March 30, 2020 Jerson 0 Comments

How to reduce the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in Local Specialty Coffee Shops

coronavirus specialty coffee

There is ONE big mistake most Local specialty coffee businesses need to avoid as a consequence of the virus outbreak:

Stopping their Marketing.

Let me explain this…

announcement UK 23 March

This announcement was made last Monday 23 March by the UK government, reinforcing the one made on Friday 20 March, and obliging people to stay home.

At this stage, is it very important that you stay safe, help others stay safe and strickly follow the mandate from the government.

However, this doesn’t mean you will no longer be able to open your business.

In fact, this is a temporary situation

And while you may not be able to operate as usual during this period, you can still generate awareness of your speciality coffee business…

…But most importantly, you now have a unique opportunity to grow your email list.

I will go through this straight away. But first, I want you to know something:

What you do during this period is something that your customers and online audience will remind when this crisis ends.

So take advantage of this period to work on the following 5 key assets

    1. Continue updating Social Media Channels
    2. Show awareness of the situation in your posts
    3. Offer free VALUABLE content to your audience
    4. Grow your email list (some way of how to do it below)
    5. Sell gift vouchers/cards on your website 

Let’s go deeper into the first key asset…

1. Continue updating social Media channels

Don’t stop updating your social media channels just because you are (temporary) closed. 

If you do so, your audience will simply forget that you, at some point, will come back to business.

However, if you keep them posted and engaged, your specialty coffee shop will remain in their minds.

So then, by the time the outbreak ends, they will go back to you. 

Simple, right?

NOTEremember to keep the context in mind when posting on social media, as explained on the following asset.

2. Show your awareness of the situation

One of the most common mistakes some specialty coffee (and other businesses) do is not acknowledging the current situation with their posts.

This means they keep posting like nothing is happening right now!

Why is this approach wrong?

First of all, your post will not get the engagement they usually do, as people as worry about other concerns.

Second (and most important), you don’t wanna look like a careless jerk, do you?

Please, don’t take the above personally.

I just want to show you that, in marketing, it is very important to keep in mind the context.

And, to make this point clear, here are some real-life examples of using the context in social media post :

Example one: Ozone Coffee

Notice how Ozone Coffee Roasters show awareness of the current situation in this post and, therefore, show their support for the community by providing these basic goods to charities.

Example 2: Extract Coffee

Extract Coffee post

In the case of this post, Extract Coffee Roasters is acknowledging the situation by mentioning those who weren’t able to find tea at the supermarket.

They also made a special mention of all those working in the hospitality industry during those difficult days.

You get the point, right?

Let’s get into the key asset number 3:

3. Offer them free VALUABLE content

Take the opportunity this time to HELP your customers and online audience make their life easier.

For example, most people are working from home these days. 

They are no longer able to get their barista-made coffee from the local coffee shop.

And most of them opted for buying their coffee beans online and make it from home.

So, how you, an specialty coffee shop owner, can help them with their routines?


Help them brew their coffee.

Here are some ideas of VALUABLE content you can make for them:

    • V60 Coffee Brew Guide
    • Chemex Coffee Brew Guide
    • Expresso Brew Guide
    • How to make home latte art
    • How to find the right grain size for your brewing method

And the list goes on.

NOTEYou don’t need to be a high-level expert on this. Simply show how you normally do it in your shop.

Sounds good?

You can combine this educative content with another more entertained. 

For example, you can also show them your equipment in your shop, how you grind the coffee inside, etc.

See how Roasting Plant Coffee is taking this time to show their shop and their in-house roasting plant (Click on the screenshot to see the post):

Another good example is the following post one from Colombia Coffee Roasters, where they made a guide for AeroPress brewing, where its followers can access through the link.

NOTEWhile I do NOT recommend to paste the link on the Instagram post as on this example, and instead would do a call to the link in bio, this is still a good instance for valuable content.

Colombia Coffee Roasters
Colombia Coffee Roasters

Looks good, right?

Now, it’s time for you to brainstorm content ideas that help and entertain your audience. 

Then, post them in your blog and/or your Instagram and Facebook.

And when you feel there is a piece of content that your audience enjoys the most, then convert it into a Lead Magnet to….

4. Grow your email list

Bringing your audience to your email list a very important part of your growth as Specialty Coffee shop business.

And the reason for this is that, once you got their email, you can send them valuable content, business updates and promotional offers right to their inbox.

You can also use this channel to keep them up to date with the situation of your coffee shop, so they will know when you are back to normal.

It also works very well to make special discounts to your email lists once this situation changes back to usual.

And guess what?

There is no better time to grow your email list than now!

But, how do you grow your email list?

Here are some ideas:

  • Use a successful piece of content you created in the past (such as one of the valuable content you created in the point 3) and make it available only when someone fills a simple form with their email address.


  • Keep the successful piece of content available, but offer them something extra from that piece of content when they fill the email form. For example, If your valuable piece of content is an Aeropress Brewing Video Guide, then offer then a written guide as well when they give you their email address.


  • Make a simple coffee quiz, and give then the results when they give your email address. For example: “What type of coffee drinker are you?” quiz


  • Make a specific recipe doc of a drink that is made with coffee (for example, expresso Martini) and offer the recipe in exchange for their email address.

NOTE: We are growing the "to-go community" for all Marketing-related questions about Specialty Coffee Businesses. 👇, Join our Facebook Group here👇.

And there you got. 

A complete set of ideas to grow your email list!

Let’s now go into the final key asset.

NOTEA Lead Magnet is “an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information” (Source: Digital Marketer)

NOTE 2Before collecting emails, make sure your customers are ok with you sending them relevant content and promotional material. You can do that by creating an “agree” tickbox in the form & mentioning in your privacy policy. This step is very important to be compliant with the law.

NOTE 3In order to grow your email list, use tools that allow you to collect emails and automate your campaigns. My favourite one is *ActiveCampaign *(This is an affiliate link. See disclosure at the end of the post).

NOTE 4For the quiz, I recommend you to use Typeform.

5. Offer Gift Vouchers to sell them in your website

Also known as gift card, they are a very good way to keep the cash flow of your business during the quarantine.

But, if you are not familiar with gift vouchers, let me show you how it works:

  • STEP 1: Include a gift voucher on your website for sell. This gift voucher can be exchangeable for hot drinks, pastries, food and whatever you offer in your local specialty coffee shop, and usually have a price, from £10 to £50.


  • STEP 2: Your customer buys them on your website and has it delivered to their indicated address. 


  • STEP 3: Once your shop is back to business, your customers can use the voucher whenever they prefer (however, gift vouchers usually have an expired date).


Basically they are purchasing from you today, and claim it in some moment in the future.

Now, you may be asking why they would wait so long to exchange their voucher?

The quick answer is that your customers are usually concerned about the impact of the virus in local businesses, so they want to support them…

…especially the ones they love.

So make sure your current customers know you are selling those (post it on Facebook and Instagram, let your email list know that you are offering them).

See how Friends of ours Cafe are selling gift vouchers on their website to reduce the impact of the coronavirus in their local business:

Friends of ours

So now you have a bunch of ideas to use for your coffee shop and keep up with your marketing in lockdown times.

It’s time to put them on use!

Is there anything that you are doing and I didn’t mention?

Let me know in the comments!

NOTE: We are growing the "to-go community" for all Marketing-related questions about Specialty Coffee Businesses. 👇, Join our Facebook Group here👇.

IMPORTANT NOTEThis blog post includes some external affiliate links. This means that I will receive a small commission when you purchase products in these or get involved in some of the plans. While I only include affiliate links of products that can be extremely useful for coffee entrepreneurs, the benefit obtained from this will help me produce more amazing content, just like this blog post).

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin

Follow us on



Jerson is a paid social expert who helps startups (mostly in the eCommerce & Info products space) to generate hundreds of thousands online with Facebook & Instagram Ads.

Leave a comment

Enjoying this post?

Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly posts like this in your inbox

More To Explore