5 Important Trends Bay Area Coffee Shop Owners Need to Know

It’s no secret that the Bay Area is a hotspot for coffee shops and coffee lovers alike, and this concentration of high-quality coffee comes with challenges for those in the java business. Technology and changing consumer preferences are leading to some important developments in the coffee industry, and CUPS is here to help.

1. Coffee shop customers are increasingly young

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As more young people congregate in cities and take up coffee drinking habits, cafes are starting to see a shift towards a younger clientele. Compared to the general population, coffee shop patrons are 22% more likely to be between the ages of 18 and 24.

Younger customers tend to have less loyalty to a particular coffee shop than their elders, and are far more likely to use mobile technologies to both find and pay for their coffee.

2. “Big Coffee” is winning

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While independent cafes are struggling to compete with one another, a bigger threat looms: as reported by the SBDC, the top 50 coffee corporations account for 70% of coffee shop sales nationwide. These corporations excel at attracting customers, many of whom can find a Starbucks or Peet’s location on their smartphone with the push of a button. Furthermore, their bulk purchasing power allows them to bring down costs on important items like paper cups and electricity.

At CUPS, we want small coffee shops to be able to fight Big Coffee without losing the commitment to quality and independence that makes them unique. Our app allows customers to find independent cafes nearby, and allows cafes to attract new customers who were previously oblivious to their existence, but that’s just one of the many services we offer. Beyond the app, the CUPS network gives you bulk purchasing power on important goods, allowing you to reduce your costs and increase profits. This means you’ll unlock some of the benefits enjoyed by franchise shop owners without having to compromise your shop’s individuality.

3. The Bay Area loves coffee shops the most, and there are no shortage of options

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Based on research from the SBDC, 26% of adults in the Bay Area regularly visit coffee shops – a higher percentage than in any other US metropolitan area. This high demand and enthusiasm means opportunity for business owners, which is why hundreds of “third wave” coffee shops have opened in the area in recent years.

This proliferation of coffee shops makes it difficult for independent cafe owners, many of whom rely almost entirely on word of mouth, to attract new customers. CUPS brings you new customers who may not have known about your coffee shop, many of whom turn into regulars. Even better, they bring their friends—95% of our users have introduced their friends to CUPS cafes.

4. Customers aren’t buying food

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Everyone loves food, right? However, according to the same study linked above, 49% of frequent coffee shop patrons “rarely or never” purchase food along with their coffee. Food offerings can be an important source of revenue for independent coffee shop owners, yet many customers simply don’t purchase food items.

To combat this, The CUPS app makes it easy for customers to add a treat to their order.

5. People don’t tip these days

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As any barista can tell you, tips matter. Tips are crucial to keeping baristas happy and ensuring they have a decent income, yet according to a study by Simple Finance, Bay Area tipping rates are the lowest in the United States.

Luckily, CUPS makes it easy for customers to add a tip onto any order, in amounts far greater than the pocket change they might otherwise drop into the jar.

As you well know, it’s not easy owning an independent coffee shop in a market as competitive as the Bay Area! To give yourself a competitive edge, contact sales@cupsapp.com and start taking advantage of the many services we offer.

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