A top rate coffee bar starts with a high-quality cup of coffee, but presentation matters too.
The most important aspect of your convenience store’s coffee bar is that the coffee is hot and fresh. Consider if a move to bean-to-cup coffee dispensers might be right for your chain to ensure customers receive a fresh cup of coffee every time. While you’ll have to pay for the cost of equipment, you’ll save in terms of waste in the long run. If you’re using glass pots or thermal dispensers, ensure employees are refreshing coffee at the proper intervals.
If you’re offering special roasts or sustainably sourced beans, be sure to use signage to communicate that to your customers.
Allow opportunities for customization. Many convenience stores rotate limited-time-only flavors and seasonal flavors to add excitement to the coffee section. A full selection of syrups, sugars and creamers can allow opportunities for customers to customize their beverage. Consider include plant-based creamers too, as they are growing in popularity, especially among younger consumers. Also, consider adding cappuccino machines or espresso-based drink dispensers to further improve the selection.
To make your store a true destination for coffee, move beyond hot dispensed. Many customers today prefer cold-brew coffee or ready-to-drink coffee that they can find in a cold vault.
Cleanliness is key, especially given the pandemic. Spills or garbage in the coffee area won’t cut it with consumers today. Ensure employees are picking up and sanitizing the area regularly.
Customers should be able to see the coffee bar upon entering the store. If that’s not the case, consider updating your signage to make the area more visible.
Take a look at your coffee bar presentation. Is it time for an upgrade? New signage, paint, fixtures, machines or cups can help take your coffee area to the next level.
Consider cross promoting packaged or fresh bakery items at the coffee bar, or offer a bakery- and-coffee bundle deal to drive sales.