Anyone out there working for a shop or own one that uses Whole Milk Only and Soy as their milk options?  We are getting ready to start a shop and want to only offer these two as our milk choices but don't know what kind of draw back we will get from people who want a "skinny" option.  Just FYI, our largest latte size will be 12oz. so it's not a whole lot of milk to begin with.  

 

Any thoughts on this?

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christopher myers said:

 The question is always, how do you communicate with your customers that your decision is valid.  "I'm trying to cut down my fat intake, why don't you offer fat free milk?"  What do you say to me?

 

My first smart-ass response to this is "Have a cup of coffee, very little caloric value, and its delicious."

 

Realistically, what you should be doing is trying to differentiate your coffeeshop from others. If you base your menu, aesthetics, and operation around what "everyone else" is doing, you're going to be perceived as "everyone else", an will more than likely get hell for doing something along the lines of not offering a non-fat option. If a customer walks in, and is struck by the fact that this coffeeshop is different, you're handed an opportunity to show them what you do, and why it's different then what others are doing. The customer is obviously whats going to make or break your business, but letting their values infringe too much on your mission and vision is a waste of your time. Make the absolutely best product that you can, and find a way to present that to the masses that is accessible, free of pretension, and most importantly, fucking delicious.
Rocking some low-fat might be a good compromise. Still has that fat that's essential to taste and tactile feel, and is going to have close to 1% fat, as opposed to 3-4% fat, as most wholes do.
"Do you have non-fat, or skim milk?"
"We have low-fat, 1%. It's going to taste awesome."

and you still always hold the "hail mary" option of my smartass comment above.


On another note, I personally think milk is gnarly; I've never had the taste for other animals lactation. I've also never been satisfied with the alternatives. Honestly, I'm more of a fan of coffee. With that being said, my alternative choice vote goes for almond. Soy, rice, and hemp pail in comparsion, whether its for lack of sweetness, mouthfeel, or ease-of-use.

 

-Benza

It is a downtown location right on the way to work for most people and within a mile of a university.  No drive thru (thank God!).  Tons of free parking.  Uniquely shaped historic building that everyone recognizes.  3,000 square feet of cafe space and that much in storage as well.  We will be roasting at the location, too.

That's a big space, good luck!  I've long since quit trying to change the coffee world with being marketedly unique.  My philosophy is driven primarily by taking the best of what everyone else is doing and trying to do it better and maybe with a little of my own spin.

 

I'm hoping there is a reply to this thread in a year that says you didn't use skim, didn't sell frappes, and you're kickin' a$$!

We'll update when that happens :)
is it so hard to just have a couple gallons of non-fat on hand?   we mostly do whole milk, but i buy about one gallon of non-fat every day or so.   it's good to stick to your guns, but it's also good to stay in business.

I was just wandering if you have done any financial analysis on milk options.   Here are some good questions to find answers on:

 

What is the shop cost of purchasing a few gallons of 0%, 1%, 2% a week?

Don't forget to add storage and delivery costs of milk

What is the labor cost of having the barista changing milk?

What is your total sales of Whole vs 0,1, or 2%?

How much shrink (throw out) milk do you have, and what is that cost?

What is the cost to your shop if you loose business?  

How much of a financial loss, if any is worth it to your business.

 

These numbers will tell a story for your establishment.  I would recommend capturing these numbers for 2 or 3 weeks before making any decision. 

Personally, I would offer a skim option, as many people are on diet plans that require them to enter in points, etc. for what they consume in a day.  In my experience, people will go to where they can get the exact product that they want, and may choose somewhere else.

 

Just curious about the size offering. What led to your decision on 12 oz being the largest?

i think there are way too many people out there trying to watch there weight to not offer nonfat.

We used to offer skim, 2% and whole after a while we where throwing away the 2% so we dropped it and now we use about the same amount of both whole and skim we sometime mix the two if someone asks. Also the whole milk is used unless someone asks for the skim. we also offer silk soy as it is better than the ascept package soy it foams better and I think taste fresher.

 

I couldn't disagree more with this statement.

 

Yes, not having something may lead you to not capture "potentially regular" customers on their first visit. However taking something you currently offer away, unless its something that absolutely nobody is buying, will make at least some of your existing regular customers mad - customers that have chosen you as "their" shop.

 

Have you found dropping products to be especially easy?


Dan Gorder said:

Oh... much easier to take away than to add later...

+1 to Brady.

Taking things away is SO hard. I bought an existing cafe six years ago, and have struggled since to get rid of items (both coffee and food) that weren't profitable or weren't IMO good. And it's literally taken six years just to get to a point of "no 20 oz. Lattes". This is done somewhat deceptively, since people who order a "large" now get the same as people who order "medium," but I digress.

Hand to God: When you put something, ANYTHING, on the menu, one of your regular customers is going to get hung up on it. And the same customer who gripes that you've eliminated their fave is te same customer who tells all their friends what jerks those coffee people are. 

That said, at least skin milk is still milk in the technical sense... I think the lack of flavorings would be a harder sell initially, though plenty of places pull it off. Just do what you want and do it well, and let the chips fall.

Brady said:

I couldn't disagree more with this statement.

 

Yes, not having something may lead you to not capture "potentially regular" customers on their first visit. However taking something you currently offer away, unless its something that absolutely nobody is buying, will make at least some of your existing regular customers mad - customers that have chosen you as "their" shop.

 

Have you found dropping products to be especially easy?


Dan Gorder said:

Oh... much easier to take away than to add later...

Yes, skin milk. Look it up.

R. Justin Shepherd said:
+1 to Brady. Taking things away is SO hard. I bought an existing cafe six years ago, and have struggled since to get rid of items (both coffee and food) that weren't profitable or weren't IMO good. And it's literally taken six years just to get to a point of "no 20 oz. Lattes". This is done somewhat deceptively, since people who order a "large" now get the same as people who order "medium," but I digress.

Hand to God: When you put something, ANYTHING, on the menu, one of your regular customers is going to get hung up on it. And the same customer who gripes that you've eliminated their fave is te same customer who tells all their friends what jerks those coffee people are. 

That said, at least skin milk is still milk in the technical sense... I think the lack of flavorings would be a harder sell initially, though plenty of places pull it off. Just do what you want and do it well, and let the chips fall.

Brady said:

I couldn't disagree more with this statement.

 

Yes, not having something may lead you to not capture "potentially regular" customers on their first visit. However taking something you currently offer away, unless its something that absolutely nobody is buying, will make at least some of your existing regular customers mad - customers that have chosen you as "their" shop.

 

Have you found dropping products to be especially easy?


Dan Gorder said:

Oh... much easier to take away than to add later...

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