Let’s face it – We are all in the hookah business to make money, hopefully lots of money. If we are lucky, maybe a second, third, fourth location….Franchise anyone?!? Getting there is hard work and you need to follow a few simple principles and apply them to your business in order to see your profits multiply. Here are 3 simple tips that can help you cut costs, improve efficiency and increase the average customer purchase without rewriting your business plan.
Step 1: Success = Duplication = Keeping it simple
Back in the days of the industrial revolution, the Rockefellers, Carnegies and Fords figured out that being successful involved creating a simple system that was easily duplicated and then multiplying those small successes into a multi-million dollar empire. Take the same approach in your hookah lounge to see a similar success. Do you know how much shisha tobacco you use on each bowl? If no, why not? If you can’t tell me exactly how many servings you have on hand, how can you order properly? How can you train employees fresh off the street to prepare your hookahs correctly?
Solution: Get a small scale and set a standard serving size. I know that hookah bowls can be irregular in size, but the amount you put in doesn’t have to be. If you can save a few grams on every bowl, you can see up to 20% more profit from the stock you already have on hand. The bowl doesn’t have to filled to the brim to smoke properly, so don’t waste time, money and effort. If you don’t want that extra cash, I’ll take it!
Step 2: Going All Natural
Quick-lighting hookah coals were the favorite of lounges for years because of their convenience. The order comes in, a quick flick of the lighter and in a few moments the customers was smoking. But every 20 minutes you are out there adding more coals to keep the hookah smoking. Its a lot of wasted time and effort.
Solution: Quality Natural Hookah Coals
Natural hookah coals have become the most popular hookah charcoals for experienced shisha smokers for a few reasons. They last much longer and have a much cleaner taste that does not interfere with the tobacco flavor. Natural coals cost roughly the same per piece as quick lighting coals, but they last twice as long, if not more. Get a small coal burner going in your lounge and switch to natural coals. Your customers will enjoy the flavors more, and you spend less on coals while your employees spend less time adjusting hookahs. With the boom in demand for bulk natural coals, you can get incredible prices on lounge cases to save even more.
Check out our favorite Natural Charcoal. CocoBrico
Step 3: It’s Hard to Get Rich $12 at a Time
You get a big group of customers coming in and they order 2 hookahs. Woo Hoo! You just made $24! Wait, they are here all night and I have to pay to clean up after them. What’s going on here? How many people do you need to serve before you start seeing any real money?
Solution: Make Upgrades a part of the process
Anyone can put out a menu and hope that customers choose to smoke the most profitable items. If you want to be successful, you need to steer your customers to the products and services you want them to buy. Don’t make it so easy to order just the $5 special and sit down. Include upgrade offers like fruit juices in the bases, extra hoses, Ice in the water, or with an Ice Hose Tip, etc. There are many ways to upgrade the experience and most of the upgrades are 90% profit. $3 for hand full of ice? $5 to use our special Ice Hose? Would you like our tropical punch in the base for $4? Set up your menu or have your employees ask for these hookah upgrades with every customer. These are no-brainers that can boost your average ticket size by 30-50%!
If you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you, we would love to hear them! Let us know how these ideas work for you.