Consumers may be cutting back elsewhere but it seems they still can't get enough coffee. In the latest Caterer Academy we look at ways to help you profit from the perfect cup
With the coffee market in the UK at an all-time high of £5b and growing despite economic uncertainty, it's clearly a revenue stream to be exploited.
But as consumers are drinking more coffee than ever, their tastes are also becoming more sophisticated. This means they'll quickly disregard operators serving poor-quality coffee and search out those that make it with premium products prepared with care and attention.
According to Allegra Strategies, restaurant chains are returning to core values to secure consumer loyalty, with a focus on improved coffee and in-store experience. But independent operators, too, can gain a slice of this lucrative market by concentrating on quality and demonstrating sustainability.
One account controller at a hot beverage supplier told Allegra: "I believe that there has been a step change towards higher-quality coffees and ethically traded products. The café culture in the UK is as strong as ever and with the marketplace being inundated with offers from chains, department stores and independents, their unique offerings are now the higher-quality products."
Any operators need to stand out from the crowd and this means serving a range of quality products. Spend levels are increasing, but so is the breadth of consumer demand so it's wise to be well stocked in a variety of teas and hot chocolate, too.
Research from Kraft Foods found that 69% of caterers said their customers were prepared to pay more for a better tasting coffee, while 65% considered that an outlet which offered sustainably farmed or ethically sourced hot beverages created a positive impression on them. So we have compiled some tips to ensure you can serve the perfect cup of coffee and hot chocolate, and in the process increase uptake and profit.
Five ways to make the most of hot drink sales
â- Create theatre through themes to help drive sales. Promotional opportunities include Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas.
â- There is a high incidence of food consumption with hot beverages so try cross-promotion.
â- Ensure your coffee machine is in full view of the customer so that they are inspired to buy.
â- Train all staff to serve perfect coffee so that they're confident to promote your offer.
Six steps to create the perfect filter coffee
1 Run 1.7 litres (3 pints) of fresh cold water through the machine at the start of every day before use.
2 Always use one complete pack of coffee per brew.
3 Place one filter paper in the brew basket. Add coffee and shake the brew basket to level the coffee. This allows perfect extraction and excellent taste.
4 Fill the machine water reservoir with 1.7 litres (3 pints) of fresh cold water, turn on machine and allow to brew.
5 Allow the brew to finish completely before starting the next brew and never mix old and fresh coffee together.
6 Brewed coffee should be consumed within 45 minutes of brewing.
Winter warmer - Smooth Ginger Mocha
4tsp (heaped) drinking chocolate
284ml semi-skimmed milk
20ml ginger syrup
Light sprinkle of cinnamon
1 shot of espresso (using Kenco sustainable coffee beans)
Pour one shot of espresso into serving cup
Spoon 4tsp (heaped) of drinking chocolate into mixing jug.
Add 284ml cold milk. Add 20ml ginger syrup. Quick manual stir. Heat through on steam arm (at 65-70Â°C). Milk should be latte-style milk (ie, more heat than foam/less aeration).
Pour into serving cup over espresso shot.
Hot beverages can be one of the biggest revenue streams on the menu. And when times are tough it's especially important to make sure you offer your customers great-quality hot beverages.
In a recent independent survey conducted for Kraft Foods, 69% of caterers agreed their customers were prepared to pay more for a better-tasting coffee, meaning quality coffee can really help drive revenue.
This is supported by public retail figures, which show that premium brands now hold the biggest proportion of the total market at 38%* as consumers look for a quality cup of coffee.
Quality is at the heart of the Kenco brand* and the Cadbury Hot Chocolate brand*. Our raw ingredients go through rigorous quality checks throughout their journey from harvesting to roasting, blending and finally packing to ensure, whichever format you purchase, they reach you in perfect condition.
\ Part of Kraft Foods
RBI Research 2010 (for full details go to www.kencocoffeecompany.co.uk)
\ The Nielsen Company, Total MAT to week ending 21 May 2011