Do you have advice on how to get more customers in my cafe?

I have a cafe in an industrial area and I get my regulars but want to get more feet in the door. Are there any ideas on how to get more customers in my cafe?

Top voted answer
Steve Osborne

Steve Osborne, director at Stephen Roger Osborne

Top 10% Branding

Tell us what you've tried already, and what results you had.

For instance, the usual promotional methods of letterbox drops, in-person visits, weekly specials, free delivery, appropriate signage, online ordering etc. all have an important place. Each should be tested and measured.

But if they've all been tried with little or no success, you will need to look deeper into the fundamentals of the business, your menu, location constraints and your target market.

Simon Smith

Simon Smith at

As it is a physical business that is location based you can't go past letterbox drops and specials of certain items on slower days of the week. Such items should be partial meals or 2 for 1 so they are not abused. Remember in business cost is secondary to monopoly and reputation

Yee Trinh

Yee Trinh, Cofounder at

In order to expand your customer-base you need to give people a reason why they would want to potentially go out of their way to get to you instead of going to a cafe closer to home. As the others have mentioned, it’s difficult to give suggestions without knowing what you’ve already tried, but here are some ideas that will (hopefully) help you get more foot traffic in your cafe:

  1. Corporate and event catering - catering not only opens up another way of doing business, but it can expose your cafe to a wider audience who may bear you in mind for future catering events 

  2. Do weekly specials - doing a delicious weekly gets people excited and offers value-for-money

  3. Host events - run comedy nights, open-mic, film nights, cork n’ canvas, etc

  4. Try to nail one thing on your menu - we all have that one favourite dish that we would travel far and wide to get! Pick and master a household or local/national favourite that will get people talking 

  5. Loyalty cards - loyalty cards are a great way to keep people coming back

  6. Consider a suburb special coupon - give people in the nearby suburbs an exclusive discount

    Good luck :) 

Greg Rogers

Greg Rogers, Founder and CEO at

Always a $64k question in business.

I agree with Steve that without a little more information it is a little hard to give some real concrete advice, and I would reiterate the comment about whatever you do make sure you measure it!

If you are looking to take business away from a competitor look at what they are doing and either replicate it (but in a better way) identify something that they don't do (differentiate) or best of all.....ask the people with the real knowledge...your customers!

When they choose you, why? What makes them step across your doorway?

What would make them purchase more and more often?

If the answer is something you can do more of, then scale it.

Conversely don't be afraid to also ask what they don't like, then as opposed to the above, stop it, don't do it anymore!

Hope this helps, the first step though is to have some information (fact) to base a decision on, as Steve said, you do this by measurement.