Coffee is a sensory item and involves a number of senses creating a memorable customer experience. Coffee may be the first and last impression you make on a customer. Doing it right means starting with top-quality products, having all the condiments and flavor options consumers demand, pricing it right, carefully maintaining the station, making the beverages convenient for shoppers to select and pay for and offering attractive promotions.
Here are seven tips that will make your coffee center a success:
- A Great Roast. Whether you do your own roast or get something that comes from a supplier, you must start with a great roast. There are many quality branded coffee programs out there as well as companies that will create a “private label” just for your store(s). Do your research and find a great roast!
- Water. The water to be used must be right or the coffee will be wrong. Bad water makes bad coffee. Water that has been “softened” should also be avoided. Municipal water is usually not good enough for high quality coffee, unless you are using a good filtration system.
- Temperature. The brewing temperature of the water used is very important. It should be between 195 F and 205 F. The closer to 205 F the better. Boiling water (212 F) should never be used, as it will burn the coffee. Water that is less than 195 F will not extract properly.
- Aroma. Customers walking in to the store will be enticed by the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. Conversely, the aroma of stale coffee immediately creates a adverse reaction to coffee and, more importantly, ALL food-service items in the store. The recommended holding time to serve fresh coffee is 20 to 30 minutes. Many stores discard coffee after 30 minutes.
- Sanitary and clean serving equipment. Clean servers or coffee bowls enhance the appearance of the service area and create a favorable customer impression for all items purchased in the store.
- Appropriate coffee pack weights. I recommend no less than 2.0 ounces of ground coffee per 64 ounces of brewed coffee for that full bodied cup-o-Joe. Lower pack weights strain the ground coffee against providing enough flavor, and also compromises customer loyalty. An ideal weight is 2.5 ounces of ground coffee.
- Condiment Variety. Following coffee house expectations successful in-store coffee programs will have a variety of milks, creamers, sweeteners, flavor shots and toppings such as whipped cream, cinnamon and hazelnut featured at the coffee bar.
By following these tips you will create a positive customer experience and deliver a rival product to any coffee house outlet for a lower retail price and build an ever growing profitable coffee program.
At PES Design Group we are specialists in Restaurant, Food Service and C-store design and have a staff of knowledgeable consultants with over 25 years of experience in planning innovative, attractive, efficient and profitable C-store facilities. We will use our years of experience to design innovation and uniqueness into your project helping you to set yourself apart from the rest. We can provide you with a remodel design that will help you achieve a greater positive customer experience, top your competition and increase profits!
Don’t take our word for it! Visit our portfolio page at portfolio.pesdesigngroup.com for a list and photos of projects our consultants have done during their 25+ years in the C-store Design Industry as well as testimonials from very satisfied clients.
About the Consultant
Jim Richards (Sr) is a Principal Design Consultant and C-store Specialist with the PES Design Group, Midwest Office. During his 25 years of experience in the C-store Design Industry, Jim has designed many c-stores that are modern, innovative, efficient and most importantly… PROFITABLE.