Church cafés are becoming very popular in larger churches. Many pastors and church leaders have come to appreciate the benefits that a café brings to the congregation. A well run café offers an additional source of revenue for the church. More importantly, a café is an excellent place for church members to fellowship and encourage each other. They can also provide a more comfortable atmosphere for guests to become familiar with the church and interact with the congregation.
However launching a café isn’t as simple as just buying a coffee machine. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind when planning a café:
Plain coffee in the lobby is not enough.
An older congregation might consider this satisfactory. But younger church goers have developed a taste for lattes, mochas and other espresso-based beverages.
500 Upwards is an ideal size church for a cafe.
It’s good to have a weekend attendance of 500 or more in order to create a good atmosphere for fellowship in the café. This amount will also make it easier to generate revenue to cover the cost of the café and to support to the church.
Church cafés are not like a regular cafés.
No! Secular cafes are designed to serve customers a few at a time as they trickle through. A church café must have the infrastructure to serve the crowds that stops in right before or after the service.
A paid staff member should oversee the cafe.
You will want at least one paid staff member to reliably ensure that product is ordered, shifts are covered and other managerial issues are dealt with. Most churches then enlist volunteers to run the café during service times.
Having a step by step process is key for an efficient cafe.
It is extremely important to have an efficient step by step system for making the drinks. Every step the barista has to make between the counter and each appliance will increase the waiting time for the customers in line.
Drinks should be a little cheaper but not too cheap.
We recommend charging about 10 to 25 cents less than your local Starbucks. Low enough to provide an attractive alternative; but not so low that you give the impression of a lower quality drink.
Cups do make a difference.
Yes! The cups you use will reflect the image of your café as a whole and in turn how much people will pay for their drink. Very few people want to pay $3.50 for a drink that looks like plain white Styrofoam.
Product quality and consistency is important too.
We strongly urge you to use the best product available. This is a key part of your café’s success. The most important predictor of success is the ability to make the product taste just as good each time the customer orders it. They will keep ordering it if they know they will enjoy it as much as they did last time.