What are your experiences in dropping the 20oz cup and limiting the variety of syrups you carry to the single digits?  Do customers care that they can't get a big gulp latte anymore or some unholy concoction of a five flavored 'latte'?  I really want to start getting a bit more strict and am a bit fearful over the reception.  Let me know your thoughts!

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We opened in September 2009. From day one, offered one size drinks, including to-go brewed coffees. Our brewed coffee was 12 oz to-go. In-house, we offered 7 oz cup with reasonable amount of refills. We've since added a 16 to-go for brewed coffee only. We maintain single serve sizes on capps (6 oz) and lattes (12 oz). We are the only ones offering this locally and have had, surprisingly, little negative feedback.
We make our chocolate, caramel, and vanilla syrups from scratch and offer only hazelnut, almond, and mint on bottle line. Chocolate and caramel are by far the most popular requests. We also have limited sugar-free options to hazel and vanilla.
in 10 months of being open, i've seen one person leave because we didn't have sugar free syrups, and no one has left due to the cup sizes. a few have been disappointed, but i tell them we will fill their mugs up til 11am from our airpots for $1.50, and they're fine (we just do airpots til 11am, it's all harios after that).

we offer homemade vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and (seasonally) pumpkin reduction. it's gone over well.
Hi Gary, We bought our shop just about a year ago and the previous owner served a 20 oz latte with only one shot, and it was like a cup of steamed milk. We just revamped our menu a couple of months ago and we do not serve any espresso based drink larger than 16oz. We just explain that it taste better this way, and the reception has been very good. We also now only serve an 8 oz cappuccino. The syrup question....yeah we have about 14 syrups...lets just say we aren't adding any more!

Keep it simple! Reduce inventory and choices that are time consuming (for customers)...that is, at least, for syrups.


As for the 20oz, if you've already got that established at your shop it might be a hard sell for your customer. Let me know what you come up with!

gary, about 2 years ago i decided to bring the 20oz on board, and i'm glad i did 'cause it helps with my bottom line.  i figure, if a customer doesn't want 20 ounces, then he/she most likely won't order it, and choose either the 16 or 12.  with my particular locations, i get a good amount of repeat customers, but sometimes certain customers will be tied up with events and can't get back to order perhaps as often as they'd like...so they "stock" up on the 20oz!  i started out offering more syrups than i do now...quickly found out that most customers weren't ordering the oddballs all that often...so, i stick with about 6 of the basics.  get strict!



the coffee hound

We're facing the same thing at our shop.  We'd like to ditch the 20 oz all together but we have a lot of customers who get several large drinks each day.  What we're just starting to do is offer a 'traditional' menu and serve appropriate sized capps and lattes (obviously with no flavor) and we're building a pour over bar to start offering a few select coffees (Direct Trades, in seasons, etc.) and really hyping them up.  We currently offer these premium coffees as a V60, Aeropress, or Syphon and lots of people are starting to appreciate these new coffees, even if they can't get a 20 oz and are paying more for them.  I think the main thing is to play to your market without selling yourself out.  As much as we would love to offer only a traditional menu and toss the flavors, our customers wouldn't take well to that.  So we start slowly introducing higher quality products and educating our customers on why we're doing so (and also educating them on the coffee they're purchasing...farmer name, etc.).

It's been about five months since I changed up the menu; so far it's been great and I've really enjoyed it.  It's made ordering decisions less complicated, easier and quicker.  Every once and a while I'll have someone ask if the 16oz is the largest that I carry, but they always seem content with it and come back.  I've never had anyone leave because I didn't offer a 20oz.  I did have a couple people leave because I didn't carry their favorite syrup, but to be honest, that doesn't bother me that much.  They don't really love coffee, they love the syrup.  While I would love to introduce them to what coffee should be, I don't mind if they leave.  Another plus is that it provides a gateway conversation to quality coffee.  I am in Billings, Montana and am the only genuinly quality-oriented shop here, so people want to know why I do things differently and why my coffee doesn't 'taste burnt' ... limiting my sizes and flavors gives me another way share knowledge and taste experiences.

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