New research has discovered that people tend to visit a maximum of 25 different places on a regular basis.
Once they have found a place they are comfortable with they tend to stick with that place, whether it’s a gym, bar, restaurant or coffee shop.
The research followed the movements of over 40,000 people, using their mobile phone data, and the results were compelling.
People also fall into two distinct categories; explorers and returners.
Explorers and Returners
Although people are always finding new places, some people do this more often than others.
The study showed that people are continually exploring. If they move to a new home, they may find a new favourite restaurant, a new coffee shop, or start going to another gym, etc. The number of regularly visited places is constantly 25 in a given period. If somewhere new is added to the list, one of the places drops off.
“People are constantly balancing their curiosity and laziness. We want to explore new places but also want to exploit old ones that we like. Think of a restaurant or a gym. In doing so, we adopt and abandon places all the time. We found that this dynamic yields an unexpected result: We visit a constant, fixed number of places – and it’s not due to lack of time. We found evidence that this may be connected to other limits to our life, such as the number of active social interactions we can maintain in our life, but more research is in order to clarify this point,” says Dr Baronchelli.
This simple conclusion means that your coffee shop or cafe needs to be earning its place in your guests top 25 regularly.
So how do you stay in your guests ‘top of the pops’, well research by Allegra, tells us why people are discouraged from revisiting, so that’s the right place to start.
A number of the responses overlap so when you amalgamate them, the biggest reason for not revisiting was because of the following issues:
- The coffee tastes bad or it was bad quality coffee
- Poor or slow service and queues
- Poor level of cleanliness
- Pricing level too high
It doesn’t seem to matter how much you spend on the fit out, location or menu, you must get these main four things right.
The top three you can control with systems and processes, assuming that the coffee you serve is not bad on purpose.
The issue of price is in our experience more to do with the perceived value rather than the quantum price level, in other words, if something looks cheap then it should not be expensive.
The big coffee chains in the UK are feeling the effect of greater competition from non-specialist and specialist coffee sellers alike (Costa is having the worst like for like growth in its history), they are starting to discount while keeping staff levels very tight.
There is a perfect opportunity for good Independent Coffee Shops to thrive and be one of the 25 places people regularly visit.