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Brew Up Interest With These Coffee Shop Promotion Ideas

Josh MosleyAuthor

Coffee shops are versatile. Students go there to study and workers can use it as a makeshift office at a moment’s notice. It can be a neutral ground for a pressure-free first date or a regular meeting spot for friends wanting to catch up. 

With so much to offer, it only makes sense that coffee shops can take advantage of a varied array of promotions for their diverse client base.


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What are coffee shop promotions? 

A solid coffee shop promotion brings attention to the entire menu, encompassing coffee, other drinks, and any food or snack options. Coffee shop specials represent an excellent opportunity to show off everything you have to offer. 

How to Design an Effective Coffee Shop Promotion

1. When are your peak traffic times? Like we said before, people lean on coffee shops for different needs. That’s why it’s critical to keep your peak traffic points in mind when building a promotion. You’ll want to provide offers that entice people who come in at set times to spend more of their time (and money) with you. 

2. What are your most popular menu items? The coffee is good, sure, but which brand? What pastries or snacks can you not keep enough of in stock? Incorporate those findings into your specials. Or, build them around less-popular items that you want to create buzz for. 

3. How many coffee shops are in your town? Too many to count? Look at what makes you stand out. If you’re local, build promotions around community events and traditions to rise above the rest. 

4. What are your margins? What are the monetary impacts of this special? Are you comfortably in the black and can afford to take the risk, or are you teetering on that red-black line and this special could loom large? Ask those questions, then look at the risk to determine if your special is worth it.

5. What’s the best platform for promotion? This might come down to your demographics. If different people come to the shop for different reasons, finding the right place to promote your coffee shop special might vary. A targeted approach is your best bet. 

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What should I budget for my coffee shop promotion?

Make sure you have enough product at the right times to service all seekers. 

When customers see these promotions and get ready to sit down at your shop, they need to get what they came for. Make sure you allocate some of that spend towards ensuring you have enough product in house.

The 10 Best Coffee Shop Promotion Ideas

1. Time-of-Day Specials: Run promotions during certain times of day to capitalize on routine high-traffic periods. 

Example: A morning rush deal with discounted coffees will get ‘em ready to start the day. 

2. In-House Product Launch: Take the opportunity to share your in-house expertise with customers. 

Example: Offer a free pastry with the purchase of a cup of the latest in-house drink. 

3. Weekend Specials: Offer the weekend crowd something to look forward to in your shop. 

Example: Run discounted drinks during Saturday “Happy Hours” that go until noon. 

4. Local Partnerships: Team with a local vendor, and offer to serve their products in your space.

Example: Offer a combo deal featuring one of your popular coffees and a donut from a nearby bakery or donut shop. 

5. Student Discounts: If your coffee shop is near a high school or college, entice students with discounted drinks. 

Example: Offer $1 discounts on coffee or other products to anyone showing a valid student ID. 

6. Remote Worker Deals: Give remote employees a place to set their computers and concentrate for a few hours. 

Example: Create a quiet space away from the main area that allows remote workers or groups to meet and produce in peace.

7. Specialty Coffees: Brew new batches based on the season or upcoming community events. 

Example: Sell packs of a Christmas brew as a stocking stuffer or something fall-themed. 

8. Charitable Promotions: Tie your coffee sales to a nearby nonprofit organization.

Example: Announce to customers that for every combo they buy or cups of coffee they purchase, a percentage of those proceeds go to a charity of the shop’s choosing. 

9. Pop-Ups: Take your coffee on the road or to neighboring cities to drum up interest. 

Example: Travel to a farmer’s market or a chamber of commerce event outside the city. Free samples could spark demand in new areas.

10. Coupons: Simple, yet effective. Pepper coupons or QR codes onto websites, newspapers, or periodicals.

Example: Put $1 coupons and QR codes onto your social media platforms and give customers a limited time to redeem them.

How to measure the effectiveness of the coffee shop promotions 

The beauty of a coffee shop promotion is that the results can be pretty instantaneous. 

For time-sensitive coffee shop promotions, look at how much interest rises or falls during those windows. Are you seeing a steady flow of cars in your drive-thru or folks in line each morning? Have those numbers gone up post-rollout of the special? That’s something to keep in mind. 

Finally, how profitable have your specials been? If they’re daily, look at the returns at the end of each day. If they’re seasonal or weekly, look at the production over those time periods. 

Foot traffic and total revenue tells the whole story. 


Coffee shops can act as city and neighborhood institutions. They serve as regular parts of a customer’s routine. Show your appreciation for their patronage by offering enticing coffee shop promotions to get them excited, and to encourage them to continue coming into your fine establishment each day. 

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