MC D’s is using Bunn for their brewing equipment and Franke super autos for the espresso. Mc D’s is smart to take advantage of the faltering king SBX (soon to be king of instant coffee). We can all thank SBX for introducing the super automatic machine to the North American Market. SBX felt that by having an exclusive contract with a Swiss company called Thermoplan, for their super autos, that they would not allow the competition to replicate their SOP. The approach was tremendously naive and foolish. You can see that they have not learned from their mistakes through the purchase of the Coffee Equipment Company (The Clover) coffee brewing machine. They obviously feel that they harness the ultimate brewing technology available. This is simply not the case. I am aware of many aspects of the industry and one thing I am certain of is that there are new brewing and beverage preparation technologies on their way to market in the next 12 months that will help the independents truly separate themselves from the chains. I know for a fact that these technologies will only be available for independent shop owners. No selling out to SBX. This is what the industry needs, true innovation with the independent in mind.
Innovation in needed in the industry now more than ever. In reality the industry has gotten stale. Innovation has not been innovation but rather an adaptation of preexisting beverages and technologies with slick marketing campaigns. Look at SBX’s “Tea Latte” which was made by steaming tea with milk. It’s not a tea latte, its steamed milk with powdered tea. Look at the typical chai latte, where the tea flavor and spices come from a carton then are mixed with milk. SBX was not the first to heat milk and tea together and the first combination of Chai tea and Milk was not created in Oregon! Again, not innovation but adaptation.
This is the point in time where we the independent shop owners, baristas, aficionados, and roasters must be actively striving to change the way we operated, create and innovate. Time to cut out short cuts and lazy interpretations of true product.
If you have a super auto, get rid of it and buy a traditional machine.
If you have bag tea, scrap it and find a loose tea supplier.
If you use pods, get a grinder.
If you have premixed blender drinks, go buy some fruit.
If you have a self tamping and dosing grinder, sell it and buy a grinder and learn how to tamp.
If you have chai latte mix (I know most of you do) pour it out and make your own chai base and stick it in the fridge. If you don’t know how I would be happy to tell you.
I know that at this point in time the idea of changing anything you do is scary. However, all of these elements are more important now than ever. The only way to survive is to create a clear separation.
Don’t be generic be original. That is something that cannot be replicated.