The year is steaming ahead, and so is our great industry! Australia’s love affair with premium coffee and café culture has fueled average revenue growth of 7.4% per annum over the last five years and it tipped to top $5.3 billion nationally in 2016. Your business is part of the 7,200+ cafes in Australia who are employing over 70,000 Australians!
Good times indeed, but how is your business going to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace?
Frankly, there are many ways…
Fundamentally however, the specialty coffee products and coffee product innovation you offer is the key to capturing and maintaining the increasingly sophisticated tastes of your customers.
So, to ensure your success this year here’s some tips to optimise your coffee offering;
Your consumers rely on the coffee you serve them, often to get them through the day or as a small personal reward to themselves. They want ‘their’ coffee to be high quality and delicious every time. If that expectation is challenged by the inconsistencies in your business, they will simply find somewhere else to practice their daily ritual. So whatever you are serving make sure it is great and do that again and again. That’s what drives customer loyalty.
Train and re-train staff
Your ‘cheerful’ baristas should all be practicing their craft in the same manner. Achieve this and you’ll go a long way to ensuring consistency. Does your business have a standard procedure for producing each of your product offerings? Have you collectively gathered the team to demonstrate your business’s procedural and production techniques? Are your staff confident in maintaining your commercial coffee machine? By human nature, your staff will develop individual unique traits over time that will impact any effort toward consistency. Get them ‘singing from the same page’ and your customers will be happy!
Look at your coffee with ‘fresh eyes’
Winemakers know it to be detrimental to taste only the wines they make. Developing what is called a ‘cellar palate’ can lead to winemakers believing their product is better than it is. Same goes for cafes. Be sure to personally taste other coffees from other cafes and analyse how they drink. Have someone you trust and that knows coffee, give it to you ‘straight up’ once they have critiqued your offerings.
Invent a ‘signature’ coffee drink or unique coffee menu
Once we are onto something we are passionate people, we Australians. We like to think we are ahead of the wave of popular culture and with social media the canvas of self-identity for so many people, consider offering customers unique specialty coffee to enjoy and importantly promote to their friends! There are loads of new coffee trends; observe the coffee scenes in our major cities to see what’s in vogue. Single Origin, Nitro Cold Brew, Espresso Tonic (‘Spro and Tonic), …served in a man’s hat (actually no…that’s never been in vogue). Be inventive and be known for something new and interesting!
Subtly educate your customer
We are all on a journey, a wonderful coffee journey. Some consumers know lots about coffee though most consumers don’t. What’s certain is that consumers know what they like and if they are empowered to know a little more about why they like it they are going to engage with your business in more meaningful ways. Education is empowerment, but it doesn’t have to be rammed home as a ‘lecture’. Having your baristas intelligently remarking about the ‘freshness’ of the ‘single origin’ ‘Guatemalan’ coffee in the ‘hopper’ throws consumers tidbits of dialogue that helps with their confidence in coffee. Remember, consumers see baristas as ‘oracles’ of coffee knowledge and they do want to know more. High knowledge can be intimidating so be casual and know your audience.
At the end of the day, our business depends on the success of yours so together let’s optimise the quality, consistency and variety of ‘our’ coffee offerings.
We’re here to help! Our commercial coffee support team is here to help in many ways. Come in to Peaberrys Coffee Roasters and freshen up your skills with our barista course or we can assist you on-site during one of our regular visits to your business. Either way, we look forward to a prosperous year working together with you!