Do You Have to Offer Food at a Coffee Shop?
One question that many first-time coffee shop owners ask is what types of food should be offered in a coffee establishment. If you own a coffee shop, your first responsibility is to emphasize the quality of the coffee and other beverages on your menu. Customers do not visit a coffee shop because they are interested in getting a full menu and a wide variety of choices as far as food is concerned. They visit a coffee shop because they are interested in getting the best cup of coffee in town. This is why it is so important to market your coffee shop as a high quality provider and creator of delicious coffee beverages. You can also offer other "coffee culture" type beverages such as chai lattes, green tea, and black tea.
Feature a combination of hot and cold beverages on your menu, and focus your advertising and marketing on the great taste and high quality of your drinks. You can change the specialty drinks that you offer at your coffee shop to correspond with the seasons. This will help to add variety to your coffee shop without requiring you to have an extensive menu of food items.
Feature Food that Complements Coffee
You may, however, choose to offer some freshly prepared food items to complement the coffee beverages that your customers will be consuming. Often, customers that come in with the intention of buying only a cup of coffee will be unable to resist a beautiful glass display filled with delectable muffins, scones, croissants, pastries, and cookies. If you do not offer these items, your customers will likely be content with the coffee they originally intended to purchase. By offering spur of the moment products like baked goods, however, you can increase the profits of your business by increasing the amount of money spent by the average customer.
Gifts and Packaged Snacks
Many coffee shops also offer gift-wrapped and prepackaged snacks that customers can use to give as gifts or to consume later. A coffee shop is a cultural experience for many consumers, and some customers visit their favorite coffee shops when it is time to buy gifts for the holidays because they want to share this cultural experience with their friends and family members. You can offer tins of cookies, biscotti, candy, chocolate, and other novelty items to appeal to this gift-buying crowd.
The Allure of Biscotti
One food item that should definitely be on the menu of your coffee shop is a European treat known as biscotti. Biscotti is a tough cookie that is made by baking a thick dough twice. First, a loaf of dough is baked until it resembles the texture of an American cookie. This dough is then sliced lengthwise and baked again until it is very hard and crumbly. Biscotti is popular amongst coffee drinkers because it is perfect for dunking in a steaming cup of coffee. Because this Italian cookie is so tough, it holds up well to submersion in liquid.
Offering a few select food items such as desserts, pastries, specialty foods, and the ever-alluring biscotti will increase your sales and add to your customers' satisfaction.