How to introduce one size cappuccino on the menu and to the customer.

So starting in October we are rolling out the whole no menu board thing with only a small printed menu framed and posted in an inconspicuous place. On this menu we are going to offer only one size cappuccino (8oz paper cup, or 6oz ceramic cap cup) with the larger sizes (12 and 16oz) as lattes.

We do have regular customers that come in, walk up, and order large caps (currently 16 oz) every day. Obviously we dont want to loose these customers, and we dont want to come off as snobby jack asses. However, we really want this to work, and we really want people to understand why we are doing this.

I know that some of you guys have done this already. How do we interact with the customer without coming across as "the snobby barista" yet still getting people to understand that a "cappuccino" is a very specific thing. Any advise would be immensely appreciated .

Thanx,
Andy

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i guess it depends on what you're serving as 16 oz. capps currently. you doing the thirds ratio in that cup? or really doing a latte with a touch of extra microfoam? if the latter is the case, it won't be a tough switch. just tell them it's basically the same thing you're just correcting your terminology to a standard. if you're doing the thirds thing, then geez, you gotta be putting 5 shots of espresso in a 16 oz. cup. which would be strange.

maybe give a little detail as to how your current drinks are being made and we should be able to put together a good plan of action. kudos for being true to the drink though!
We recently made this very same change and struggled with how to appropriately handle the change with our customers. We decided to label the "one-size cappuccino" as "traditional cappuccino" on menu board. The use of the word "traditional" seems to have cleared up any confusion for our customers. Of course, we still have a few customers that order their 16 oz capp, but the baristas know to make a foamy latte.
Happily say that you will make a super tasty twelve or sixteen ounce latte for them. Quickly explain that in order to bring everyone the best drinks possible you are only making traditional cappuccino. The cappuccino is a specific drink rather than a type of drink. It's only five or six ounces so you can enjoy the perfect balance of espresso, steamed milk, and microfoam at the perfect temperature all the way through.

Of course your explanation may be better, but I didn't have a speechwriter available. :)

It might be good to couple the menu change with some advanced barista training for everyone and let your customers know you are continuously stepping up your game in order to bring them the best drinks possible.
If you truly are out to change the world, great. However, you will make more money and have more fun by giving the customer what they want. This works of course if you are as good as you think you are. Then again, I did not read in your post your intention. I kinda get this is about "make wrong". Referring to the customer. Maybe you ought to listen to the customer. I mean, really listen.
You should be excited about what you DO offer, which is a five to six ounce cappuccino. Make them that, without flaws, every time -- and they will be back for another.

ray peck said:
If you truly are out to change the world, great. However, you will make more money and have more fun by giving the customer what they want. This works of course if you are as good as you think you are. Then again, I did not read in your post your intention. I kinda get this is about "make wrong". Referring to the customer. Maybe you ought to listen to the customer. I mean, really listen.
ray peck said:
If you truly are out to change the world, great. However, you will make more money and have more fun by giving the customer what they want. This works of course if you are as good as you think you are. Then again, I did not read in your post your intention. I kinda get this is about "make wrong". Referring to the customer. Maybe you ought to listen to the customer. I mean, really listen.

Chill out, man. I really didn't catch a "out to change the world vibe," I just caught a "we want to be correct when we educate our customers vibe." Don't make yourself sound like an ass. Avoiding educating your customers in the name of more money is a poor business plan. It's not that they aren't making the customer what they want anymore, they just aren't giving it an improper label. If someone were to come in and ask for a "16oz Caramel Macchiato" you know what I would make them? A foamy vanilla latte, upside down, with caramel on top, if they wanted it. I would also tell them that's exactly what I was going to make them because that is exactly what Starbucks makes when they order it. If I was lucky I would be able to educate them on what a real macchiato is, if not I would hope my drink would bring them back for another chance. It wouldn't make me have more fun or put more money in the drawer to have it called something improper.


Andy,
My advice would be, much like what has already been said, to inform the customers that you are correcting your terminology and that there is actually no such thing as a 12/16oz capp, similar to how there is no such thing as a 12/16oz espresso. To the regular that's used to their larger capp:
"What we have been making you up to this point is essentially a foamy latte. A true capp is a drink with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk and 1/3 foam. In order to do this in a larger size, we would have to put 5-6 shots in a 16oz. Obviously if you feel we are making your drink incorrectly let us know, but truthfully the only thing we are changing is the terminology."

-bry
I would not call it "correcting the terminology", because that means that your customers who have been ordering 16oz cappuccini have been INcorrect for quite some time. (nobody likes to be told that they are wrong, have been wrong, and have no idea what they're talking about)

Not that this is being said intentionally, but it can give that impression.

Make it an "us" thing. Make them part of the team. Say something to the effect of, "We have learned that a cappuccino is actually a specifically sized drink. We want to do things right and give you an authentic experience, so we've added it to the menu. You can still order your usual drink. All that's changed is the name. Just ask for a 'foamy latte'. Of course, you can always try a traditional cappuccino if you're up for a little change of pace."

Use your own words, but you get the idea. You're learning with them. They feel like they are in the loop. It could help customer relations, possibly. Which would be better than to risk hurting them.
Jason Haeger said:
I would not call it "correcting the terminology", because that means that your customers who have been ordering 16oz cappuccini have been INcorrect for quite some time. (nobody likes to be told that they are wrong, have been wrong, and have no idea what they're talking about)

Not that this is being said intentionally, but it can give that impression.

Make it an "us" thing. Make them part of the team. Say something to the effect of, "We have learned that a cappuccino is actually a specifically sized drink. We want to do things right and give you an authentic experience, so we've added it to the menu. You can still order your usual drink. All that's changed is the name. Just ask for a 'foamy latte'. Of course, you can always try a traditional cappuccino if you're up for a little change of pace."

Use your own words, but you get the idea. You're learning with them. They feel like they are in the loop. It could help customer relations, possibly. Which would be better than to risk hurting them.

I didn't mean to imply you should inform the customers what they are asking for is wrong. The point you've raised is the point I was trying to make, "We are correcting OUR terminology."

-bry
From the shop owner's point of view, there is a very specific fear of loosing customers. This is usually a two fold fear. One concern is outright customer rejection of a limited menu. The other concern is the customer's interaction with the Baristas when being told they can't have what they want.

If you look at menus from really great restaurants, you usually find a short list of fantastic foods. I recently ate at a restaurant that came highly recommended by family members and I counted 87 items on the menu. Neither type of restaurant is wrong. Each one plays up a certain image to a certain type of customer. You must first define yourself as a business and pick your niche in the market. Only then can you communicate effectively who you are to your customer.

The basic rule of thumb I like to teach people is to remember to always phrase your menu explanation in terms of what you DO offer, and not in what you DONT offer. Avoid negative statements like "we don't", or "we can't". Jason is right about customers' interpretation that they are not knowledgeable. Keep it in reference to "our standards", and "carefully crafted recipes designed to deliver a particular flavor and experience", and what not.

Places that I have worked with that have made this transition have reported no loss of customers, but rather an increase in business. This is, of course, only if the quality is in the drink.
Quality in the cup is paramount. Two years ago, we made major, sweeping changes to our menu in eliminating 16z cup sizes and the backlash was tremendous. We never had a 16z cappuccino but we did have 16z everything else. Be prepared for a backlash.

Be prepared to lose some customers. But if the quality is there, you'll gain customers as well.
Okay, I'm sorry, maybe I'm just not experienced enough with this or something... but correct me if I'm wrong:

The "large cappuccino" that Andy's shop has been making is a latte with extra foam correct?

How is changing the name from "large cappuccino" to "large latte extra foam" going to drive customers away? I can understand 2 or 3 visits of confusion, but I seriously doubt that customers will stop going to the shop because the drink name changed. Am I wrong?

"Large cappuccino please."
"Actually, we recently changed our menu a little bit. Come to find out a cappuccino, like an espresso, is just a specific drink. So now we are referring to our cappuccino as just one drink in just one size, a 6 oz. BUT never fear! You can still get what we have been making you all along, we are just going to be calling it a large latte with extra foam from now on. Is that still cool?"
"HELL NO! I WANT TO CALL IT AN CAPPUCCINO! GET OFF YOUR RIGHTEOUS THRONE! I'M GOING TO STARBUCKS!"

Obviously, and purposefully, a little over the top, but I seriously don't see how correcting the terminology on a menu is going to drive customers away.

The large capp didn't truly exist to start with, it has been an extra foam latte all along...

Like I said, I've never tried to do this so I'm kind of just speaking off the top of my head and maybe I just don't have a clue, but did customers seriously leave because you changed your menu? I can see vast changes (like dropping flavored coffee, syrups and getting rid of large sizes) driving some customers away and I have been a part of shops where this has led to customer loss (and respectively customer gain). However, in the case of Andy's shop they aren't getting rid of the drink, just the incorrect name.

Andy I think everything should come up roses if you make it a point to stress that YOU have been incorrectly calling the drink a cappuccino all along and that they can STILL get the same drink, just that it carries a different name now.

I suppose YMMV,

-bry
Hey, Bry, there's no need to get defensive about this.

The fact is that people tend to be possessive of their coffee kind of like they are about their music. If a band changes its style, fans tend to feel betrayed. It takes finesse. It may not require more than calling it a name change, but then again.. it may. It depends on the individual customer. I just don't consider it worth taking chances in something like this.

The more accommodating you can be, the better the odds of the switch being a success. Your customers may not care. I know places where they would care quite a bit. It is absolutely vital that you know your market before working out how to go about making a change like the one being discussed.

Just my $.02.

Bryan Wray said:
Okay, I'm sorry, maybe I'm just not experienced enough with this or something... but correct me if I'm wrong:

The "large cappuccino" that Andy's shop has been making is a latte with extra foam correct?

How is changing the name from "large cappuccino" to "large latte extra foam" going to drive customers away? I can understand 2 or 3 visits of confusion, but I seriously doubt that customers will stop going to the shop because the drink name changed. Am I wrong?

"Large cappuccino please."
"Actually, we recently changed our menu a little bit. Come to find out a cappuccino, like an espresso, is just a specific drink. So now we are referring to our cappuccino as just one drink in just one size, a 6 oz. BUT never fear! You can still get what we have been making you all along, we are just going to be calling it a large latte with extra foam from now on. Is that still cool?"
"HELL NO! I WANT TO CALL IT AN CAPPUCCINO! GET OFF YOUR RIGHTEOUS THRONE! I'M GOING TO STARBUCKS!"

Obviously, and purposefully, a little over the top, but I seriously don't see how correcting the terminology on a menu is going to drive customers away.

The large capp didn't truly exist to start with, it has been an extra foam latte all along...

Like I said, I've never tried to do this so I'm kind of just speaking off the top of my head and maybe I just don't have a clue, but did customers seriously leave because you changed your menu? I can see vast changes (like dropping flavored coffee, syrups and getting rid of large sizes) driving some customers away and I have been a part of shops where this has led to customer loss (and respectively customer gain). However, in the case of Andy's shop they aren't getting rid of the drink, just the incorrect name.

Andy I think everything should come up roses if you make it a point to stress that YOU have been incorrectly calling the drink a cappuccino all along and that they can STILL get the same drink, just that it carries a different name now.

I suppose YMMV,

-bry

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