You’ve got a cool café concept, it’s doing pretty well, but you’re looking to move your business onto the next stage by adding a bit of pizazz without spending a fortune?
Relax, the good news is that today’s customers are looking for unique, quirky and niche alternatives to the ubiquitous coffee shop and restaurant chains they see everywhere. This means that neighbourhood cafes and bars are ideally placed to capitalise on local trade. So, why not revamp your venue using some of these cool, chic and cost-effective ideas and modifications:
Clearly marking out your café’s different areas – and also the facilities available – makes the space so much more user-friendly and inviting. Where should people pay? Is there wifi? Are there books and magazines to read? What’s on the menu?
Check out reclamation yards for vintage memorabilia. You’ll find some great items ranging from ‘toilet’ and ‘cash’ signs to old tin and ceramic advertisements for chocolate and other food items, which will create a great vibe.
Chances are there are many abandoned wooden pallets lying around at your local recycling centre too. Screw a whole one onto a wall to make a great notice or menu board. Or, chop the pallet up into appropriately sized pieces and use stencils and spray paint to create your own signs. These can then be either attached to the wall or hung from pieces of wire or chains from the ceiling. The possibilities are endless.
If your venue has an outside seating space, why not think about extending the period of time you can use it by adding some robust but stylish all-weather café blinds? These come in both tinted and see-through PVC, so the beauty of them is that it can be used without obscuring any views you might have, or your on-street visibility to customers.
These are essential to any café. They ensure you can store essential items whilst at the same time showcasing the fantastic products and produce you have for sale in their full glory. And, once again your recycling depot could be your friend:
· Use old upended wooden fruit boxes to display plates of mouth-watering cakes and cookies. Or, turn them on their sides and fill it to the brim with delicious loaves of bread, baskets of apples, etc.
· Pallet wood can upcycled to create a rustic serving counter, window bar or shelves.
· Nail the lids of jam jars to the bottom of shelves and then use the glass jars that screw back on to them to store coffee beans, sweets, different kinds of tea bags and much more.
· Simple, small metal buckets are a great way to both contain and display packets of biscuits, fruit, toys and anything else that could create clutter.
We all know that furniture is usually one of the most expensive factors in any revamp. Why not check out the local papers and online sites like Gumtree for any office or home clearance sales coming up? You might find some great leather armchairs and retro filing cabinets, coat stands and much more.
Definitely one of the most important parts of any design scheme, yet lighting is often neglected in redecoration projects. It’s a good idea to analyse how well the lighting is currently and think about how it could be improved.
Are there any dingy areas that could do with better illumination? Consider how your customers use the space – if you have an area where individuals tend to come and work on their laptops, consider installing some extra power points and lighting nearby. If there are areas where people go to sit and read a book or the paper, it may be wise to add a floor lamp or a couple of anglepoise lights to make it as comfortable as possible.
Pay special attention to the areas where you position things you aim to sell. If you are installing some shelving to promote sales, think about getting some with in-built lighting – or install some strategically placed spotlights.
With a little thought and some imagination, a few key modifications could transform your café into the cool, ‘new’ place to hang out.