July 04, 2023 12:57
Customers are drawn to coffee shops by their visual appeal but can be turned off by loud noise or aggressive music, Korea's uncrowned coffee-shop king says.
Wi Kook-myung, a veteran of the industry who offers consultations for aspiring entrepreneurs, said, "If you read the trends of the industry and pay attention to little details, a coffee shop has still ample potential to become successful."
Wi says it is important to strike a balance between visual and auditory factors. "At first, you should create an interesting interior decor that makes people want to come inside and then elevate the appeal through the taste of the coffee and desserts," he said.
"But to make customers come back again and again, you have to consider auditory factors. That's what makes them feel comfortable at first, and the secret to longevity is to use sound-absorbing materials and spend money on acoustics."
Wi said new coffee shops keep springing up even though the market in Korea became saturated a decade ago.
"Korea has fluctuating temperatures around the year and coffee shops serve as indoor socializing venues," he said. "Large coffee shops just outside big cities have emerged as cheap travel destinations, transforming how people spend money," which means there is still potential for growth.
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