Building sales through a single origin menu

Though it may not feel like it, springtime is right around the corner. For coffee shops, this means three things – more customers, more sales and fresh Direct Trade arrivals from Central America. Now is a great time to start planning how to make the most of it.

The January/February retail slump that so many of us suffer through seems to be as much a result of the weather as it is about customers vowing to be more conservative after the holidays. As consistent as the slump is year to year, the upturn in March is just as reliable and, conveniently, coincides with the arrival of fresh crop harvests from our Direct Trade partnerships in Central America. We feel that our Single Origin coffees are our most dynamic and exciting coffees and we think your customers will, too. If you are selling whole bean retail bags of coffee, it’s easy for your customers to justify paying a few dollars more if they can taste the difference themselves.

This means the return of Los Inmortales, Los Delirios, La Tortuga, Matalapa, and Itzamna to our shelves and brewers. By embracing the inherent seasonality of coffee, and showcasing these different offerings when they’re at their peak freshness, we can engage our returning customers and develop greater awareness of what they’re drinking and why it’s so delicious.

If your coffee service doesn’t currently offer a variety of offerings, perhaps now is a time to consider developing it. This is pretty easy to do with a by the cup program.

The challenge in developing a single origin menu with a batch brew system lies in the logistics. Concerns like time, labor and lack of space might seem like strong reasons not to do it but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

It’s likely you already have multiple shuttles that you rotate throughout the day; one of these could be dedicated to a higher priced, single origin coffee. You’d simply have to mark the shuttle in question, and then implement your normal service of pre-weighing each batch, being careful to note which one is the single origin.

El Gallo, Breakfast Blend / $2.50
Los Inmortales, El Salvador / $3.00

If you are worried about the additional waste of batch brewing more coffees, you can implement this only during your busiest times. You know your customers, and your staff should be willing to try and sell these single origins to the folks you know are really interested and excited about coffee. Be sure to have signage (our tags and info. sheets are great tools) to promote your Single Origins. Additionally, by changing the selection each week or month to a different single origin, it helps keep your menu fresh and prompts a new kind of dialogue with your customers.