Coffee shops need to create fascinating caffeinated beverages that wow customers and differentiate them from the competition. They also need to provide a better-rounded experience that makes coffee drinking more convenient and enjoyable for everyone.
That is why cafes should consider these seven must-have technology upgrades for coffee shops if they want to stay relevant in the competitive world of coffee.
1. Advanced Barista Technology
One of the most challenging aspects of running a coffee shop is ensuring consistency across beverages. People want their coffee to taste precisely the same every time they order a shot or two.
This requirement becomes more crucial if the coffee house has several branches in different regions. The company must ensure the cappuccino in one outlet has the same flavor characteristics as the cappuccino in another.
Even in single-store coffee shops, consistency is key to winning customers. The store may have several baristas working in shifts, and each may have a different take on the ideal preparation parameters of a particular beverage.
Using advanced barista technology allows coffee shops to collect, consolidate, analyze, and manage beverage-related data. It can include water temperature, brew time, water volume, steam pressure, pre-infusion time, and other parameters.
Advanced barista technologies guarantee consistency across beverages, regardless of who prepared the drink or which branch sold it.
2. Responsive and Engaging Website or App
A virtual extension of an establishment is an absolute must. It does not matter if the shop sells caffeinated beverages, roasts coffee beans, or supplies coffee beans straight from growers. They all need a digital presence where anyone and everyone can connect with them.
Having a website optimized for both desktops and mobile devices is essential. One cannot rely on a desktop website to work efficiently on a handheld gadget. If the café must create two separate websites, so be it.
The name of the game is an engaging and responsive digital platform where coffee lovers can share and exchange thoughts among themselves. Such digital technologies also empower cafes in understanding and appreciating their customers’ nuances.
3. Customer Experience Data Collection Technology
Starbucks is a trailblazer in wowing its customers, constantly looking for ways to improve the overall customer experience. Coffee shops do not need to copy the coffee shop chain. What they can do is find inspiration in what the company is doing.
A coffee shop’s website or mobile app can serve as an essential tool for gathering customer data the cafe can use to customize its offerings. The café can send personalized messages enticing their customers whenever they are within the shop’s vicinity.
The trick is to create an offering that customers feel of high value. Otherwise, they will only ignore the messages because they can come off as obtrusive. Café owners must do their best to understand their clients’ unique needs and wants, including their buying behaviors.
4. Online Ordering Applications and Convenient Payment Options
Very few people relish the time they spend queuing for almost an hour to get their favorite coffee drink. The inconvenience it brings can make coffee lovers look elsewhere. That is why coffee house owners must realize that their customers demand convenience.
One technological upgrade they can integrate into their operation is an online ordering system. The most convenient platform is to offer an open type of ordering. People do not need to become a member of the coffee shop. All they ever need is to download and install an app on their smartphone.
An essential component of an online ordering system is secure payment options. People love using their credit or debit cards to pay for online purchases. Some also use other digital payment platforms.
The coffee shop must include as many secure payment options as possible, giving coffee lovers optimum convenience.
5. Advanced POS System
Point-of-Sale (POS) systems are continuously evolving. Gone are the outdated machines with alphanumeric keys for punching orders. Today, POS terminals are as graphic and colorful as a high-end mobile device.
Not only is the hardware more advanced. Even the software that runs a gamut of applications receives continuous updates. Many of these programs are compatible with various mobile and desktop devices, giving the coffee shop owner exceptional control over the menu and orders.
Some POS software also provide electronic receipts for purchases, minimizing over-reliance on paper rolls and contributing to a greener environment. These technologies also allow integration with other devices and programs, constituting the coffee house’s internet of things.
6. Digital Inventory Tracking
The key to an excellent cup of coffee is ingredient freshness. Unfortunately, keeping track of degassing times, roasting dates, and other parameters can be tricky and confusing if the coffee shop relies on the old-school, paper-and-pen method.
A digital inventory tracker connects with a coffee shop’s POS system and recipe data. It allows the efficient monitoring of inventory and alerting the purchasing manager of stocks on short supply. The technology also facilitates tracking of high ticket items and allows the café to optimize its marketing activities.
The system offers a more efficient way to manage theft, waste, and over-portioning, allowing the coffee shop to maximize its resources and continue delivering high-quality caffeinated beverages to its customers.
7. Powerful Wireless Internet
It is one thing for a café to serve exceptional caffeinated beverages. It is another matter if they can provide a venue for their customers to continue connecting with the rest of the world.
Upgrading the café’s wireless internet infrastructure is a surefire way of generating strong brand loyalty. Studies show that providing free WiFi to customers increases the likelihood of customers returning to the same establishment.
However, if one’s wireless internet service is sluggish and weak, customers have a much greater chance of leaving the café. That is why coffee shop owners must invest in a reliable, fast, and strong wireless internet. It can serve as a platform for the café to connect, communicate, and engage with its customers.
Customers demand convenience and impeccable service whenever they buy their favorite coffee. These seven must-have technology upgrades for coffee shops can give café owners the advantage they need to blast the competition out of the water. At the same time, these technologies can ensure a better coffee-drinking experience for their patrons and guests.