All you’ve got to do is change!
With apologies to James Taylor, in his timeless favourite, ‘You’ve got a Friend’.
Each season moves along with the complete certainty that nature brings. You know yourself that in the summer you will eat and drink differently than in the winter.
Over the last few weeks, the big coffee chains have all launched their Christmas, seasonal, festive ranges. We have seen the return of the Gingerbread latte, the Black Forest Hot Chocolate, to name but two, all served in a unique Christmas take away cup.
The new design of seasonal cups gets as much if not, even more, coverage in the press, online, on social media.
Innovative new items on the menu serve a myriad of purposes. They keep things fresh and exciting; they introduce your guests to latest trends, and they provide insight into what works and what doesn’t. Often these new lines sell so well that they become permanent additions to the range. In short, they help drive a business forward.
So why is it that so few independent coffee shops and cafe’s take advantage of these great marketing opportunities around the seasons and special occasions?
Why do so few even change whats on their menu all year, whether it is the drinks they sell or the food they serve, it doesn’t change?
It may be because they are purists and don’t want to pollute their coffee with syrup. It could be that they don’t have the time to do all the work necessary to invent new lines and order in the ingredients. It could be that they think that their menu is perfect and that they don’t want to mess with it.
Despite what you might think sometimes it can be as easy as featuring products that you already sell by changing the position on the menu or bringing them to your guest’s attention using a poster or a blackboard.
Often it can be at low-risk of wastage by adding a long life, low-cost ingredient like a syrup.
Independent’s have a significant advantage over the chains too, because if you want to try something new, you can! You don’t need to go through the endless committees and bureaucracy that inflict big business. You just do it straight away, if it works great, if not then try something else.
Inspiration is everywhere, it’s quick and easy to check out the internet & social media for ideas for your next new menu item, so there is no excuse.
Either way in the words of Mikhail Gorbachev “If you don’t move forward, sooner or later you begin to move backward.”
Andrew & Claire Bowen, The Coffeepreneurs, are the Authors of the Amazon best seller, ‘The Daily Grind – how to open and run a coffee shop that makes money’. They are also the founders of Cafe Success, ‘The ultimate resource for coffee shops’. They own and run their own independent coffee shop, Java&Co, based in Oxfordshire, UK. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, they have been franchisee’s, regional franchisees single and multi site operators, as well as developing their own chain of independent coffee shops. They make coffee shop owners more money, by helping them ‘Start Up, Scale Up or Tune Up’ their coffee businesses.