We are quite privileged here at the York Butter Factory in Melbourne especially if you love a good latte like myself. Within a 150m radius there are more 'great' cafes than most people would know what to do with. It is harder to not find a coffee shop whilst walking around the block from the office than it is to find one.
This means a couple things....
- As a cafe you need to significantly stand out from the rest otherwise people are going to simply walk next door to get their caffeine fix.
- You need to build a very strong relationship with your customers to be able to keep them coming back for more, making them feel welcome and apart of something more than coffee.
This leads me to why I have spent a little over $600 over the last 6 months on coffee from the one cafe Bonnie Coffee on Collins St and how it is a great example of a business which has and continues to poke their head up above the rest of the cafes in the area of our office.
As a comsumer this starts with me and why I go and buy a $4.3 coffee as appose to simply making my own with the full size barrister coffee machine which is free to use in our office.
My reasoning and why I go to buy coffee at Bonnie Coffee rather than making it myself:
I have a routine which I follow to start my day at its peak. The crux of that routine is to start the day fresh with a smile on my face. The Bonnie Coffee experience adds to that;
- Before you even get in the door at Bonnie you can see the crew working are alive and ready to go for the day, there is a nice warming presence of positive energy in the air.
- You walk in and Alex and the team generally remember my name and what kind of coffee I drink, all I have to do is pay the bill and the order is on the way.
- The second part of the experience is such a simple thing but so effective, they have tap sparkling water which would cost nothing but is worth as much as the coffee to me as a consumer in the morning. A view from my shoes, I have just brushed my teeth leaving home with that mint taste in my mouth which is great but the flavour clash of colgate and latte mixes well together for a fine taste of aniseed..... (gak!). The sparkling water dissolves any reminisce left on the pallet and doubles my ability to taste the coffee that they have put together.
- whilst drinking my soda water the cafe is getting busier and busier, providing a strong influx of passive energy, during this time I am reading the tabloid which is pinned to the news board. I never watch the news or read the news paper other than this so it is a good chance to tick that box without having to waste a dollar on the paper.
- Finally the coffee; "the coffee is consistent". It is simple it doesn't blow your mind with any fancy tastes it is a very clean taste and the soy milk is always perfect (rare to find), but the key is that it is always the same. For this reason I know I can take clients for coffee meetings there any time of the day and the coffee is going to be consistently good.
- As I walk out of Bonnie there is always a busy but sincer wave on the way out, I am happy, Alex and the crew are happy, one of the first moments of sunshine cuts down Collins street to warm my back as I make the final leg to King Street and my day has begun!
The key points to reflect on why Bonnie can stand out from the crowd:
- They build and maintain relationships with their customers, from day one they asked for my name to assign it to the coffee.
- The staff are effective and efficient whilst being friendly, Alex has trained and hired talent.
- They know what they do and do it really well, by installing the sparkling water tap they know that what they do and do it really well.
- They don't make sandwiches, they are Bonnie Coffee and they make great coffee.
- They know their customers deeply, they know that their customers are busy and simply want to get in and get out, hence limited seating and the news paper opened up and stuck on the wall.
- Alex is passionate and genuine about building a great business and you can tell that by how deep they have thought about the business operations.
"Take a moment to look at your business and think about how you can create a Bonnie like experience where it becomes habit to go there, how can you become the default business to your customers where they don't have to think twice about where to go for the products of service you offer.....?"
Comment Below, what your business does well and why you have returning customers....
- Oliver Du Rieu