For the past decade, the number of coffee shops in America has been increasing steadily, making opening a hometown caffeine joint one of the most surefire business endeavors.
That is, until March 2020, when 7.3% of local coffee shops shut their doors for good.
Now the doors are opening, the customers are returning, and bean peddlers across the east coast are eager to fill their shops again. The pandemic paradigm shift has also meant more remote work flexibility. The key to success is to ensure that the caffeine-starved masses and virtual workforce make their way toward your shop—and stick around all day.
Drink specials and live music are great, but the perfect lure may be simpler than you think. Have you considered installing a fireplace in your local coffee shop?
We’ve created this guide to share the most compelling, science-backed reasons to consider adding a cozy element to your lobby. Read on to learn how to draw coffee-drinking clientele into your new and improved shop… and keep them there.
Understanding “The Coffee Shop Effect”
Customers have been walking into coffee shops with their laptops since long before the pandemic began. While access to caffeine and outlets plays a role, a bit of science is also responsible. Research suggests that “the coffee shop effect” is a real phenomenon in which the ambient noise level in the average cafe aids in productivity, creativity, and focus.
A Strong Work Ethic Is Contagious
In other words, people come to coffee shops because of the immaculate ambiance. Once there, however, it may be peer pressure that encourages higher-than-average productivity. Science tells us that performing tasks while in the presence of other productive people encourages us to work harder.
All that to say, the best way to make your coffee shop a great work environment is to… convince people to work there and make a little noise. That’s where your new fireplace comes in.
Your potential customers have likely been working from home for months (or even years). Your job is to convince them to change out of their pajamas and come work in your lobby. A comfortable, home-like environment makes a coffee shop more appealing, with the addition of tasty, artisanal drinks they can’t get in their houses.
Your new fireplace will attract their attention, setting your establishment apart from the competition. Different types of fireplaces can help create a bespoke sense of atmosphere. Once customers are cozy, your quality service, delicious beverages, and unique menu will do the work to retain their business.
We’ve included three great fireplace ideas below.
An electric fireplace is a modern, low-maintenance addition to any coffee shop. They use about the same amount of energy as your average space heater but add visual interest to your space. You don’t need a chimney or any special ventilation to install an electric fireplace, making them ideal for established businesses looking for a purely aesthetic change.
Many electric fireplaces allow you to turn off the heating element so that you can create a cozy environment year-round, even with the AC blasting. Depending on which model you choose, you can even change the color of the flames to suit the season.
A gas fireplace is another low-maintenance heating element that doesn’t require an existing fireplace structure or chimney. You won’t need to split wood or gather logs to add a real flame to your establishment. Most are remote-controlled, allowing your baristas to control the ambiance without leaving their stations.
Since gas fireplaces don’t require a chimney, many coffee shops use them as the centerpiece in an open floorplan establishment. They can help split a space, allowing guests to gather around a focal point without compromising individual privacy. The latest technology means that you won’t have to worry about your gas fire damaging walls or artwork, so you can decorate however you like.
Wood fireplaces are a little higher maintenance than their electric or gas counterparts, but the payoff is enormous. You’ll get the lovely crackling and smokey smell we associate with traditional fireplaces. You cannot easily replicate the heat, popping, or appeal of a real wood fire.
A wood fireplace might be right for you if your establishment has an existing hearth and flue. You’ll also need the time and resources to clean the firebox and prepare the fuel. You can’t control a real wood fire with a remote, so it’s best for cold locations or seasonal use.
Tips for Achieving the Perfect Atmosphere
After Dreifuss installs your new fireplace, watch the surrounding tables, chairs, and couches become premium real estate. Still, a few tips will ensure your new focal point maintains its appeal.
- Consult with your landlord regarding safety regulations
- Ensure outlets are accessible in the vicinity of the fireplace
- Couches make your fireplace area extra cozy and appealing
- Post signage to let your customers know if the heat is adjustable
- Include tables so customers can set their drinks down and relax
The right fireplace can completely transform the look and feel of your coffee shop. Consult with a Dreifuss fireplace professional to determine which style will be the perfect fit for your business.
Revitalize Your Local Coffee Shop
Customers are nostalgic for the days when they could casually wander into their local coffee shop and sip, lounge, and work comfortably. Now that beaneries are reopening nationwide, your shop needs to stand out to capture their attention.
A wood, gas, or electric fireplace may be the thing that encourages the locals to give your spot a shot—and the cozy element that convinces them to stick around for a second cup.
Dreifuss Fireplaces is ready to help you achieve the cozy, welcoming atmosphere your customers crave. We’ve been bringing warmth to Pennsylvania and New York businesses since 1876. Get in touch for a free estimate and turn your shop into a community hub again.