When you walk into a coffee shop what is the first thing you notice?
Well, while I wait for you to answer that, I will give you my answer.
First, I notice the setting. I often look for comfortable seating (I’m a sucker for couches). Or anything that might be different. Say if the coffee shop I go to is more of a traditional Italian and has a bar at the front, you will probably see me spazzing out and if you could see my heart, it’d be doing flips. I wouldn’t care if the whole place was covered in couches, if there was a bar set-up to serve espresso I’d be in Heaven.
Next I think about the lighting. Is it darker? Does it make me feel warm? Relaxed? Other worldly? My favorite is probably when it’s a thicker building with a lot of warm lighting. I feel like I’m ‘getting away’ from the world, but it’s a warm and lit atmosphere where I can read or write for hours.
Now, I’m not talking so much about what the coffee shop serves at this point, since I am just talking about what I feel like when I step in, but let’s face it, if there’s not good espresso my experience will be only so-so. Therefore, next I notice the machine they use. The condition it is in, if the station is messy, if the set-up looks efficient. Little things that I know make all the difference in a great espresso. This also means that I check out their menu! (I’m not sure, but I think that may be what most people look at first when they go to a coffee-shop). If I see that they have the correct versions of traditional Italian espresso drinks then I am encouraged and am 100 percent more likely to get a drink. I also look at how they portray their menu, I’m not sure why, but when I remember a shop, that’s often the first visual that comes to my mind – their menu.
The next thing I notice are the people working there. Are they nice? Are they real? Would I like to be friends with them? (I think about this when I’m on the other side of the counter and conversing with customers). If they converse with me and are especially informative about their espresso and even better are excited about it, then I am probably doing a dance right then and there as I give my order!
OK. So let’s say I’ve ordered an espresso (it’s what I want right now, that or a cappuccino, and if I get a cappuccino I can see if they do latte art. Perhaps I get both! Espresso first though). I’ve sat down at a couch (because this is not one of the Italian Coffee Houses with a bar) and I’ve picked up my book and I’m reading, what do I notice now?
The people. Ah yes. What sort of people come into this coffee shop? Well, let me tell you one thing that is always the same for coffee shops.
You never know what kind of people are going to come in!
So there you have it. If you see me tucked away into a coffee shop reading or writing, perhaps even talking with a friend, these are the things that have gone through my mind from step one to where I am now.
What’s your first impressions of a coffee shop?