Keep It Clean: Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea Shares Tips for Turning Cleanliness into a Competitive Edge

Clean translates into green when operating a coffee shop, according to Greg Ubert, founder and president of Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea.

“Serving great-tasting products isn’t enough; Customers form a first impression when entering a business and cleanliness accounts for a big part of that impression,” he added. “The first impression either sets the foundation for a lasting relationship or flashes a ‘stop’ sign in the customer’s mind.”

Ubert, who has helped to open over 300 independent coffee shops in 30 states since 1991, believes cleanliness is so important that he devoted a chapter of his book, Seven Steps to Success: A Common-sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee, to it. A few of the tips from the book include:

  • Cleanliness starts outside. Train staff to observe their surroundings. When they arrive at work, ask them to scan the exterior of the business, pick up any trash, and report any landscaping issues such as overgrown grass.
  • Set up shift checklists. Each shift should function as if they are opening and closing, helping to keep the shop clean throughout the day.
  • Time to lean = time to clean. When there’s a lull, the staff should wipe down counters and tables, straighten chairs, pick up magazines/newspapers, dispose of trash, and clean the floors.
  • Pay constant attention to the condiment station. It needs to be stocked frequently and kept tidy.
  • Make sure to keep glasses, cups, plates, and flatware clean and ready for use. Discard chipped and cracked items immediately.
  • Espresso machines and other equipment have maintenance schedules. Follow those schedules religiously to preserve equipment life and protect the quality of the product.
  • Be prepared for health and safety inspections. Depending on locale, the health department may pop in for an unplanned inspection.

In his book, Ubert shares more detail about these and other procedures for maintaining a sparkling and profitable coffee shop. The book is the foundation of Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps to Success Coffee shop startup program.

“We offer everything a coffee franchise does – and more – but without fees, royalties, or business restrictions,” he said. “And our consulting program is equally effective for those interested in starting a new coffee shop or existing coffee house owners.
“We help create a solid coffee shop business plan that covers all the bases, from choosing a location to purchasing equipment, developing a menu, hiring staff and much more,” he added.

About Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

Founded in 1991, Crimson Cup is at the forefront of the coffee industry. Crimson Cup travels the world searching for the perfect cup – driven by meaningful relationships, honesty, and a shared vision for the future.

Through its 7 Steps to Success program, Crimson Cup teaches entrepreneurs how to open a coffee shop in their community beginning with insight into how much it costs to open a coffee shop.

To learn more, visit crimsoncup.com.

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