Coffee Shop Innovation Expo logo

9 & 10 NOV 2021

ExCeL LONDON

Growing a Successful Business with Specialty Coffee

Working from home has encouraged many to become their own barista. But as the economy reopens from lockdown, how will business entice consumers back to their café?

At Bartalks.net, a news site for professionals in the industry, we’ve written articles on how the Pandemic has affected consumer behaviour. Recent analysis from organisations like the National Coffee Association (NCA) in the US show that consumers see specialty coffee as one reason to return to their local coffee shop.

In the UK too awareness of specialty coffee is at a high, although there is some uncertainty about what ‘speciality’ means to the public. 

Research coming out of the US points to the majority of consumers associating speciality with roast levels. In other words, providing medium or dark roast options in your café separates you from the myriad of other venues that only sell regular coffee.

Further distinction from your competition can be had through creating a ‘coffee story’ that connects customers with the origins of the coffee they’re enjoying at your venue.

Knowing your demographic is important, as a more sophisticated buyer may appreciate having a choice of origins and roasts, while another might fear looking foolish with a ‘wrong’ choice.

The opportunity now is for coffee shops to procure high quality specialty beans and present it to their customers in a way that engages them and keeps them coming back.

Unlike commodity coffee beans identifiable through a batch number, you’ll buy your coffee through an arrangement with a quality local roaster that enables you to offer ‘fresh roasted’ speciality coffee, and to create a story around the product.

Some cafés make an impactful statement by hanging large quality images of mist-laden Colombian farms that share the coffee farms with endangered Jaguars (true story), or the mountainous region of Uganda, famous for their gorillas.

The immediate visual impact not only projects uniqueness and quality, but also engenders trust and goodwill as the public is becoming more sympathetic toward ethical businesses. The story and image can continue through to your menu and printed materials.

Since many roasters now will buy direct from the farm, they will often pay substantially more than the market price, for a quality product.

Communicating this to the customer can elevate their overall experience by introducing them to the journey the beans have taken before it reached their cup, and connecting them to your specific coffee, while making them feel like they are contributing to a good cause, just by choosing your café to patron.

But above all, the roaster will help you create a menu of coffees that will offer a great tasting experience, above those found at the big coffee chains. 

A huge network of roasters in the UK means you’ll find one which understands your business and who can guide and help you grow based on solid, lasting fundamentals. They can also provide you with equipment and support – essential to the small business that needs to focus on growing.

Nick Baskett is the Editor in Chief at Bartalks.net a website dedicated to the coffee and cocoa industry.

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