If you're the owner of a coffee shop, you know that the work from home trend is taking over. As more and more businesses move out of the office, coffee shops are becoming new hubs for remote workers. You can capitalize on this trend with just a few simple changes.
It's time to equip your coffee shop for today's mobile, remote workforce. To make the most of this opportunity and set yourself up for success, you'll need to think outside the box when it comes to designing and running your cafe.
What amenities should you provide? How should you use technology in your cafe? How can you create an atmosphere that appeals to this new market? In this article, I'll explore all of these questions and more as we dive into what it takes to turn your coffee shop into a go-to spot for today's remote workforce.
Provide Reliable, High-Speed WiFi
For any coffee shop wanting to accommodate a remote workforce, having a reliable and fast internet connection is paramount. To make sure you offer consistent, stable connectivity that won't let your customers down, you should consider investing in a business-grade WiFi network. They are designed to provide faster and more reliable performance than consumer-grade routers, giving those working in your cafe the peace of mind to get things done stress-free.
When selecting your WiFi networks, bear in mind that multiple radio bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz) should be considered for optimal performance. The 2.4GHz band provides better coverage for longer ranges but lower data throughput speeds, while the 5GHz band gives higher data throughput but has a more limited range - so when it comes to setting up the network, you need to figure out what works best for your cafe's needs.
You also want to ensure that access points are strategically placed throughout the cafe for consistent coverage where it is needed most – such as common areas and seating tables where customers will be using their laptops and mobile devices.
Offer Affordable Co-Working Memberships and Packages
In the post-pandemic world, equipping your coffee shop to cater to remote workers is quickly becoming the way to go. Offering services like coworking memberships and packages can be a great way to bring in new, loyal customers.
Common Desk offers memberships ranging from as low as $50 per month for simple open space coworking to $150 for dedicated spaces. While this might sound a bit pricey for some, it’s cheap for coworking spaces—most of which are typically much more expensive. For instance, the lowest monthly priced co-working open space membership in Silicon Valley will cost you around $125 per month and in Manhattan, dedicated desks cost around $500 per month!
So, by providing an affordable alternative to traditional office settings—your cafe can prove attractive to the growing remote workforce. Plus, giving people the option of working in a place that also serves delicious coffee and snacks? That’s an offer they definitely can’t refuse!
Provide Multiple Power Outlets and Charging Stations
These days, coffee shops are not just for lattes and cappuccinos. They've become an important part of the work-from-home landscape. Many remote workers flock to coffee shops to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, but they also need plenty of power outlets available to charge their laptops and phones.
One way to accommodate the demand for power is to install USB charging cables or wall plugs around the shop. This allows you to offer easy access to charging without taking up too much outlet real estate, which can be a real commodity in a crowded coffee shop.
Another great idea is offering power banks or portable chargers for customers who need their own portability, so they don't have to juggle multiple cables or accessories throughout the day. Power banks are becoming increasingly popular, and many are now able to charge multiple devices at once—so your customers can stay productive no matter where they are!
Offer a Mobile App for Easy Ordering
In today's work from home world, your customers are likely to be remote workers. To make sure they can quickly order ahead and keep their coffee meetings running on time, you'll want to offer up a mobile ordering app.
Mobile ordering apps are tailor-made to fit the style and branding of your individual coffee shop, so it's easy for customers to know they're ordering from you. They also provide a smooth 4-step ordering process: find what they want, customize their order and checkout, pay, and pick up their order when it's ready.
One mobile ordering app that fits the bill is Per Diem. It’s an integrated mobile app solution that let’s your customers order from anywhere with just a click of a button. They can easily pay for their orders on the go and can even earn stars which can be turned in for discounts when they come into your cafe. Best of all, it’s integrated with your Square POS so it makes it easy for your staff to start preparing drinks for when customers come in to pick them up.
Provide Private Workspaces for Video Calls
These days, with the digital and hybrid way of working, having the right equipment to make video calls is a must. Your customers might need a private workspace to join a video conference or do a one-on-one call with colleagues or clients.
Here's what you can do to equip your coffee shop for the remote workforce:
Video Conferencing System
Install a professional video conferencing system that can support up to 1000 participants. This makes it easy for customers to join their meetings without any technical difficulties and ensure everyone on the call can see and hear each other clearly.
Neat and Professional Backgrounds
Provide your customers with platforms that have a neat and professional background for their video calls. This will make sure that when colleagues and clients of your customers tune in, it looks presentable—and not like they’re sitting in some cluttered corner of your café!
Hybrid Work Increase Demand for Communications
Thanks to hybrid work, there is an increased demand for personal communication through video calls—and this means that equipping your coffee shop with the right facilities is even more important. Make sure you have all the necessary tools in place so customers don’t have any issues during their meetings.
The work from home shift has presented opportunities for coffee shops to become not just places to grab a cup of joe, but also home away from home for remote workers to get their tasks done. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, as cafes benefit from increased revenues and more slow-turnover customers, as well as a supportive community to help them grow.
To make the most of this new opportunity, cafes need to make sure they have the necessary amenities to make their space work-friendly. This can include offering strong Wi-Fi and reliable charging stations, as well as developing an easy-to-use mobile ordering app. By equipping your coffee shop for the new remote workforce, you can make it an inviting place to stay—and get some work done.