Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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REAL ESTATE AGENT LaTonya Jones has sold more houses in the Buckman neighborhood of Southeast Portland, Ore., than anywhere else in the city, and she thinks she knows why. "I always take my clients out for coffee before looking at listings, and when they don't know what they want or where to look, I take them to Good Coffee," she says of the local three-café company. "I actually bought my condo in part because I loved this shop so much." That's a bold statement, especially in a city with more than a few renowned coffee spots, but for LaTonya there's one thing in particular that makes Good Coffee stand out: "I love how their menu changes from spring to summer to fall—all year long," she says. "I don't always just want a latte or a mocha; I want something special. And my customers do, too. They are charmed by those changing menus." For example, Good Coffee's spring 2018 drink menu included such temptations as a Blackberry Walnut Latte, made with espresso, steamed milk, and a reduction of just-in-season local blackberries and raw walnuts. It was served garnished with a lightly-salted-walnut dusting. Changing up a café menu to refl ect the shifting seasons is simpler than you may think, and has more benefi ts than you might imagine. Whether you use high-quality syrups and sauces along with local produce or fl avors, or make your own whipped cream and coffee sodas, adding fl air to your basic drinks and dressing them up as sea- sonal specials will make your customers feel, well, special themselves. "Taking advantage of the season by creating specialty drinks not only drives sales and increas- es profi ts, but it can also create new and repeat customers, if done right," says Lisa Ash, who manages the 1883 Beverage Innovation program for Routin America. "People tend to look forward to new and exciting beverages that satisfy their urge to either warm, comfort, indulge, or refresh themselves. Limited-time promotions offer an op- portunity to show the customers that you can be fresh, inventive, and festive without committing to a permanent item. Many customers will go out of their way to fi nd a specifi c seasonal beverage they've heard about through social media, and will spread the word instantly if it's all they hoped it would be. That satisfi ed customer will certainly return." How Seasonal Beverages Benefit Cafés According to U.K.-based Beyond the Bean's Usage & Attitude Qualitative Research 2017, 43 percent of customers will try a seasonal beverage. It's a surprising number when you consider that most café "regulars" are there for the drinks they order every day. That's why a thoughtfully designed seasonal beverage will satisfy their craving for the familiar if it's based on a latte, a cortado, etc., as well as stimulate their instinctive desire for something special. "My eyes are always drawn to the seasonal or signature section of a drink menu, even when it's my fi rst time to a café," says Levi Andersen, beverage product manager for Kerry Foodser- vice. "Why? I think because the menu can tell customers so much about the personality of a café. If I see drinks that are straightforward or more coffee-focused, then I might just get espres- so and trust that it will be made deliciously. On the other hand, if the menu has creative drinks with ingredients like matcha or vinegar, then I'm Using the Calendar to Plan a Special Menu Can Equal Profits and Customer Loyalty By Sarah Allen 84 barista magazine

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