Today is the first May Day morning in nine years that we have not woken up at 4am to go to work. The reason we have been able to enjoy a well-earned lie in is that we no longer have a coffee shop in the centre of Oxford.
You might know of the ancient tradition that is celebrated in Oxford at 6am on May morning with the choristers of Magdalen College choir singing Hymnus Eucharisticus from the Great Tower. Tens of thousands of people visit the centre of town at this ungodly hour and so it brings with it a massive opportunity for coffee shops that open early. Only if they are open from 5 am can take advantage of all those extra people who are hungry and thirsty so early in the morning.
Over the years, we have had some fantastic trading days on May Day morning often taking whole day sales before 9 o'clock in the morning and confusing delivery drivers who can't get through the door for customers.
We always order an extra amount of bacon for the bacon sandwiches, and because we have advertised it widely both in the shop and on social media we stand back for the onslaught that starts at about 6 o'clock.
Because it is the first time since 2011 that May Morning has fallen on a weekend and that the weather is perfect this morning I would expect that all the hospitality businesses in Oxford who opened early today are sat there with a great big grin on their face albeit a tired one. Have a look at BBC Radio Oxfords Facebook page to some excellent coverage https://www.facebook.com/bbcoxford
The question for you today is 'what local events are happening in your area that you could take advantage, of by just opening earlier or closing later or adapting the menu?"
Our style of hospitality business is disproportionately affected by weather, events or holiday times. So getting a real understanding of what is going on can provide you with extra sales by doing little apart from proper planning.
There are so many great examples of businesses marketing proactively to the people who are likely to be outside their businesses once a year. For example at last week's London Marathon restaurants were offering free meals to medal winners knowing that each medal winner has an entourage to feed as well. This weekend in Yorkshire there will be plenty of cafes and coffee shops that are getting ready for the influx of 1.5 million extra visitors to their region, due to the Tour De Yorkshire.
About the Authors
Andrew & Claire Bowen are the authors of 'The Daily Grind - how to open a coffee shop that makes money' Available on Amazon, and Founders of Cafe Success cafesuccesshub.com - the ultimate resource site for coffee shop, cafe and tea room owners worldwide.
To buy The Daily Grind on Amazon Click Here