response times in place, ensures that your breakdowns are infrequent and have a limited impact on your revenue. Need a helping hand? Check out our Service Cover and Repairs.


14. Upselling Product Bundles

Coffee pairs perfectly with a freshly-baked pastry, a to-go sandwich or slice of cake. To increase customer spend, consider bundling your product together meal-deal style. Great combinations of product bundles can include 1. cake and coffee 2. Sandwich, crisps and a drink 3. Coffee and a hot meal, but there’s no limit to the number of possible combinations.

15. ‘Pay it Forward’ Scheme

Similar in fashion to gift cards, a pay-it-forward scheme can be a fantastic brand-building initiative to boost revenue from each individual customer transaction. A pay-it-forward offering would allow a customer to pay for their own coffee, as well as buy a coffee for another unsuspecting customer.

This would capture additional revenue from the first sale, and drastically improve the experience for your customers that get the free drink. Who benefits from the pay-it-forward scheme is up to you, but many businesses choose to gift these coffees to people sleeping rough on the streets, or to regular customers who seem to be having a bad day.


16. Drinks Subscription Model

Think of the Pret A Manger coffee subscription, Club Pret, which offers up to 5 hot drinks per day and 20% off the entire menu for £30 per month. If it works for the coffee-chain giant, it might just work for your business. Consider the right price point for your business, and offer customers a way of subscribing to your café to enjoy unlimited hot drinks by paying a small fee each month. You’ll likely be able to guarantee recurring revenue and increase customer retention.


17. Partner with Popular Local Businesses

That coffee you’re drinking? Roasted just down the road. Our pastries? Joe dropped them off fresh this morning. Our milk? Sustainably sourced from a nearby farm. The cookies? They’ve just gone viral on TikTok and Gen Z are searching everywhere for them.

Your local community will be full of hugely popular, independent business doing great things in the food and drink space. Consider partnering up with these thriving local names for your coffee shop to bring in new customers, increase word of mouth and gain more online presence by being showcased as great distributor.


18. Evening Options

One of your biggest fixed costs is your rent, and whether you’re open from 8am-4pm or from 8am-10pm, your rent is going to be the same. In order to make the most of your location, consider lengthening your hours into the evenings for a few days of the week.

A fantastic option we have seen for popular coffee shops is to stay open into the evenings Fri-Sun and serve delicious wines, small plates and snacks for your guests. This is especially true in the summer, when there are another four or five hours of daylight left after traditional coffee shop opening hours. To capture additional revenue, stay open for longer and offer something different in the evenings.


19. Streamline Menu Based on Popularity

Whilst you may be doing a fantastic job of serving your community great coffee and a fantastic customer experience, a small number of your items will be bringing in the majority of your revenue. Consider the 80/20 rule, which states that 20 percent of your products will be bringing in 80 percent of your revenue.

Make sure to study which of your items are bringing in the majority of revenue, and streamline your menu down to help you focus on taking these to the highest quality you can. By eliminating the products that aren’t popular or pushing your business forward,  you make space to focus on the best performing products and to experiment with new products that could bring in additional revenue.

20. Attend Event Pop-ups

This may not be suitable for every coffee shop, but it has the potential to be a fantastic revenue stream and brand building effort for your business. If you have the means, consider bringing your coffee setup to local events, food festivals and pop-up markets to capture additional revenue outside of your physical space and improve your brand presence.

If you need additional equipment to attend events, start here -> Coffee Equipment


21. Boost Your Online Presence (social media, google business profile and reviews)

Finally, make sure your business is properly curating its online presence to boost sales and revenue. TikTok is a fabulous avenue to explore and share behind the scene content from life at your coffee shop, whereas Instagram can be used to share news, imagery and customer content.

Make sure you are also properly utilising your Google Business Profile which customers will certainly be using to check your opening times, view photos, read and write their own reviews.


Knowing how to increase coffee shop revenue is one thing, actually making it happen is the hardest part. If you’re looking to make coffee a higher revenue-generating aspect of your business, we help people in your position daily. Get in touch with the Wholesale Coffee experts at Bridge Coffee Roasters.