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Coffee Merchandising Ideas

  • Offer coffee to-go
  • Use strong point-of-sale material and signage to attract attention to your coffee.
  • Offer large size cups (up to 20 OZ) at a great price. It will attract the larger sale, and keep fresh coffee moving out the door by charging less per ounce for larger sizes.
  • Offer creative coffee beverages made from your own recipes.
  • Create specials that follow calendar occassions. (everyone knows that Valentine’s day is in February, but what about a Mexican coffee festival for Cinco de Mayo).

Your Crew is Your Best Merchandising Tool

  • Staff participation is the key to promotions that work for your business. Refreshed apron designs, hats, t-shirts and other wearables can stimulate staff enthusism.
  • Employee tastings help your crew to become comfortable with the tastes of every item on the coffee menu, and at the same time gives them a chance to become a community of fellow workers
  • Work on having an upbeat and friendly (not artificially overfriendly) attitude among your crew. It will improve sales. Being hip may be cool, but unless Steve McQueen is a member of your crew the independent attitude of cool is rarely helpful to making a sale. Sales are fostered by a well mannered, warm and friendly, attitude.
  • Recipes or blends of the week at special price points can develop your business, particularly if professional signage and energized baristas are supporting the items with strong graphics and suggestive chatter.

Lean Into Merchandising

  • Signs, show cards, menu boards, videos, and point-of-purchase materials telling folks about your products help give your goods a special cache.
  • Always use signature names on blends and beverages to make your goods stand out. (Tanzanian Pearls sounds much better than Tanzanian Peaberry). Make an extra effort to check spelling; always Colombia, never Columbia.
  • Promote coffee as a time of day event remembering that "coffee jump start" is a stronger merchandise forward phrase than "breakfast coffee."

Merchandising as an Integrated Idea

  • Using eye appealing tableware and napkins improves the perceived taste of the products served from them, and establishes your bone fides as a place a cut above the competition.
  • A garnish on a beverage adds something unexpected and special to for your customer to enjoy. In the 80s an espresso bar of my acquaintance served a shot with Jelly Belly brand jelly beans on the side and named it after the jelly bean loving president of the United States, Espresso Ron Reagan. A pinch of cocoa powder, a cinnamon stick, or a mint leaf do wonders for the customers’ ideas related to the quality level of your shop.
  • If you are pulling shots and customizing beverages, rather than using a superautomatic espresso machine do it with a flourish, and where the customer (and anyone else nearby) can see it. Showmanship makes the coffee more enticing, and sells others on the idea. When you hear,"I'll have what he’s having," in the shop, you'll know you are on a successful path.
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