We have seen from recent business news that High Street café chains seem to be thriving. Recently Brains the Cardiff based brewer, has announced that they have purchased a coffee chain. Brains’ Chief executive Scott Waddington has said “The coffee market has continued to grow strongly despite the recent difficult economic conditions. We believe that with the continuing changes in consumer eating and drinking habits, this acquisition presents an obvious opportunity for our business.”
Stuart MacFarlane, president of AB InBev UK, has urged licensees to embrace new things – and up their game and behave more like Starbucks if they are to survive. Offering hot drinks as an alternative to soft and alcoholic drinks, provides people with another reason to visit your venue and will widen the market. It will also encourage diners to stay longer and attract customers throughout the quieter times of the day.
The perfect cuppa!
What is required to offer an attractive hot drinks range?
Offer nice crockery; choose a style that suits your outlet. Modern white crockery with decent sized cups, mugs, tea pots and coffee glasses will give your outlet that contemporary café/ bistro feel.
It may seem obvious but if your coffee tastes good people will return. Invest in a decent coffee machine and make your coffee offering visual by placing it on the bar. Not only will it provide good tasting drinks, it will also provide you with a wide range of coffee. This will distinguish you from your competitors. Make sure you offer decaf varieties as well. The stars of the High Street coffee revolution are espresso coffees, cappuccinos, lattes and mochas. But there is a helpful new trend towards filter coffees, which are easier to make. Never use a carafe on a hotplate. These give coffee a life of only twenty minutes at best, and yet in many pubs they brew and stew all day.
Offer a variety of teas Earl Grey, breakfast, herbal and peppermint teas as well as decaf tea. This should cater for most people’s tastes. Tea served in a pot with a separate milk jug and sugar, will allow the customers to pour it themselves. This will ensure that they can have their tea just as they like it.
Other products and added extras.
The most important extra touch is serving your drinks with a suitable biscuit, such as shortbread finger for tea or individual wafer biscuits for coffee. However, by offering hot drinks and widening your appeal to a larger market may mean that you attract younger customers, so think about offering smoothies, fruit drinks and milkshakes. Think about offering a cake range, or packaged biscuits to purchase for drinkers that may want a snack but don’t want to dine.
Cater for your customers’ needs
Think about the layout of your outlet for the different customer types. For single customers who may have a laptop or want to read a newspaper or magazine, place newspapers on single small tables. For larger tables, offer colouring activities to cater for children and larger family groups. Try and keep family and large groups together, so that customers who may want a quiet drink are not disturbed. A more obvious way of segregating areas may be to have different furniture like lounging chairs and sofas for coffee drinkers, high chairs and a bottle warming area,with different cutlery baskets and crockery for children.