Adding Coffee to Menu....Need Ideas, would like to carry Organic Coffee

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Short info on what I do now. I own a successful fresh juice and smoothie bar which I use about 70% organic fruits and veggies for everything that we serve. So the only thing currently being sold are fruit smoothies, green smoothies, fresh fruit and veggie juices. We also carry a limited number of raw food dishes and fresh made salads.

On a daily basis I have at least 10-15 people that come in for coffee on their own or a group comes in and 1 person out of the group would like a coffee and not a juice or smoothie. I hate seeing a potential customer walk out the door not being served and walking over to McDonald's for a coffee and then coming back to drink it with their friends....I don't have a problem with people bringing in coffee from elsewhere since I don't sell it.

I don't personally drink coffee or tea so i don't know anything about taste or what makes it good or bad in the eyes of the drinker(so many variables I know).

What I would like to do is carry a high quality organic coffee at a self service spot located on counter space that is not being used as of right now.

I am looking for ideas of brands of organic coffee that you use or drink now. I would not be making special drinks out of them...different roasts would be fine or sell it just black. I would have honey, sugar, cream and other things people would like to add to them....but to be honest I am not really sure what all those things should be...

Does anyone think I would be getting in over my head trying to sell coffee on a small scale since I don't drink it or have any knowledge of it. I won't claim to be a coffee house....just a place that a person can go to, if they want a cup of great organic coffee.

Obviously part of the reason I want to serve coffee is do to simple business numbers... At minimum I am missing out on 10 sold cups a day and 300 sold cups a month...not sure of the exact margins, but I assume I could make at least .50 a cup on each purchase(I have been told profit can be high).

I would have happy customers and another profit stream if it worked....a win/win for my business.

Thanks for taking the time to read the post.


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My Thoughts:

You really are not missing out. Some may disagree, but you are a juice and smoothie bar, adding coffee erodes your core, and since it's really not your thing, the coffee you serve will never be the quality of the smoothie and juices you serve. It erodes your base. 

It's like a coffee bar having people come in and ask for smoothies. 

There's a reason why you are running the business. Don't fall prey to the ideas that a few random people put in your head. Note, I did not say customers. Were they your customers, they would be frequenting you for your awesome juices. Diversification isn't really extra revenue, it's usually a business killer.

Maybe you need to raise your prices, maybe you need create some new smoothie blends, but for your business, adding means subtracting.

  Is $150 extra dollars per month greater value than having to start new relationship with a coffee vendor, getting the equipment, dealing with delivery, learning the proper brew techniques,  and the additional time in line it takes for your core customer to get a smoothie.

I think this is something only you can answer.

I agree with what's been said so far.

Do not underestimate the challenge involved with just presenting a great cup of coffee. There's far more to it than most realize, which is why so few get it right.

Given your extremely low projected volume, the only realistic service scenario is by-the-cup. This does not have to be rocket science, but does need to be done properly and iwll take some equipment. Given your current relationship (or lack thereof) with coffee, this may be a bit of a challenge. You'd need to find a good roaster to help you create your program.

I think you're talking a significant amount of time and effort for not much payoff.

On a more proactive note, you should probably just ask your customers.  You can start by experimenting with 1 drip coffee option and if you get good feedback, start expanding slowly. 

I completely disagree with asking the customers.

The open questions are:

1. Is it feasible?

2. Does it make sense for my business?

3. Will it be profitable?

These are business decisions. Only a business owner can answer these questions.

The only positive contribution that your customers might provide is to give a little (not completely accurate) insight into whether they would buy coffee - though he already has a more accurate concept of that than they would provide. They would, however, contribute lots of noise to the decision. Also, if the decision turned out to be "no coffee", those that requested coffee would be disappointed.

We absolutely should listen to the customer in the course of our normal daily interactions, because they're telling us all the time. We should listen to what they say, watch what they choose, figure out what they prefer. Read their minds, don't ask them. You know what you can possibly offer them better than they do.

Asking them what they want and then offering it to them is being reactive, figuring out what they'll want and then offering it is proactive.

My two cents.

Seth Gold said:

On a more proactive note, you should probably just ask your customers.  You can start by experimenting with 1 drip coffee option and if you get good feedback, start expanding slowly. 

I agree with Brady.

Don't complicate things. Less is more.

A great business mind once said, "There's a reason they are on the customer side of the counter."

Agree with the comments about folks saying that it’s probably not the best idea for you to incorporate coffee since your focus on juice smoothie that would kind of spread you thin and you wouldn’t be able to focus on coffee like you need to really benefit from it.

However, what I would say is that if you do have a non-insignificant number of people requesting coffee that you find really good quality local cafe hopefully someone near you that you partner with and then you advertise at the very least but what you can do to get the bit out of it is get the other coffee to make some kind of special deal for your customers. So when you have customers coming in and say why don’t you have coffee I want coffee,  you can say why go to my favorite place over here and use this coupon code to get 10% off or a free flavor shot or whatever is the deal that you got.

Ideally, the cafe would give you some kind of benefit from that as well. If you don’t want any kind of special deal, you can at least find a good cafe place that could do the same thing for you in other words if they have customers who want smoothies, then they point them to you. This is some kind of mutual beneficial arrangement and it’s a very good opportunity.

- transcribed and posted for Joseph @ JR Mobile by Mark

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