Because the beverage that fuels customers also fuels morning foodservice sales, it’s important to constantly focus attention on improving your coffee program. Bean-to-cup technology is gaining popularity at c-stores across the country. Retailers like it because it minimizes waste and requires little labor to operate at peak performance. Customers like it because it provides the freshest cup of coffee in a minute or less.
But you don’t have to upgrade all of your equipment to have a profitable coffee center. Many retailers are still successfully operating coffee programs using traditional drip equipment.
Customers want a fresh hot cup of coffee. Give them anything less and you’re not likely to see them again.
Meeting those demands means setting — and maintaining — a strict schedule of brewing new pots.
Freshness can also be conveyed by keeping the coffee counter, its equipment and the entire condiment area scrupulously clean and tidy.
Keep track of what kinds of coffee customers prefer and be sure to always have pots hot and ready to go. Customers don’t want to wait around for a fresh pot to be brewed.
Give customers ample opportunities to customize their cups of coffee with sweeteners, creamers and syrups. Limited-time and seasonal offers (LTOs) can add interest to your coffee offering.
Think about adding cold brew coffee to your product mix. Iced coffee has also become increasingly popular as an any time of day refresher.
Display bakery items — either fresh or prepackaged — adjacent to the coffee area. Bundle coffee with other complementary items from the bakery, deli or packaged goods departments.
Include a coffee loyalty club option on the store’s app, awarding customers a free cup with the purchase of a certain number. Some c-stores have also launched subscription services giving customers one cup a day for a flat discounted monthly fee.