Have you ever been in a coffee shop that doubles as a bar? Or a wine bar that morphs into an after-hours lounge? These are what we call mixed-use retail spaces—and they’re absolutely gorgeous. You can create the same stunning atmosphere in your own shop with just a few simple changes.
Mixed-use retail opens up all sorts of possibilities for businesses of all shapes and sizes, but it can be daunting to get started. To help, we’ve put together this guide to mixed use retail so you can start building the hipster haven of your dreams. We’ll go through everything from creative ways to use space, to tips on how to best switch back and forth between modes depending on the time of day. Get ready to make some waves!
Understanding the Benefits of Mixed Use Retail
Great coffee shops can often be the epitome of hipster culture. So if you're looking to join in on the trend and take your coffee shop to the next level, mixed-use retail spaces might be the right choice for you. Mixed-use schemes are a great option for maximizing your return on square foot investment than traditional mall or high street stores.
Residents also benefit from having retail space closer to their residences, making it possible to have a range of options in one area. With mixed-use retail, you can offer customers more than just coffee—whether it's a bar in the evening or bespoke boutiques and restaurants during the day—allowing them to take advantage of a range of services without having to leave your store.
At the same time, it's important for mixed-use schemes to focus on servicing the needs of their local population too. That means that whatever you offer should be tailored for your customer base, giving them an experience seen nowhere else. By understanding what customers want from their local retail scene and acting accordingly, you can make sure that yours remains ahead of the curve as trends continue to change.
Designing the Perfect Guest Experience
Mixed-use retail spaces can be a great way to add variety and stay competitive on the market—but in order for it to really pay off, you need to create the perfect guest experience.
For starters, it's important to ensure that your floor layout and design allows for both coffee and alcohol service so you're not trying to squeeze one in at the expense of the other. If you don't have enough room for two separate bars, think about ways that could make a shared space work.
Next comes recipes and drinks preparation. Perfecting these will give guests memorable experiences and make them more likely to come back, so pay attention to details like aroma, presentation and flavor. Relying on technology such as POS systems can also help you stay on top of your staff performance while ensuring that your guests have the best experience possible.
When done right, mixed-use retail spaces can be great money-makers—but don't forget that it's always about abut creating a memorable experience for your customers first!
Transforming Your Space for Maximum Flexibility
As a coffee shop owner, you know that one of the keys to success is having a space that can be easily transformed to meet different customer needs. To do that, you need flexible furniture and innovative design elements that allow you to switch up your space as needed.
Here are some tips for transforming your space for maximum flexibility:
- Invest in high-quality cups and glasses. This will make all the difference in creating a high-end specialty café.
- Use flexible furniture, like movable tables and chairs that can be easily reconfigured or taken out of the way when necessary.
- Utilize coffee house lighting tips to create an inviting atmosphere for customers and make your shop a hub for the neighborhood.
- Consider adding a bar instead of traditional chairs and tables so you can switch from coffee shop mode to bar mode with ease.
- Look into investing in flex space, which can be great gateway into the industrial real estate realm while still giving you the opportunity to create an inviting atmosphere for customers.
Your goal should always be to make your space as customizable as possible so you have maximum flexibility when it comes to serving customers throughout different times of day—and with these tips, you'll be well on your way!
Serving Up Delicious Drinks With an Exceptional Menu
When it comes to creating a coffee shop menu, you should always start with the basics. Quality espresso and milk-based drinks should be a given, but don't forget to offer some specialties that set your shop apart from the others. Popular options include nitro cold brew, flavored lattes or latte art. Once you've determined your unique sales proposition and developed your coffee shop concept, make sure to provide high-quality products in order to ensure sustainability.
At the core of any successful menu should be classic espresso beverages like cappuccinos, macchiatos or cortados. Serve up your own signature recipes that incorporate ingredients like syrups and spices for added flavor profiles.
For an added touch of wow, offer some items off the beaten path such as affogatos (which is espresso poured over ice cream), smoky hot chocolate or spiced chai tea. This can also involve infusions of alcohol and spirits into a specialty drink menu like boozy cold brew, classic cocktails or custom beverages tailored to each season.
Take It to the Next Level With Takeout and Delivery Options
Ready to take your mixed-use retail space to the next level? Then don't forget to consider takeout and delivery options. When you offer customers the convenience to enjoy all of your products without ever having to leave their homes, you open up a whole new realm of possibilities.
To make sure that your customers still get the same great experience when they order takeout or delivery, you need to:
- Focus on a small number of products and know them well – if you try to offer too much you risk sacrificing quality.
- Obtain any necessary permits or licenses in order to prepare, package and deliver food and drinks – this could vary depending on where you live.
- Consider customer preferences for dining experiences, such as outdoor seating and comfort levels at home – this will help determine how best to package orders in an appealing way that doesn't sacrifice quality.
Per Diem's white label platform makes it easier for food & drink businesses like yours to provide takeaway & delivery services seamlessly with Square's POS system, so jump on board today!
Crafting a Special Happy Hour Offerings and Events
Creative happy hour ideas can be the ace in the hole when it comes to generating buzz. Think outside of the box—offer unconventional cocktails or specialty drinks with discounted prices, or plan special events or activities that appeal to your desired demographic. You'll need to acquire special event permits depending on your city's regulations, but beyond that you're free to plan whatever kind of event suits your culture best.
By taking advantage of modern technology and coming up with unique events, it's easy to take your mix-use retail dream from concept to thriving business.
Mixed-use retail spaces can be a great way to increase your revenue and attract a wide variety of customers. By mixing it up and offering different products and services, you can create a hipster haven that stands out from the competition. To make the most of your space, consider streamlining your operations with an app such as Per Diem that integrates seamlessly with your Square POS to make delivery and takeout orders easier and more efficient.
Not only will turning your coffee shop into a bar or your bar into a cafe give your customers something new, it’ll also give you the opportunity to keep them coming back. With the right tools and a willingness to stay ahead of the curve, you can create a unique, hipster haven that’s sure to draw in new customers.