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View from North West

New shop owners, even those who are very successful, would do themselves a favor by looking at pictures of their storefronts taken from several directions.  When this recently opened cafe is put to such a photo test, it becomes immediately apparent that a better name for the place might have been cafe incognito, which goes a long way toward explaining what appears to be  a disappointing performance.  If this cafe was my client, an idea I fancy, I would tell them:

  • Your entry is invisible and customers like to see the door.
  • The tall shrubs are completely blocking the view into the patio.  Do whatever it takes to get them removed.
  • Your store faces North, meaning it is always in shadow.  This can be nice from the inside, from the outside not so much.  Find a way to brighten the exterior.
  • Change the awning graphic, i.e., color and pattern.  If the landlord objects tell them that it is necessary in order to distinguish yourself from the grocery, and the profile alone should be enough to hold its place in the overall composition of the building.
  • Make your sign as big as the code will allow, and if you are not allowed to make it bigger try to repeat it in every bay.
  • Consider a banner that would be visible to a customer approaching from the South.
  • Consider trading the flower beds on the West side for flower boxes.  Also a  table & umbrella is probably better for business than a magnolia.
  • A passageway has been created by the table arrangement on the patio instead of a place.  You want people to come in and sit down, but you have created an aisle leading to other vendors.
  • Put a sign stand on the patio with your menu and seating options.
  • Use the patio to attract night time customers.  Put candles or lanterns on the tables.  Vary the light level and color to create sparkle and drama.
  • Once the shrubs are removed re-think the interior and patio lighting.
  • The night time peek shows a bight and lively interior being missed by potential customers.