Generally speaking decaf costs more. I've contemplated a decaf price uplift but haven't implemented it yet. Most shops charge an uplift for alternative milks like Soy, how 'bout decaf?

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The product in question was decaf coffee beans....don't see any of them critters anywhereabouts drsmoothiebrands.com...
Dr. Smoothie/Cafe Essentials said:
Look at your numbers and upcost on the product. A need? see drsmoothiebrands.com
decaf from my prospective roaster costs $2 more per kilo than normal espresso. an 18 gram double shot of caffeinated espresso costs me 28.2¢. the same of decaf espresso costs me 31.8¢. if that extra 3.6¢ per decaf double is really is killing your business, then, uh, i don' t know what to tell you. soy doubles your milk unit costs. decaf adds 4¢.

also, are you grinding your decaf espresso fresh? you should consider that four cents a less than fair trade to your decaf customers if you aren't.
Decaf from your prospective roaster for your soon to be opened cafe may be quoted at $2 more per k but guess what, if quality both regular and decaf they're eating the cost difference. The fact is decaf greens cost on average 50% more than their regular greens counter part. Plus decaf has a shorter life once roasted.

I know what my roaster pays for greens, I am my roaster. Hence my original query. Since decaf does in fact cost substantially more (50% more being substantial difference in my book), why not pass at least part of the cost on to the consumer as a small per cup uplift?
That's a tough one, Mike. I know we charge more for a pound of decaf beans, but it is insignificant... $1 difference vs regular. No upcharge for drip or espresso, despite the slight increase in cost. As much as I'd like to say something like "it would be poorly received", I know you are making great effort to source only the best decaf beans you can get your hands on. Maybe it would help sell the idea that you have the best decaf in town?

Maybe if it were in the context of a tiered price structure for all beans - different prices for different coffees, you could do it. So if you charge more for COEs, Organics, other more expensive greens, then decaf follows that pattern. However, if you price like most places, with a single price for a cup o' drip from the airpot, it might be harder to justify. Not sure how you price there.

Let us know what you decide.
Ah, you hit the nail on the head with how it could work. I banned airpots last November and brew every cup via pour over station or individual press pot to order. (or espresso of course). Already do charge uplifts on some coffees, as much as $3 uplift per cup! (Panama Esmeralda Gesha, Organic Award Winning Single Estate Aloha Hills Fancy Kona $2, Organic Ethiopia Idido Misty Valley $1, and a couple $0.50 and $0.25 lesser uplifts) So I could probably get away with a quarter more per decaf pour over or espresso doppio without a revolt.

The reality is I believe most roasters seem to mark up decaf about the cost difference of the greens rather than pricing it like it should be priced based on cost and margins. Which is actually what I do too. Making my 12oz decaf whole bean bag on the shelf a buck more retail than comparable regular.

Hell I'm really only talking maybe a couple bucks a day at a quarter uplift but it's more the principal of charging the value for what is received. I know some shops who keep it really simple, no decaf offered period. (one a wholesale customer of mine) Personally I think that's being a bit short sighted or too limiting customer options but that's just me.

Brady said:
That's a tough one, Mike. I know we charge more for a pound of decaf beans, but it is insignificant... $1 difference vs regular. No upcharge for drip or espresso, despite the slight increase in cost. As much as I'd like to say something like "it would be poorly received", I know you are making great effort to source only the best decaf beans you can get your hands on. Maybe it would help sell the idea that you have the best decaf in town?

Maybe if it were in the context of a tiered price structure for all beans - different prices for different coffees, you could do it. So if you charge more for COEs, Organics, other more expensive greens, then decaf follows that pattern. However, if you price like most places, with a single price for a cup o' drip from the airpot, it might be harder to justify. Not sure how you price there.

Let us know what you decide.
Do it. It fits with your approach for everything else.

If you had reservations, perhaps source a decent but less-expensive decaf green that you could continue to offer at the current price and then sell the heck out of your good one at the uplifted (love the terminology) price. This would give you a real insight into what your customer was interested in... the best decaf you can find vs something less expensive.

That said, I suspect that your customer is not just looking for a cheap cuppa joe anyway, so you probably have nothing to worry about. This economy has us all jumpy about that kind of stuff, so I totally understand the hesitation.

You might not want to change pricing on your current product. What about sourcing something even better and tying the increase to that? That would be a product improvement at a higher price rather than a price increase... may be better received. Speculation on my part...
well, if your actual markup on green coffee is 50% (i don't know what my roaster pays for green so i couldn't say what he'll actually be passing along to me) then explain that to your customers, should you decide to do a markup. also, what % of your sales are decaf? are we talking drip or espresso? all those factors would influence how much of a hit your profit is taking. just seems like a matter of crunching your numbers - i know mine.
We charged a quarter more for all decaf drinks across the board at JavaJ. My mantra in all things was "it's not what, it's how" and this was no different. We politely explained to our receptive customers that we and our roasters had a choice. Either we could buy cheaper, poor quality beans and sell them at the same price, or we could buy higher quality decaf that actually tasted like coffee and sell it for a quarter more. If anything, it helped sales, and usually spurred wholebean sales of decaf, as we were able to differentiate our quality. Of course, our decaf was damn, damn good.

Do not overlook the hidden costs of offering decaf either. If you load a hopper full of beans, but only sell 5% of your drinks decaf, how much as a percentage of sales went into dialing in the shots, or was vacuumed out at the end of the day?

Anyhoo Mike, I say go for it. Most customers are not looking for "cheap" in this new economy, they are looking for value and quality. If you offer your customers a 5 dollar cup of coffee, but only charge them $.25 more, that is value. Knowing you, I assume quality is a forgone conclusion.
Hey Guys, Sounds like The Uplifted plan will work.

Here is some food for thought. Is it possible that decaf drinkers are more likely to appreciate a really good cup of decaf than your average "regular" coffee drinker would appreciate a really good cup of drip brewed? I say this because I have often found that decaf drinkers are ex-regular drinkers, who miss drinking real coffee. So when you present them with a really good decaf that actually tastes like coffee, rather than the Sanka that they are used to, it is like they have found the holy grail. Where as the difference between most "regular" american coffee and what we are doing is significant, the customers aren't "looking" for it as much. So when they get the really good Cup, they appreciate it but it isn't a solution to an issue for them like it is for the decaf drinker.

This may be a psychological factor that makes it easier to offer a higher priced decaf....maybe. Maybe it's hairbrained.
a couple of shops around town have just stopped selling decaf. so that's an easy fix.
Ok, I feel like no one has stated the obvious, so I will. She short and simple answer is, the next time you need to raise prices for any reason use the base cost of your highest priced bulk whole bean coffee as your base number in your pricing formula(espresso & Drip coffee separately). It shouldn't raise the price of your regular drinks too much, and it will definitely increase your margin on regular while preventing loss on decaf and you don't have to explain an up charge for the people who might feel punished for ordering decaf drinks.
Just a thought, but how about basing the prices on your spro drinks like you're using decaf? Which in turn would give you a slightly larger profit margin on your spro drinks using regular beans.

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