The US coffee shop market has been growing dramatically since Starbuck first opened its doors in 1971 by the Pike Place Market in Seattle. Nowadays, the market generates over $45 billion per year! It’s fair to say that opening a cafe has proven to be a highly profitable business. It’s impossible to walk in town without seeing people carrying large drinks from their preferred coffee shops. Whether you’re a matcha lover or you like your break dark and strong, you are likely to find what you need on a coffee shop menu. However, the competition is going to be aggressive. In 2015, there were around 32,000 cafes in the United States. Today, experts expect the number to have risen by over 30%. There is no secret to success, but sticking to the 4 Cs of coffee shops can encourage growth.

C is for culture

First of all, coffee is a lot more than just a drink. It is a culture that unites millions of cofficianados in the world. Over two-thirds of Americans drink a minimum of 2 cups of coffee every day. And as they do, they enjoy not only the alertness that you get from the caffeine but also the sense of trendy coolness that affects those who drink coffee. Brands such as Starbucks do not only serve a quality brew, they also preserve the coffee culture, and by extension suits their patrons’ fashionable aspirations.

C is for comfort

While coffees on the go are a favorite, customers also like to take the time to enjoy their drinks. The most successful cafes have created a cozy and inviting environment to welcome their customers. From comfortable chairs to sunny outdoor seating, the options are infinite. For shops with a patio or a car park, covered walkways and outdoor seating areas are a must to keep your customers dry and safe. It’s also a good idea to add outdoors heating to make the most of your location throughout the year. The more sitting choice you give, the better for your customers.

C is for conversation

When your customers all have a coffee maker at home, you need to get their attention to attract them to your shop. Instagram is the perfect platform to create a moody atmosphere, showcase your best drinks, and highlight the barista’s specials. Latte art, especially – with the relevant #hashtag – drives footfall to your cafe!

C is for creativity

Lastly, we all know what a cup of coffee looks like. More dinners offer bottomless coffee to their patrons. You know that you need to be a little more creative with your drinks to stand out from the crowd. Lattes, cappuccini, and macchiati are well known, and they are still appreciated by coffee-lovers. However, did you know that the most successful cafes don’t only serve coffee? You can bring colorful and exciting healthy options to your menu such as matcha and turmeric lattes, for instance. Loaded with superfood, your coffee card becomes instantly more appealing to a health-focused audience.

At an age when everyone is a self-proclaimed coffee drinker, it can be tricky for independent shops to exist in a crowded market. However, by responsively embracing the coffee culture and challenges – comfort, conversation starter, and creativity –, small cafes can thrive along with big brands.

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