Have you ever wondered why so many consumers are going out of their way to find the best cup of gourmet coffee in restaurants? Gourmet coffee chains have been boosting business across the entire quick-service industry; according to data from The NPD Group, coffee chains, account for “a sizeable percentage” of total quick-service traffic and have helped the industry traffic increase 1% in 2017’s third quarter. It was recently reported that coffee-house sales have grown 41% between 2011 and 2017, to $23.4 billion.
Restaurants are modifying their coffee options as they have seen their guests asking for better drip coffee and espresso-based beverages. Currently, there are a number of small- and large-scale coffee roasters that provide selections for operators, so they don’t need to be left behind in the coffee competition.
Over 50% of coffee consumed is considered to be “gourmet or specialty.” If your restaurant does not offer gourmet or specialty coffee, a way to differentiate yourself is by creating seasonal limited-time offers or using a variety of creamers and syrups. Many consumers like to customize their own coffee so any changes to your coffee options don’t necessarily mean increased labor or training an operator’s staff.
As far as customer service goes, consider paper cups and sleeves, people tend to enjoy an aesthetically pleasing cup of coffee. Also, make sure to buy the freshest, most consistent coffee available. The story behind the coffee bean is important and consumers appreciate that information. When looking for a coffee supplier, you should ask if their coffee is made to order if they’re buying coffee harvested in the current year, and how quickly they’re able to pack the coffee once roasted. Learn as much as possible about your product and make sure your supplier has the sourcing connections and technology to help you build your best cup of coffee possible.