Top 10 coffee shop promotion ideas

Coffee Shop Sign

Customer loyalty plays a crucial role in any coffee shop’s success, but how can you convince potential customers to make a switch from a well-known franchise?

A strong digital presence is important, but print marketing can help you really connect with the local community and create a long-standing customer base so it’s important to consider both.

Discover how to promote your coffee shop through print – with a little help from digital – with our top 10 coffee shop marketing ideas.


1. Flyer in the right places, to the right people

An effective way to appeal to potential customers is by handing out flyers or leaflets in the street.

To fully make an impact, consider where and when you’re going to distribute them.

Evaluate your target audience and distribute accordingly. For example, you could target young professionals during their commute by offering leaflets to them outside a train or bus station.

Not only are leaflets and flyers cost-effective, they’re quick to print, ideal for a last-minute event or promotion.


2. Offer an incentive to visit

Whether it’s a freebie, discount or deal, an attention-grabbing voucher works well for both drawing in new customers and rewarding loyal regulars.

You can add them to your existing leaflet designs by adding a perforated edging to them, featuring your offer.

Once your offer is in place, hand them out in the streets to encourage recipients to visit your coffee shop. Or, drop them through the surrounding neighbourhood’s letterboxes so they have a reason to visit later.


3. Reward customers with loyalty cards

Coffee Shop Loyalty Card

Loyalty cards are a great way to reward your customers and give them an incentive to keep coming back to your coffee shop on a regular basis.

A stamp loyalty card with an offer such as ‘buy nine coffees and get the 10th one free’ is the simplest way to do this.

If you find business is slower on a certain day of the week, you can introduce a ‘Double Stamp Day’ to increase footfall – giving customers who make a purchase during that day two stamps on their card instead of one.


4. Grab their attention with promotional banners

A promotional banner situated outside on the pavement will help attract customers into your coffee shop.

As this is the first thing people will see about your business, make sure your advertisement uses a striking image or message that instantly grabs their attention.

Try not to overload it with information. Focus on a slogan or message you want to get across, followed by a bright and memorable design.


5. Reach out to customers with feedback cards

Asking for honest feedback from your paying customers can help you identify areas you could improve or strengths you can focus on in your promotions.

Simply place a feedback card on every table in your coffee shop to give customers a chance to have their say.

Why not offer your customers a free drink or voucher in return for their mailing address, e-mail or mobile number?

That way you can add them to your mailing list to receive special offers and other news about your coffee shop via leaflets, e-newsletters or text messages.


6. Get involved in ‘national’ social media events

There seems to be a digital celebration for anything and everything these days, especially when it comes to coffee appreciation.

Social media users frequently celebrate their love of coffee, with themed events like ‘National Coffee Day’ and ‘National Espresso Day’ occurring every year.

Make a note of when these dates fall and be sure to get involved in the conversation. Post your finest latte art, talk about the ultimate macchiato and start putting your name out there.


7. Host a special event and promote it

Holding an upcoming event at your coffee shop, such as a poetry reading, open mic night or an evening class in cupcake making can help boost your profile.

Advertise community events like this by designing a branded poster with all the relevant information. Then, hand them out to other local businesses to ensure your event is noticed.

Not only will this bring in new customers in a different way, it helps raise your profile in the local community.


8. Get search engine savvy with your online presence

It should be easy for your customers to find information about you online. Make sure to regularly update your social media and Google profiles with your business’ opening times, contact details and menu options. If you’re veggie or vegan friendly, let people know – it can be a great way to get customers through the door and talking about your business.

Consider all the questions your customers might have about your business and put that info on your social profiles for an easy way to keep people up-to-date.


9. Brand your business within your coffee shop

As well as promoting your brand outside of the business, it’s important to retain your current customers by marketing inside your coffee shop.

Table talkers are small and cost-effective on-table displays that bear your logo and branding. They can be regularly updated with your current offers, upcoming events and company values.

Place them on your tables for an effective way of displaying your next big promotion, while customers wait for their order.


10. Update your menu with new choices

Coffee Shop Menu

Regularly updating your menu with new and exciting choices can help ensure customers keep returning to your coffee shop.

Try embellishing these additions by giving your food and drinks imaginative names, to help your business stand out from your competitors.

Another trick is to place your most expensive coffee drinks near the top of your menu. It’s a simple way to boost your coffee shop’s profits in a single move.


At Solopress, we have a variety of marketing materials available for your coffee shop. Browse our flyers and leaflets to get your design professionally printed overnight and delivered the very next day.


  1. If anyone was going to start up a coffee business then this is the article to read to get you movitated and guide you along the process of competing with “High Street” chains.

  2. It amazed me when the major backlash against Starbucks was taking place that more small coffee shops didn’t take advantage and hammer it home, yet I don’t think I saw any taking advantage, you’d think when a big play puts thier foot in it it would be the ideal time to nick their customers.

  3. I really appreciate the idea of FEEDBACK cards. As a costumer, it always feels nice to know that the shop regards and respect your opinions and suggestions. Thank u for sharing

  4. As a coffee lover, I crave coffee when I’m out. I love freebies and giveaways so i hold a loyalty card. Costa had a little van outside their premises with their new product advertising cold drinks. But they were also giving out samples of their mocha choc orange which was lovely. However, if I needed sugar for it (it was sweet enough anyway) and I was on my way to work or an appointment, i wouldn’t go into the shop for sugar or have time to queue. Nice idea though if people aren’t busy. Perhaps have a little table with these items on in front of you, perhaps at a reduced price. People then can buy them quickly and go on their rushed way to work or wherever. Debenhams also give you a free coffee and cake on your birthday, as well as a loyalty card for a hot drink purchase, which goes a long way, so I tend to use their cafe a lot. But at the moment, Waitrose free coffee with their free Waitrose card tops it all. (although sadly the coffee machine in their branch in Upminster wasn’t working when we went shopping there at the weekend, so I was a bit put out!). Southend Waitrose is better where you can sit down and relax in their cafe too and read the free papers before or after shopping and/or have some lunch. At the moment they get the gold star.

  5. Wow! These are just amazing tips! Will work well for cafe owners who are just starting out. Taking advantage of social media would be another useful tip. For a limited time, you can give out discounts or codes on your page (XYZ: free upgrade) that customers can use when they drop by your store. They can easily spread the word out to their friends by sharing/tweeting your post. It’s a great way to reward those who interacted with you on social media.

  6. Some great ideas. Local coffee shops should always be supported – not only do they care more about the product and service they provide, but they indirectly benefit the local economy too, providing local jobs to local people and putting more money back into the area, encouraging regeneration. Big corporate chains may be popular due to their size, but nothing beats the personal service offered by a friendly face at your local independant coffee shop!

  7. Some great ideas for smaller businesses to promote themselves. Not only are these relevant to coffee shops but they can be used for many a business.

  8. I do like a good coffee shop, however the smell is horrid. I’m more of a hot chocolate man! 🙂 With cream too!!!

  9. Thanks, an excellent post, and as Richard says, not just for coffee shops.

    Here’s another idea – a subscription service where you pay so much a week/month, but can vary what you want to have each time you visit. A bit like a vegetable box scheme for coffee.

    Could work best for business accounts?

    Perhaps offered with the free mug with your name on it to hang behind the bar.

    I like a blog that makes me think.

  10. When I see a chalkboard with a message that changes every day, I’m addicted, and need to see it every day. I’m conscious of where it is and kind of a wee bit excited to see what today’s message is. This is gold for a marketer and a top idea for your street A-board

  11. I don’t often spend a lot of time in coffee shops, however I think that being creative and giving away free samples are really good ways for coffee shops to promote their business. I mean who doesn’t like free stuff! It also let’s people experience new taste and situations which I am all for, to keep businesses thriving.

  12. I always prefer coffee shops with loyalty cards, I also like those where you can sign up for a mailing list and get a freebie on your birthday.

  13. What a fantastic blog. My father is manager of a Coffee Shop and during summer the it definitely does not have the ‘buzz’ it has in winter! I’ll be sure to give him all these ideas to bring everyone back in a little earlier this year. He’ll benefit, and so will the customers with these great deals. Thank you very much! Paige.

    • Summer slowdown eh? How about introducing your own version of the Starbucks’ Frappuccino or McDonald’s Frappé frozen coffee drinks? These babies have blissfully satisfied by caffeine cravings throughout the 2013 heatwave!

  14. I think a great idea is to offer freebies to children when the adult buys a drink, as a busy mum i don’t get a break often but if there was something there to distract my child like a colour in sheet and a free cookie I’d be more likely to stick around and buy more coffee 🙂

    • Both great ideas Gem, particularly the free colouring pages. Never underestimate the pester power of younglings who’ll want to continually visit places offering this kind of kids-friendly freebie!

  15. I love vouchers and money off deals. If I am given a loyalty card with rewards, I am far more likely to visit.

  16. 11th idea – Laminated cards, bearing the shops name of course, with conatct details for other local (non competing) services.

    • Fab idea, Sara. Thanks for sharing. Great thing about a coffee shop is that it’s the perfect place for local business owners to meet up and initiate this kind of joint-marketing campaign.

  17. I must admit to liking the free samples tip. Although I take it black, cake sounds nice as well.

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