Quality coffee is good for business says Tim Squirrell from Bury St Edmunds firm Crude
The coffee game in the UK is rapidly evolving and offering a great cup of coffee can really help your business grow. This sounds obvious if we are talking about a coffee shop, however the same applies for offices, restaurants, gyms, health centres, car dealerships etc. For example – if you go to look to buy a car in a showroom, you are likely to be offered a coffee. An instant, watery, bitter drink in a plastic cup probably isn’t going to get the client resonating with positivity about their experience with the company from the outset.
I believe just offering a coffee isn’t enough anymore. It needs to be a good, if not a great, cup of coffee.
I’m confident in saying if your coffee is good, you will get compliments and in return it can help your business grow.
In the above example, it also provides a great conversation starter, being able to talk about perhaps a ‘locally roasted fresh bean from Honduras with notes of chocolate and caramel’ as opposed to, perhaps if your coffee is not so good, just silence.
I see more shops shifting into the specialty world with better baristas, better equipment and in return better coffee, which is great. However, some places aren’t there yet. I’ve created this article to highlight the top points which I feel can really help your coffee game.
A good coffee bean is the first step – this sounds obvious, however investing in a good bean can sometimes be scary for people due to perhaps the additional costing on a per kg rate. For example, the difference between purchasing a single origin, speciality, flavoursome, hand roasted bean may be an extra £5 per kilo compared with your current ‘ok’ bean. I always encourage the breakdown of the cost per cup. Based on a typical 16g double shot, you will achieve around 62 cups per kg – which on that £5 per kg addition breaks down to just 8p per cup. If you don’t want to soak that up yourself, an 8p price increase to the customer probably wouldn’t raise any hairs, however the taste difference may certainly raise a smile.
Staff training – daily set up
Having a good bean is all well and good, however if you are using a traditional machine, you will need good baristas to put your new investment in your beans to good use. Therefore, barista training is essential.
Making sure anyone that uses the coffee machine can ensure each cup is consistent, presented with latte art, correctly extracted each time, has the correct ratios, correct milk texture and is served at the correct temperature are all points that need to be known. If you are unsure of any of these, then it may be worth prompting your coffee supplier for some additional training.
The presentation of the coffee and how it’s delivered to you makes a big difference. The staff should be proud and enthusiastic about the cup of coffee they have served. If it’s done right, it’s a crafted skill and a mini accomplishment when you get the perfect extracted espresso topped with visually pleasing latte art. Make sure the staff who serve your coffee are genuinely interested in coffee and perhaps the background behind it. They may like to talk about the bean, origin, farmer and how it was roasted to the customer. This all shows that additional passion has been placed into your coffee and that it’s genuinely cared for.
Embrace and create
Keep it exciting, embrace the trends and create new exciting drinks for your customers to enjoy. Anything you can do to add excitement to their daily coffee pick me up. The more interesting and exciting their experience, the more likely they may post on social media providing you free exposure alongside returning for a repeat order. There are numerous new products coming to the market and one of the most popular being Nitro Cold Brew Coffee, which is available on tap and in a can. You can also take your coffee further by using it in desserts, stouts and cocktails dependent on your set up.
Tim Squirell, coffee specialist at F&E/Crude
Frank and Earnest Coffee, Britannia House, Brunel Business Court,
Bury St Edmunds
Roastery Hillside Road, Bury St Edmunds