Asset Mockup, Event Assistance, Market Research, Product Development,
Business Consulting & Strategy Intern
Aug 2017-Dec 2017
Drive sales by increasing the cafe's
daytime foot traffic
Cafe Hammock is a camp-themed cafe, bar, co-working, and event space in Tokyo, Japan.
Its close proximity to a major commuter rail makes its location advantageous as a flex space.
The cafe had seen mild success with the 26-40 males thanks to its camp aesthetic and menu items like beer and shisha. With Japanese work culture's emphasis on working overtime, most of the cafe's foot traffic and sales occurred within the final 90 minutes of operating hours.
How can we increase the cafe's
daytime foot traffic & drive sales?
To increase daytime foot traffic, we needed to see what
demographics we could appeal to. With the help of my internship supervisor, I conducted street interviews outside of Mitaka station. Most people we interviewed fell into
two groups: senior citizens and busy housewives.
We chose to focus on the housewives because they fit the cafe's target customer profile better. Plus, the cafe's inaccessibility - winding stairway, lack of ramp /escalator, narrow entryway - would be a deterrent for people with mobility issues. Playing up the hammock aspect of the cafe, we positioned it as a place of short respite during the demographic's busy errand days.
With the target audience identified, the next step was to
craft a strategy to draw the daytime crowd.
An additional part of the internship's challenge was to
highlight Japan-made goods. I wanted to create a drink that would spark interest due to its foreign origins and appeal specifically to women. Given the time of year, an apple-flavored drink using Aomori prefecture apples seemed apt. Channeling my time at Middlebury, I cooked up a traditional Apple Cider recipe and presented it to the team. They loved it but noted the recipe was too sweet for Japanese sensibilities. After tailoring the recipe, it was ready for production.
In Japan, many small businesses put business cards, mini maps, and coupons in travel tissue packs and hand them out. Recycling this idea, I designed card mockups like the below.
The text emphasizes Cafe Hammock as a flex space, includes its address, a mini-map from Mitaka Station's south exit, and a 15% off coupon for the new drink! This strategy slightly increased foot traffic, but we saw a significant uptick after holding a weekend tasting event.
To capitalize on the success of the tasting event, we took the new drink to two major community events in Mitaka: Mitaka City's monthly marche and International Christian University Fest. The latter netted us an influx of student support and Cafe Hammock quickly became the premier off-campus study and meetup spot nearby.
By the end of my internship, we managed to increase cafe Q4 by 125%, hold a crafting workshop, and host a small student art expo in the space. Places as unique and quirky as Cafe Hammock are the pockets of Tokyo that make it such a special city. I feel privileged to have been able to work with them on their business strategy, work on my Japanese, and engage in cultural exchange through food and drink.