Nothing wakes the senses more than the freshly brewed aroma of a dark roasted, full-bodied cup of coffee. Regardless of gender, age, socioeconomic status, or location, each and every one of us loves to have a cup of coffee.
From the famous espresso shot of Italy and the flat whites of Australia to the Kona coffee of Hawaii, coffee drinkers from all over the world are always searching for the latest trends that will satisfy their adventurous taste buds.
With the constantly evolving and ever-growing coffee industry, people working in this trade need to find new ways to bring customers into their stores. The competition is tough and most cafes have their own marketing gimmicks to lure in caffeine addicts.
As a small business owner, you should continuously develop tailor-made ideas to better serve customers. From trying out new flavors to offering a unique ordering experience, check out these coffee industry trends that will surely bring in more customers and profits to your business.
Technology to make your business more efficient
The first coffee industry trend you really shouldn’t miss is focusing on improving customer experience. From your daily operations to engaging in customer service, you should build your efforts to simplify the whole process to make things more convenient.
Your shop should be conducive enough to welcome customers, and you should have the right tools to streamline the process such as using point of sale (POS) systems. When it comes to tracking your inventory, invest in applications that will provide real-time insights regarding your current stock level. You could also do the following to keep the lines moving:
- Optimize your ordering area to maximize the space for both employees and customers.
- Develop a system that will allow online ordering and pickup to minimize the time customers spend queuing.
Catering to Millennials
Currently, millennials are the largest living generation in the United States, comprising 71 million people according to recent reports by the U.S. Census Bureau. Due to their ubiquitous and very active way of life, millennials value the experience more than the price of their coffee. Differing from their parents who prefer to brew coffee at home, they prefer to drink coffee on-the-go or at a hip shop.
For most millennials, drinking coffee is a lifestyle choice rather than a mandatory need to jumpstart a hectic day. They prefer drinking a cup of morning joe in public places together with friends. Here are some ways to attract millennials to your coffee shop:
- Invest in unique and visually attractive packaging, making sure it’s social media worthy.
- Experiment with new ordering and delivery systems, the simpler the better.
- Connect with your customers by letting them know the story behind every cup of coffee. Millennials like supporting causes.
The second wave of the coffee movement made coffee more of a luxury rather than a necessity, but as the industry enters the third wave, consumers will soon start to see changes in how they drink and think about coffee.
This time, the emphasis is focused on faster service and convenience of experience. Keep in mind that coffee is still considered a beverage, and its sales are affected by the latest trends within the canned and bottled industry.
While soft drinks and sugary juices are becoming less and less popular, ready-to-drink coffee, on the other hand, is seeing a huge surge in demand. Nowadays, people want things quick and easy, including their coffee. With the rising trend of ready-to-drink coffees, it creates new opportunities for players in the market to capitalize on this newest coffee consumption mania.
- Offer new concoctions that consumers can easily grab in your store.
- People want high-end, low-calorie, and less sugary drinks, as well as lattes.
- It’s okay to go premium, as long as it is healthy and within reasonable limits.
Trendy new coffee flavors
Another emerging coffee industry trends that you can take advantage of right now is the introduction of new coffee flavors. Frappuccino and iced lattes are classic favorites, but the ever-changing taste buds of coffee fanatics demand new aromas and exciting mixes. Attract customers by offering them different flavors, new types of coffees, and exclusive alternatives that are unique only to your shop.
You can start introducing sweeter and creamier beverages for those with a sweet tooth, while health-conscious patrons can lavish on nutrient-rich drinks filled with organic and superfood ingredients. You can also offer cold brews to lower acidity without removing the natural flavors and invigorating aroma of the coffee. Other new coffee mixes you can experiment with include:
- Bulletproof coffee for a quick burst of long-lasting energy with no crash or jitters.
- Mix espresso with tonic water for a bubbly brew that millennials will definitely love.
- Add healthy ingredients like grains and mushrooms to make flavor-infused hot or iced coffee.
Increased consumption of specialty coffee
More than just the exciting flavors and unique ingredients, specialty coffee refers to the whole process of making coffee, from beans to cup. From the farmers down to the roasters and baristas who make the coffee enjoyable, this should not be confused with gourmet or premium coffees. Specialty coffee is a fruit of labor by dedicated workers who prioritize quality beyond anything else.
Being transparent and sharing the stories behind each cup is yet another coffee trend that is making a huge splash right now. For customers, coffee consumption can be an ethical responsibility to awaken the values of society. Some coffee shops and certain organizations like the Laughing Man Foundation are now directed towards ethically-sourced coffee beans.
- Create a blog where consumers can read materials on how your products are obtained.
- Voice your mission and promise towards ethical commitment.
- Participate in sustainable projects that will help uplift the coffee community.
The coffee industry is evolving and changing, and that means your business needs to be adaptable to these changing trends. To ensure success in the long run you need to keep a pulse on what’s happening in the industry. With these tips in mind, your sure to bring new customers through the door.
What Common Risks do Coffee Shops Face?
Restaurants and coffee shops have very similar exposure concerns. Those concerns are almost always related to the following:
- Employee management (including hiring and firing)
- Food management (including purchasing new food items and ensuring food stocks are fresh)
- Customer care and service (including prioritizing allergy concerns)
Any one of these areas carry their own, unique liability risks. For example, firing an employee could result in a wrongful termination lawsuit. A crafty, well-planned marketing campaign could potentially offend someone, or even result in a false advertisement suit. More recently, allergy concerns have resulted in lawsuits against a number of restaurants for perceived carelessness.
Insurance Checklist for Coffee Shops
A handful of insurance products are perfectly designed to help mitigate the risks that exist for restaurants and coffee shops. Some of these you may have heard of. Others may be new to you. However, each can help cover the most common issues coffee shops and restaurants face on daily basis.
As with many other risks, prevention in key to limit theses exposures:
Temperatures of hot beverages must be limited to reduce injuries due to scalding. Floor covering must be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. And the list goes on and on, however accidents might happen anyway. This policy covers slip-and-fall accidents as well as other injury lawsuits that could arise after people other than your employees are injured on your property.
Median policy premium: $475-$1,523
Your employees are exposed to risks due to slips, falls, burns, heavy and interactions with customers. What should you do about it? Employees should be trained to respond in a prescribed manner. With a high employee turnover, company incentives to encourage long-term employment are positive signs of management control.
One of the most common types of insurance, Workers Compensation helps restaurants avoid the expensive payouts for employees injured on the job by covering medical costs and offering protection in case of lawsuits. This insurance may be required, depending on the specific laws in your state, but usually is necessary if you have at least 2-3 employees.
Median policy premium: $1,412 – $3,686
Your electrical wiring, refrigeration units, and coffee brewing operations could be damaged. This includes your espresso machine, which is operated at high temperatures and is pressurized. Other equipment includes coffee grinders, steamers, blenders, and related or similar property. Property Insurance can cover the cost to repair or replace your espresso machines, grinders, furniture, inventory, and other property. Remember you can package Property Insurance and General Liability into Business Owner Policy (BOP) to save some money.
Median policy premium: $425 – $79
This insurance covers a variety of liability concerns for restaurants and coffee shops. A BOP will help mitigate risks typically covered by General Liability Insurance, Commercial Property Insurance and Business Interruption Insurance. As a whole, this means a BOP will protect your business against personal injury claims, reimburse you should your property suffer damages (for example, due to a fire in the kitchen) and provide your business with an income should you have to close down for a short time due to a natural disaster or other instances.
- Commercial Auto Insurance and Hired & Non-Owned Auto Insurance
Although not all businesses have their own vehicles, those that do will require a Commercial Auto Insurance policy. These policies are designed specifically for businesses that utilize vehicles solely for the business. If your restaurant owns delivery cars or trucks, this insurance is a must.
On the other hand, you may need to purchase Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance if your business either rents vehicles, or if you have employees using their own vehicles for businesses purposes. This is often the case for delivery services. This will help with liability claims against your business should the employee get in an accident while on the job.
Other insurance types you might need for your coffee shop:
While this isn’t necessary for all coffee shops, if your business serves alcohol on your premises, this insurance policy is a must. A Liquor Liability Insurance policy will help mitigate the risks associated with the over-consumption of alcohol, protecting your business against claims that may result should someone get and cause injuries or property damage to your establishment or others’ property. If your business does not serve alcohol, this is not a concern.
In general, all restaurants and coffee shops will need several forms of insurance. All restaurants will need a BOP, but not all restaurants will require Liquor Liability policies or even Commercial Auto Insurance. Some restaurants may be able to avoid purchasing Workers Compensation if it is not required by your state based on your total number of employees, although even then it may be wise to purchase a policy nonetheless.
There are times when you have to close your business for reparations or refurbishment after an incident. During this time your business will be generating no income. Business income insurance applies to losses occurring during the time required to repair or replace the damaged property. It may also be extended to apply to loss suffered after completion of repairs for a specified number of days.
At coffee shops many customers pay in cash. Money should be regularly stripped from the cash drawer and moved to a safe away from the door. Irregular drops should be made to the bank during the day to prevent substantial accumulations of cash. However employees must have access to this cash and might be tempted to commit fraud.
Covers for employee theft of money, securities, or property, written with a per loss limit, a per employee limit, or a per position limit.
For a single premium, a Business Umbrella policy adds another layer of protection to any of several other policies that you might carry, including General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, etc. For instance, if you have $1 million in General Liability coverage and a covered claim is settled for $1.5 million, your Business Umbrella Insurance policy would pick up the $500,000 not covered by your General Liability policy.
Covers a variety of both liability and property losses that may result when a business engages in various electronic activities, such as selling on the Internet or collecting data within its internal electronic network.
- Spoilage insurance
It’s a fairly inexpensive add-on to your general business insurance policy. That makes it a simple addition for most coffee shops and provides a flat amount of protection in case of food spoilage.