First impressions count, from the door the customer has to push to enter your cafe to the display cabinet at your counter showcasing your food.
So far I should expect all reading would agree but how many of us as cafe owners diligently observe what our customer may potentially be observing. And how many of us impress upon our staff how important it is that our display cabinet looks fresh at all times? The customer does shop with their eyes, if a display is colourful and
abundant the customer is significantly more likely to buy something as opposed to a customer looking into a half empty display cabinet. I’m often faced with the objection from managers and other cafe owners that they’re just not busy enough to fill the cabinet. This is the paradox, if there is not food to sell, you won’t sell food. If there is not an abundant amount of food to sell, you will not sell an abundant amount of food. This of course lies true if the cafe owner has done his homework and is situated in a position with a market enough to sustain a successful cafe. If you’re market is there you cannot afford to fall into the downward spiral of reducing your food on offer. As you’ll have less food for the next customer and he/she will not return another time in the knowledge that you have a limited amount of food.
Food looks best in abundance. A lonely sandwich on a tray cannot compare to a platter full of colourful sandwiches. A bain marie tray half full of noodles is not as appitising as a mountainous pile of noodles garnished with fresh green coriander. Ingredients should be celebrated and showcased. If you have baguettes on offer, they shouldn’t be wrapped they should have the opening facing the customer with the ingredients flowering out of the baguette. Wrapping your cakes and muffins in plastic wrap to keep the moisture in is an absolute no no, but a regular observation I make in struggling cafes. They should be on trays and composed in the best manner possible to show off the sweets.
Display cabinets frame our food, they should be well lit and uncluttered without things on top of them or next to them. All the attention should be drawn to the contents of the cabinets not elsewhere and with that said your cabinets must be crystal clear. If customers have a tendency of leaving fingerprints on your display glass, it should be a staff procedure to have the glass cleaned regularly through the day.
With a stunning display and a clean cabinet that isn’t detracting from the amazing products on display within them, you should also ensure that all signage clean and uniform. There really is no excuse for using a marker to black out an old price and then scribbling a new price below. Spend some time designing simple signage for all of your products and ensure it is uniform throughout your cafe.
Often your display cabinet is the first thing that greets your customers. Spend the time it deserves on presenting it well and you may find less customers walking in and then out of your cafe.