The Perfect Blend Guide for Cafes and Coffee Shops: Make the Most of International Coffee Day

Posted 26/09/19

Remember when the response to ordering a cup of coffee in a coffee shop, would be simply, “Would you like milk and sugar” ?

The ordering process has evolved somewhat over the years. We now are met with a series of coffee style choices: flat white, latte, cappuccino to name but a few, and questions such as, “Would you like to try this week’s special blend? Hot or cold milk? Skinny or regular?”. As for the choice of milk available, well, where do we start?

According to Project Café UK 20191, a report on the UK café industry produced by Allegra World Coffee Portal, the total UK coffee shop market is valued at £10.1 billion across 25,483 outlets*, a 7.9% annual sales increase cemented two decades of UK coffee shop growth.

With consumers spending an average £2.66 per cup1, we have become a nation of self-confessed coffee-lovers, and there are now even days to celebrate this popular beverage.

Established by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), 1 October 2019, is International Coffee Day. Throughout the day, dozens of coffee associations, businesses and coffee lovers in its 77 Member States over the world will host events in recognition of ‘coffee’s journey from the farm to your local shop’.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, the Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, which first took place in 1991 with 2,600 supporters taking part, continues to grow each year. Taking place this year on 27 September, it is now the largest and longest-standing fundraising event of its kind in the UK helping to provide support to people who have cancer across the UK.

So, how can you use these days to maximise opportunities for your cafe or coffee shop and attract new customers?

Depending on your customers’ demographics, there are a number of options to consider.

Hold Your Own Macmillan Coffee Morning

If your cafe or coffee shop has a strong community presence, either host your own event or support a local group that’s organising one. On the website, you will find lots of ideas on how to get involved and tools you can download to make your event a success:

Because it’s a national event, upload your event details to their website and piggyback their publicity and social media activity.

If you’re doing something quirky as part of the event, tell your local media about it; don’t forget to take photographs to accompany the story and share on your social media channels.

Run a Special Promotion

International Coffee Day presents the opportunity to run one-day exclusive events, offers and promotions: 10% off all coffee; unlimited coffee after the first cup; twenty-fifth customer to win free coffee for a month, for example. If you have an online shop, offer free postage on all purchases made during that day.

You can upload details of these events to the ICO’s website:

Host a Taster Event

If your establishment serves a range of blends, consider hosting a tasting session to showcase the selection of coffees available. Combine this with some special offers and unique benefits to reward your customers’ loyalty.

Spread the Word

However you decide to engage with these events, make sure you tell people ahead of the big day. Allegra World Coffee Portal also identified 45% of industry leaders surveyed consider social media to be the most effective form of marketing, so use your Instagram and Facebook channels to spread the word and encourage others to by running a competition on social media.

Launch Something New

A loyalty scheme doesn’t have to be anything sophisticated, but they can have quite an impact on customer retention. For example, introduce a simple stamp card scheme, which entitles the customer to a free drink on achievement of the tenth stamp.

Depending on your customer demographics, initiatives such as autism-friendly hours, parent and baby/toddler mornings, over 60s afternoons etc. can set you apart from your competition.

However you choose to celebrate, it’s important to stay grounded and protect against day-to-day challenges that running a coffee shop presents. Comprehensive coffee shop insurance gives you peace of mind, protecting you, your customers, and your reputation. Don’t be too late to wake up and smell the coffee.

To find out more about our specialised insurance cover for coffee shops, or to obtain a no-obligation quote for your business, contact the team at smei today.



*Includes branded coffee-focused operators, branded food-focused operators, independent coffee shops and non-specialists



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