coffee shop pos

Brewed Expressions, Brewing Success

Small towns are known for their institutions as much as they themselves are an American institution. In that respect Brewed Expressions in Van Wert Ohio is very much a town institution. Brewed Expressions has become so much of a vital staple in Van Wert that they’re already expanding operations a little over a year after opening for business. While the original Brewed Expressions is a drive thru in June they will be opening the first Brewed Expressions Café.

Brewed Expressions


Brewed expressions can only be described as a unique and adorable coffee “hut” and the people of Van Wert have definitely come to see it that way. Opened in January 2014, Brewed Expressions offers gourmet, handmade lattes, gourmet frappes, brewed coffee, homemade baked goods, breakfast, and much more. Not a coffee lover? There’s something for you too! View the online menu or call for details!

And the reviews you can find on Yelp and Trip Advisor of Brewed Expressions reflect that statement perfectly.

“Affordable coffee, good selection, friendly fast staff!!! She even threw away our crappy undrinkable mochas we got down the street at McD,” says Dana D. on Yelp.

Brewed Expressions Yelp


“This is the only place left in Van Wert that makes lattes, espressos, fancy coffees. They also sell locally made cookies from Flour loves Sugar. Right on 127 beside the Shell gas station. Very good,” Wanderer Ohio adds on Trip Advisor.

Brewed Expressions Trip Advisor


A coffee shop needs more than great coffee to be a smash hit however, it needs a great point of sale system to further enhance the customer experience. Brewed Expressions found it’s point of sale solution with Café Cartel Systems.

In fact Brewed Expressions feels the same about CCS as it’s customers and reviewers feel about it. They’ve been so impressed with CCS’ software and service that they’ve recommended the point of sale leader to other cafés in the area.

Clearly Brewed Expressions is brewing it’s own success with the help of CCS point of sale.

However, in spite of this success a tragedy has struck Brewed Expressions and their family. A barista by the name of Fawn was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. To learn more or help out go to

Best Coffee Shop Point of Sale



Alternative Coffee Shop Business: Diversification

photodune-1618560-coffee-xs-300x199The US coffee market is an 18 billion dollar industry, where 2014 showed had over 20,000 running coffee shops across the US.

With such a hot market with high competition and almost no barriers to entry, coffee shops must implement a successful strategy to differentiate itself in order to gain market share.


With coffee shops being ubiquitous, differentiation is key to succeed in this industry. Top players such a Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have seen the success and of their business and have established a strong brand presence with a loyal following. Customers experience little to no switching cost, so get your coffee shop to obtain some of the market share through these innovative ideas:


A coffee shop in 2014 provides more than just coffee. What makes you different?

*atmosphere ercwttmn775701003_76ce8283e8

Change up the mood and setting of your place. Decide on what kind of theme you want to have in your coffee shop. Take in mind decorations, music, lighting and interior design.  Your atmosphere creates your culture. Most importantly when choosing a setting, make sure it is a comfortable and friendly environment for people to meet up, chat and enjoy their coffee.



coffee-and-pastry*coffee pastries

Majority of the customers will enter before 11 Am to get their morning caffeine. Play around with other food items that will match these customers. Consider including a fresh bakery where baked goods are made every morning.  Other great breakfast items can be oatmeal, granola, yogurt and fresh squeezed juices added to the menu.  When business slows down during lunch time hours, increase revenue by providing specialty drinks, sandwich and salads to encourage more sales. Whatever you add, make sure it is either a different product from local competitors or tops them in quality.


*community participationCamille_015

If you are a smaller operating coffee shop competing primary with the large chains, try to get your community involved to support your shop instead. You can promote cultural events such as art displays, movie premieres,  live music nights or other interactive ideas.

Create special day events to promote families to come in like “Family Coffee Sunday” where families can enjoy discounts. This will also bring in more people at once and allow customers to interact with each other and bond at your shop.


bedisloyal*building loyalty

Whether you have different loyalty cards, gift options, promotions or even a whole new paying system it will intrigue customers. Take for example a self-serve coffee shop in North Dakota that lets customers physically get their own coffee and choose how much they want to pay for it. This risky move of using an “honor system” has paid off where customers have been seen to be an average of 15% more generous than paying for a normal costing drink.

    Other store differentiations can include cool apps or special services. For example you can offer customers the option of calling in or placing an order through an app or online to pick up coffee at a certain time to avoid long waits and lines. Analyze your surrounding community to see what needs they have and what services they would value in a coffee shop.


    Do something eye catching that your neighboring coffee shop does not provide.  Perhaps you can add a temporary or consistent artisan that will make special designs in your coffee. These can be requested by customers to add a fun element to coffee. Another options is to include a servant to come around and refill customers that stay at your shop with free black coffee. Other options are to include some mini contests where you show off the winner and offer gifts to encourage future participation from others.



Best Coffee Shop Point of Sale Software


Alternative Coffee Shop Business: Suspended Coffee

Suspended coffees have quickly grown in popularity. The idea of a simple act of kindness to buy1536731_575812622513760_1252572853_n someone in need a coffee was a genius idea.  Not only do customers feel good about their purchases, but business owners create an appealing brand image and also make great profits from it.


Here’s how it works:

Customers come in and purchase their coffee. At the register they have the option to buy another coffee for someone else that is in need. The cashier then “suspends” this coffee by keeping it in the inventory system and does not remove it until it is used.

What that means for someone looking for some coffee is that they must walk  up to the cashier and ask if there are any available. If there is a suspended coffee, that customer can take it and then that coffee is taken off the list of “suspended coffees”. This community building idea allows people that are living through financial difficulties to come to enjoy a coffee, meanwhile the buyer feels good about themselves that they are helping and making an impact.


When this concept was implemented you can only imagine how quickly word of mouth and social media spread about this model.  All of the positive feedback endorsed the store’s program to get more people to come and participate in the generosity.  Their Facebook page saw 20,000 likes under an 8 hour time period.


Such an idea is a fantastic way to differentiate a coffee house from the large chains.


With fierce competition from large chain coffee shops such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, small shops need to find alternative way to compete with the top dogs.  Small coffee shop business must find a niche market, adapt to a location’s environment, have a unique atmosphere and/or products or create another sort of benefit for a customer to choose them over the leading brands. Suspended coffee is a great example of how to bring in revenues, improve customer’s satisfaction and differentiating your business from others.


Tune in next week as we list other innovative ideas of how to separate your coffee shop from your competition.


Best Coffee Shop POS System

coffee shop tablet