It seems like people are spending more than ever before on specialty drinks from their favorite cafes and coffee shops. According to the latest statistics, over half of Americans who drink coffee every day typically go for a specialty drink. This includes flavored lattes, cappuccinos, or other blended drinks.
But since there are more options than ever before for coffee and tea drinkers, it can be tricky for café owners to offer exciting new concoctions. Not only do you need to keep up with the latest beverage trends, but you’ve got to make sure your drinks are delicious and enticing!
One of the biggest mistakes that café owners often make is trying to do either too much or too little with their options. You need to find a good balance between simple, classic options and unique, exciting ones.
So, if you’ve been looking to update or expand your coffee shop’s menu, here are just a few ideas to help you do it the right way:
1. See What Flavors are Selling Best
Buying lots of supplies for crazy drink flavors can add up quickly. You run the risk of overspending on supplies that customers won’t necessarily like – and you might be stuck with tons of bottles of unused products.
So, before you start getting too creative with your new drink options, start by taking a look at what’s currently selling well. Make note of the flavor profiles that are commonly requested and see how you can expand them by creating unique combinations or adding complementary flavors.
2.Simplify Your Menu Layout and Verbiage
Simplicity is great – but customers want some exciting flavors and drinks they can’t get anywhere else. On the other hand, customers will get easily overwhelmed if you have a busy menu with lots of words, descriptions, or odd titles to your drinks. This might convince them to just go with a simple classic beverage - which typically is a lower price than your specialty ones.
Again, you’ve got to find the balance when working on your menu. Start by clarifying all of your basic options along with any specialty drink descriptions. You want new customers to easily find familiar words along with unique features that will intrigue them.
One useful tip here is to organize your menu as a simple flow chart. First, customers will choose the base of their drink, such as if they want a latte, cappuccino, iced coffee, etc. Next, they can choose options and add-ons like milk alternatives, flavor additions, or toppings. Don’t forget to encourage upsells like an added espresso shot!
3. Consider a Nitro-Infusion System
Nitro-infused coffee is fairly standard at cafes these days, as this type of drink catapulted in popularity over the past few years. But nitro-infusion systems are far more versatile than you might think. So, you can really expand your menu and offer truly unique options with just one system!
Nitro-infusion can totally change the flavor and texture of a drink by adding a subtle sweetness and creamy texture without any added ingredients. Beverages like tea, kombucha, and even wine work really well with nitro-infusion and you can also make batched lattes to pour on draft!
4. Change Things Up
Both your customers and your baristas will get bored quickly if you stick to the same menu for months on end. Experiment often and try new menu options consistently, as this will build excitement about what will be next.
Consider regularly adding specials, such as holiday drinks, or even creating full seasonal menus. You don’t need to spend a lot on seasonal ingredients, though. Try to use menu items you already have so you aren’t spending on extra flavors if they don’t sell well.
Remember too that changing your drink presentation can also help you expand your menu options. Adding in small flairs like edible flowers, colorful syrups, or simply using fun, unique cups can make an old drink recipe new again!
Back to You
You might feel a lot of pressure to constantly expand your café’s offerings. Coming up with new ideas can be challenging, but there are lots of simple ways to improve your options and keep customers happy!
If you are interested in checking out some unique beverage recipes or you’re considering a nitro-infusion system, reach out to Enhanced Beverage Solutions. We offer top-quality nitro-infusion systems with financing options to make them affordable for any business. Plus, we publish new drink ideas all the time that you can use in your café!