SteamingLoafThere’s a local sandwich shop just round the corner from our office which we all loved. The sandwiches were tasty and great value too, the women who ran it were very friendly and always knew who we were, and the wait in line was never too long.

All of these things add up to returning customers but there’s one little thing that tipped the scales for us. When you walked in the door there was always a flask of free coffee for the customers to get a drink from whilst they waited, not only this but if a customer found the flask to be empty the owner would make them a fresh cup as soon as she got a chance.

This was great, and even better was that she had a couple of tables which if customers wanted to they could sit at and enjoy their sandwich away from the workplace. If you chose to do this she would then offer you coffee in a real cup.

These little things count, and it’s those things people remember to tell everybody else about (just like I’m doing now).

Unfortunately (for us), she got a great offer for her business and sold up. There is now no free coffee, no seating and the sandwiches aren’t what they used to be either. We don’t go there anymore.

A couple of years ago a well known bank in the UK thought they’d have a stab at bringing customers in off the streets with the smell of fresh coffee. Unfortunately this came in the form of a well known coffee retailer who had a bar in the corner of the branch. All well and good so far but sadly they charged the premium rate for the coffee! Who wants to sit in a bank, enjoying a coffee that they’ve had to pay a high price for?

Needless to say the scheme didn’t last long. Maybe they’ll try baking bread next?