I'd love some marketing ideas that are "off the wall" to jumpstart a 6 month old cafe in a conservative hospital environment. My ideas usually get shot down my hospital administration, and we are having trouble growing because only a portion of the total hospital population uses us regularly. Our Starbucks down the street is closing so this is my opportunity to get noticed in a good way! I'll take all suggestions! Thanks all- Susan

Views: 15

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Susan,

Our company wrote an entire book on Marketing for the Specialty Coffee Retailer. I have found that grass roots marketing efforts work the best. Positioning yourself as the local coffee expert is important to compete with chains and other retailers alike. I think the most important thing is to get your product into the hands of potential customers so that they can taste the difference. Coffee is a specialty beverage and a well prepared drink can taste totally different than your competition as long as your staff is well trained.

Here is a link to an article on marketing as well from Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup.

Good luck with your new business!

- Matt
What is in your lease agreement with them about marketing does and don'ts?
They don't allow "Solicitation" and I have to get all menu items and prices approved in writing 30 days before I actually bring in the product. They have taken this to mean no daily specials, no buy one get one free, no discounts of any kind. I am not allowed to offer a special price on anything without it being approved 30 days in advance in writing. The admin. told one of my employees..." You are not supposed to compete with the cafeteria" (we are a newer coffee bar in a hospital setting. We can not use the hospital name in any marketing campaign, but it is impossible to tell people where we are located without telling them which hospital! Aside from double punch day, what else can I do to draw in customers? I'm frustrated. Susan

Could you do some flyers and say :

Susan's Coffee
2200 Maple St
Anytown USA
phone 123-4567
and not mention the hospital ?

Could you say with this use west entrance lower level or 5th floor ??

Some people might recognize the hospital. It might be nice if you could get a
media person to sample your place and maybe talk about it on the air (radio probably better for this), without going into a big advertising campaign.

You mention that the hospital won't allow you to advertise competition with the
cafeteria. I am wondering if the marketing director or pr director of the hospital might have some ideas w/o compromising the relationship between the cafteria, hospital and you.

I find it bizarre that you're in a hospital , but the hospital won't allow you to or help you advertise the location.

How are your hours compared to the cafeteria's ? Do you have food items ? Is your
menu comparable to theirs ? How do your prices compare with their pricing ?
Wow, those are great ideas. Our hours are greater than the cafeteria as we do not close during the day like they do. We have to make our pricing higher than cafeteria pricing on similar items. We are not allowed to bring in "real food" such as sandwiches. We have to get cookies/pastry types approved before we sell them. I also find it bizarre that they are bringing us in as a benefit to the hospital employees, yet we are not able to contact employees at all!! But I will meet with the marketing director to see if she can help us. Thanks a lot for the idea!
If i remember a passage correctly in Bean Business Basics there's a situation where a coffee bar went to the hospital direction and sat down with them to agree on giving a certain percentage of profit to an mutual good cause. That way you can attract customers to your coffeebar and they know they're doing something good (You have to sooth there minds).

Another thing i discussed on Baristaexchange was giving out half filled out customer cards. You give them a card for 10 beverages where 5 spots are already marked. I'm telling you it costs you absolutly nothing but the customer value is of the hook

Hope it helps.
How did this turn out for you Susan? Which direction did you decide to go? How did your meeting with the Marketing director turn out?





Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Report: Consumers want more protein, need more education

A majority of U.S.  -More

California Walnut Beet Carpaccio Flatbread
Jump start their appetites with this fabulous flatbread appetizer topped with beets, goat cheese, arugula and California Walnuts. For this and more great recipes, visit http://www.walnuts.org/food-professionals/trending-recipes/.

Vegetables take over dessert menus

Top pastry chefs in the U.S.  -More

Rising takeout demand drives new Mama Fu's footprint

Austin, Texas-based Mama Fu's Asian House debuted a smaller footprint unit focused on feeding a growing demand for takeout an -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

Arby's Announces Development Deals With New And Existing Franchisees

ARG recently sold 14 company-operated restaurants in Tampa, FL to Mosaic Investments, Inc. (Mosaic), a fully integrated investment firm based in Atlanta. In addition to remodeling existing locations slated to commence at the end of 2014, Mosaic has committed to build 13 new Arby's restaurants in the Tampa area over the next nine years.

Smoothie King Appoints Vice President Of Business Development To Drive Brand's Expansion Across The U.S.

Prior to joining Smoothie King, Bruno served as vice president of retail sales, operations and franchise development for Fannie May Fine Chocolates, a division of 1800Flowers.com, where he oversaw a $69.5 million retail division that included 100 corporate stores and 45 franchised stores.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" positioned 50,000 km from a telescope to enable imaging of planets about distant stars. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service