Three Tips on How to Use Coffee to Boost Restaurant Sales



Over 50 percent of American adults drink at least one cup of coffee every day, which adds up to 150 million regular coffee drinkers. That’s a huge market! Is your restaurant making the most of coffee sales, or could you be doing more to cash in on the nation’s love for coffee?

At last month’s International Restaurant and Foodservice Show in New York, Sherri Jones, the founder of WholeCup Coffee Consulting, gave a presentation on how and why restaurants should leverage coffee sales to boost profits. Here are some of the highlights from her presentation:

  • Coffee is often the lasting impression customers take away from a meal, and businesses should make sure to pay as much attention to the quality of coffee as to the quality of the food.
  • Many coffee drinkers and dessert-lovers will leave a restaurant in order to get their after-meal treats elsewhere. For a table of four, this can result in $60 to $80 in revenue the restaurant is giving up by not offering high-quality coffee.
  • If a restaurant spends $14 per pound of coffee, charges $1.95 per cup and sells 100 cups per day with 50 free refills, at the end of one year there will be a total of $44, 484 in profits. (source)

44 thousand dollars! Zanzibar! That’s a lot of money. And that’s if you only charge $1.95, which is pretty cheap for a fancy cup of joe. So, what’s the best way to ensure your restaurant profits from your coffee offerings? Here are three great tips!

1. Don’t set your prices too low.

Setting your prices a little higher gives customers a higher perceived value and the impression that you are serving specialty coffee. Like wine, coffee tastes better when it costs more. You don’t want to set the price outrageously high, either, but avoid the temptation to entice customers to buy with low prices.

2. Don’t offer too many options.

Leave the pumpkin spice to Starbucks, you won’t regret it. Offering a simple selection is a good idea for three reasons:

1.) You will not waste precious kitchen space with a bunch of unused syrups.

2.) You will further enhance the impression that your coffee is specially selected and need not be jazzed up with peppermint syrup.

3.) Lastly, by keeping it simple you will make sure that you don’t end up losing money by keeping low-selling items on the menu.

3. Choose coffee selections based on your menu.

If you are only going to offer a limited coffee selection, be sure that it is the right coffee for your restaurant. If you serve Mediterranean food, consider Turkish coffee. If you serve mostly ice cream for dessert, consider adding a dark, bold coffee to complement it. You will be sure to lure coffee aficionados back for more!

If coffee isn’t on your menu yet, be sure to check out our selection of coffee supplies and equipment for everything you need to cash in on the caffeine!

photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via photopin cc


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FSW Staff

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1 Comment

  1. Candice Anderson on

    It is right as many people love drinking coffee mixes with their meals. And offering too much variety of coffees is not a good idea just much them with the menu you have.

    Candice Anderson

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