Gift cards can be one of the most profitable items a Coffee Shop or Café can offer. Here are some of the various questions any coffee shop or bar owner should ask when implementing a system in their store.

Where are the taxes? Hopefully there are no sliding fees or monthly fees. When fes are added to a gift or prepaid card, the program becomes as expensive as a credit card for the retailer. If there are commissions, what are they? Are they charged per load, per purchase? Is there a charge on the request? Paying $ 0.10 to $ 0.25 a swipe for someone to check a balance can hurt the retailer’s profits.

Where do I get the cards? Based on the national averages of the coffee industry, the average coffee shop goes through 1,000 cards per year. It is important to ensure that the retailer can purchase cards from their supplier at a rate that is in line with the rest of the industry. Some providers force the retailer to purchase cards at two or three times the normal rate. Retailers want to make sure the cards they buy are custom cards with full color front and back.

Can customers tip the gift card? Tipping is extremely important for bartenders who work in a coffee shop or bar. The system used should also be able to receive suggestions. Employees may be reluctant to use a gift card system that reduces their chance of tipping. Being able to tip is also something that customers like. Don’t make your customers feel guilty about not being able to tip an employee for using the card.

Does the card system allow split payments? In other words, does the system allow for an easy way to use a partial payment? Customers want to be able to use all the money left on a card. Being able to pay with gift vouchers and cash or credit cards makes it convenient.

Is it a gift and loyalty card? Even if you don’t currently plan to implement a loyalty or rewards system, you want to make sure the system can handle it. Being able to make the same card work as both a gift and loyalty is important. Customers certainly don’t want to carry two cards with them. Also, make sure you know which loyalty systems are possible. Buy 10 Get 1 Free? Is every dollar spent a point? Percentage back?

Will it work on multiple locations? While you may not be a multi-store operator now, it doesn’t hurt to think like one. Being able to allow customers to easily use their gift cards at your locations is important. If you are thinking about franchising in the future, you need to know if your system can accommodate the business grouping of gift cards.

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