2018 Cafe Trends You Can’t Miss Out On

Old fashioned light bulb in foreground with cafe in background

Cafés are becoming increasingly popular in our mobile world. They provide a place for socializing as well as business dealings. A lot of small business owners prefer to conduct meetings there. Entrepreneurs have used cafes as the first place they started working on kicking start their businesses.

The cafe is becoming an integral part of our personal and professional lives. As cafés have become viable business prospects, more are opening daily. So, if you want to set your café apart from the competition, look at these trends that are taking the market by storm:

Going Digital

Using digital menu boards and digital signage is one of this year’s leading coffee shop trends. It is an environmentally friendly option, as it saves the vast amount of paper used in printing. When prices need to change, cafes can update the digital menu board without printing new menus.

Customers are attracted to visual stimuli. Using an attractive digital menu board will make them want to come back again. Digital signage to direct customers to your café or draw them in as well.

Unique Coffee Product Offerings

You need to include interesting menu items if you want to attract customers. This year’s café trends indicate that customers are on the lookout for something new and interesting. They’re easily tired of the same offerings day in and day out.

A new coffee shop trend is the cold brew, and it is not at all like the trendy Frappuccino. The cold brew is made using cold water. It is less acidic and more pleasant tasting. The Frappuccino is also getting a facelift, as creamier, sweeter, and more novel options are trendier.

Any cafe will always have their regular customers who stick to conventional options. But it’s time to start thinking of ways to make your offerings unique for those more adventurous customers.

Café Trends for Food

Cafés are starting to serve a wider variety of foods to cater to their customer base. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are becoming more popular. In the past, you’d be lucky if there were 2-3 options for you on the menu. Now, cafés are starting to create more inclusive menus.

Fermented products are a leading trend now in terms of food preparation. They offer a different flavor experience. Many cafés are starting to make their own special fermented products to give their food a unique taste to keep customers coming back.

Streamlined Design

There are new trends in cafe design and coffee shop design in 2018. Owners and managers are more inclined to look at how the space they have is being used. Moreover, analysis of consumer trends will indicate if the establishment has more ‘to go’ customers or ‘sit-down’ customers.

If a cafe has more people coming in to get a beverage to go, it’s time to change the marketing strategy to get more sit-down customers. Or the trend can be embraced. In that case, the counter area should be enlarged, and the sit-down area decreased.

The seating needs of customers are increasingly influencing café design. Cafés now offer different options such as more couches, booths, and window seats instead of conventional tables and chairs. Café design was also changing in 2018.

Giving customers a bit more room instead of cramming them in like sardines is a key trend. It gives customers who eat a more enjoyable experience. This is likely to make them want to return to the establishment.

Remembering the Environment

This year, much emphasis has been placed on the use of reusable coffee cups. Certain countries are banning straws and single-use plastics from curbing the excessive waste they generate.

Coffee shops and cafés are starting to look at alternatives so that they can paint themselves with the green brush. Corporate environmental responsibility is more important than ever.

Corporate social responsibility is also going to take center stage this year. Eliminating food wastage by partnering with local food rescue organizations will be more popular. Establishments that appear to be doing good for those in need garner the respect and support of the socially conscious Generation Z. Cafés and coffee shops will also start using leftover food in creative ways.


Pop-up shops are useful as a yardstick to determine the viability of a business idea or its location. Coffee shops and cafés are no different. In 2018, the pop-up phenomenon is likely to continue.

Pop-up cafés and coffee shops will create a buzz around products. Franchises will participate in the pop-up trend to garner fresh support for their existing establishments.

Social Media

Cafe trends and coffee shop trends alike indicate that social media platforms will become ever more important as marketing tools. Owners and managers need to keep up to date with the latest trends so that they don’t get left behind. Social media content writing is a fast-growing job trend. Many freelancers will seek job opportunities in the café and coffee shop market.

Learn more about how cafes can use digital menu boards and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to get the latest info on marketing with digital signage!
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