A tea business, just like any other, must be managed and operated properly for it to be successful. Since a tea shop can be both a quick “in-n-out” business and an all-day study hall, managers and owners have to create both a comfortable and efficient environment while keeping tea quality and service top notch. Running the gamut from quick-service establishment to lounge can be difficult, but there are several things to assure success.
Love what you do.
The best thing that managers and owners of a tea shop can do is love their job. The old cliche, “love what you do and you will never work a day in your life,” is true. You will never dread coming to work when work becomes pleasure. When managers and owners are passionate about their tea business, employees and customers will pick up on your enthusiasm and excitement. This makes the overall tea experience enjoyable for everyone.
Train employees to be helpful, knowledgeable and courteous.
Helpful and courteous employees will make customers feel welcome, and since some people might not know a lot about tea, knowledgeable servers will be able to help them make a more informed decision. Servers should spend time chatting with indecisive customers to determine what their taste preferences are and recommend teas they will enjoy.
Become a WiFi hotspot.
Tea shops must offer WiFi to their customers today, because students and many others go there to study or otherwise work on their laptops. Providing free internet to paying customers will encourage anybody with a laptop or smart-phone to spend more time in your shop browsing the internet while sipping tea.
Create a comfortable environment.
Make sure your tea shop is a comfortable, continuously clean environment. Elements of comfort can be incorporated into every aspect of its decor. You can hang paintings on the walls, play relaxing music, and have cushy couches or lounge chairs around the room.
Some customers want a balanced breakfast: croissants, breakfast sandwiches, or other small breakfast items. Providing lunch caters to those who want a place to eat and guests that want to study, read, or otherwise hang out in a tea shop for several hours.
Have a separate order line for specialty drinks.
Running a tea shop means being speedy as well as efficient, and one thing that causes a huge bottleneck during rush hours is people ordering custom tea drinks. It can cause customers who just want a quick cup of tea to become agitated and potentially even leave, so separating the lines is a way to keep both a quick cup of tea and specialty tea drinks flowing smoothly.
Play music or provide entertainment.
Hosting local bands or poetry readings is a standard for some tea shops. Others just have music (usually easy-listening genres) playing through the speakers. Regardless of whether guests want to linger or not, music adds to the ambiance and creates a more inviting and enjoyable environment.
Display local art.
Artwork is something anybody can enjoy while drinking their tea or waiting in line. The artists can even put a small price tag on their works, should somebody be interested in buying. This enhances the environment and lets customers know that you are supporting the local community, which is always a good business practice.
Hold cupping sessions for servers.
Cupping sessions train employees to describe the flavors and aromas of tea as well as their taste. Cupping sessions are crucial to making good tea. If you know what a tea is supposed to taste like, you will know when it is being prepared correctly.”