Maybe the holiday season has snuck up on you, or maybe you’ve been squirreling away presents and addressing cards for months. Whether you’ve been taking it easy or busily preparing for parties and dinners, the holidays are now upon us. The weather is cool and crisp, and people are strolling around in sweaters and coats, warming their hands with a pumpkin spice latte. It may seem difficult to make your coffee shop stand out during this time–after all, you could probably find a place brewing pumpkin-flavored drinks on any corner. But there are ways you can combat that cookie-cutter holiday spirit. We’ve put together a few small business marketing ideas for attracting customers and increasing retail sales in your coffee shop during this competitive time of year.

Create a Festive Atmosphere

Leaves dropped early? Snow refusing to fall? Is everything a dismal, dark color of grey? Don’t let the weather dampen your customers’ holiday cheer; instead, turn your coffee shop into a fall or winter-themed wonderland. Hang some garlands of bright fall leaves over your doorway, or decorate your counters with mini pumpkins or styrofoam snowmen. Look into some low-cost options like window clings, glass paint or markers, and blackboards that can help advertise your festive display to passersby.

Switch Up Your Menu with Unique Seasonal Drinks

Pumpkin spice is not the only holiday flavor out there. Get cooking behind the counter and roll out some unique seasonal drinks featuring maple, eggnog, and peppermint. Make sure to publicize the debut date of your holiday menu–post to your coffee shop’s social media channels, email your loyalty members, and maybe even put up a countdown somewhere in your shop. Once the word gets out that your new flavors are live, you could have new and old customers flocking to your shop for a unique holiday drink. And if you do want to include a pumpkin spice drink on your menu? Mix it up by offering a twist on the tired classic–chocolate or vanilla pumpkin spice latte, anyone?

Hold Timely Holiday Raffles

Think about what people would love to have around the holidays–easy gifts for friends like candles, boxes of chocolate, and coffee mugs to hold a warm drink, among other things. Think warmth, comfort, and indulgence, and gather some choice items together to make a holiday gift basket. Once you have your prize together, display it at the counter and make sure that customers know they can be entered to win a fabulous prize package while they order coffee. You might consider adding a special caveat, such as an extra entry for every drink bought. Make the raffle extra special by choosing a local charity to receive the benefits of the contest.

Feature Exclusive Holiday Merchandise

In addition to unique holiday drinks, you can offer limited edition holiday merchandise to tempt customers to your coffee shop. Holiday-themed branded stoneware mugs from Grey Fox Pottery will make a wonderful and easy holiday gift for customers’ friends and family, and your customers may like them so much they keep one for themselves! Move this exclusive merchandise to a featured spot in your display case or on the wall as the holidays approach, so they’ll be sure to catch a person’s eye as he orders.

Offer Themed Holiday Coupons

What’s better than a deal? A holiday-themed deal! There’s an infinite amount of ways you can offer special coupons. If you’re tech-savvy, you can offer a discount on holiday drinks to people who check into your coffee shop’s location on Yelp or Facebook. If you prefer paper coupons, you can hand out holiday deals that feature a free drink on the customer’s next visit. Your coupons could also feature a fun sharing challenge that helps to get the word out, like giving a free drink or discount to customers who bring in a friend who hasn’t already visited your shop.

Fill Your Mug Club with Holiday Cheer

If you don’t already have a mug club, kick one off with a fun holiday bash. If you do have one, consider offering some holiday-exclusive deals to your members. Maybe members get a free holiday drink every week when they bring their mugs in with them. Maybe they receive a bonus entry in your holiday raffle. Whatever your decision, it pays to make sure your mug club members know they’re appreciated around the holidays.

Let Grey Fox Pottery Equip Your Coffee Shop for Success

We’re here to outfit your coffee shop with gorgeous, high-quality stoneware coffee mugs that will have your customers wondering where they can get their own. At Grey Fox Pottery, we’ve been handcrafting these pieces nearly 30  years. We know quality when we see it, and we’re dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to succeed as a coffee shop owner. Contact us today for more information on our small batch order sizes.