Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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like the espresso, to be added fresh with each order. It simplifi es the process of making the drink, especially when there are a lot of ingredients involved, but still requires some quick fi nishing touches of a skilled barista," Alden says. Lisa from 1883 also advises opera- tors to start small and see how it sells before using up a lot of ingredients on a drink you might enjoy but that will be a long shot with customers. "Start off with smaller batches to see how it sells, then create pars for each day according to how much you sold on a previous week. Track your uses for a couple weeks. Adjust the size of your batch according to your pars," she says. All the experts with whom we spoke had terrific ideas for how to make drinks stand out in terms of presentation. "I would recommend having some aspect of it that requires a barista's special touch to fi nish off the drink whether it be adding the fresh shots of espresso, shaking the drink to make it frothy and then pouring into a cup," says Anna of Barista 22. For Levi of Kerry Foodservice, it's all about creating and enhancing aro- ma. "I take a lot of inspiration from the bartending world. If you look at a café, you can see all the wonderful tools and techniques we keep stealing from bartenders," Levi says. "One technique that they employ is slap- ping their herb garnishes to release more aromatics. It's a wonderful trick and is entertaining for guests. So if you have a drink that uses an herb, try placing the herb on your palm and then slapping/clapping with your other free hand. Notice the enhanced aroma. "Adding a citrus zester to your café and using a touch of orange zest goes a long way to making a drink more memorable for the customer," Levi continues. "When choosing between garnishes, keep in mind contrasting colors. Does it blend into the color of the drink? Does it contrast too much? Then of course the fl avors need to be in harmony together." Levi brings up the point that the drink shouldn't only look good for the customer at hand, but for social media, as well. After all, your seasonal drink menu should be bringing customers in, and can therefore work as a promotion- al tool to increase business. "Seasonal drinks give cafés a fresh and relevant reason to reach out to customers on social media," says Alden. "Posting about a limited-time offering can bring in new customers and bring back customers that haven't visited the café in a while." He continues, "On social media, cafés become a blur of latte art, sourc- ing stories, and marble countertops, and it gets hard to tell them apart. Offering a unique, well-timed, and attractive seasonal beverage can cut through the noise." Since you can't taste what you see on Instagram, however, the garnishes and glassware should be carefully considered. However, Alden warns, "Garnishes and decoration are a great way to get interest in the drink and make it post-worthy on social media, but they should never be the star of the show. Focus on the quality of the seasonal beverage and use garnishes to celebrate the fl avors in the drink and make it look special. If you're making a seasonal beverage with rose, focus on the pour and decorate with a few well-placed dried rose petals. When Starbucks launched their 'Unicorn Frappuccino,' America fl ocked to try one, but then reports came back that it didn't taste great and Starbucks risked losing trust of their customers in whatever crazy thing they launch next. An independent café survives on return customers, so fl avor is still the most important quality of a seasonal beverage." The social media angle makes sense, especially as everyone, it seems, takes photos of their food and drinks in restaurant, bar, and yes, café settings. "I can think of six cafés near where I live that I follow on Instagram, and if one of them posted a photo of a new drink that sounds tasty, I would be there the next day," says Levi. Anna of Barista 22 urges that café owners consider special names for their drinks, as well. "I always rec- ommend customers brand/name their specialty drinks something that might have to do with their business," she says. "It's just another opportunity for building brand identity and aware- ness. Tie that in with when you have special drinks with recipes unique to your business, and customers will come specifi cally to your business for Pricing Your Seasonal Drinks BESIDES ENGAGING EXISTING custom- ers and attracting new ones, pricing seasonally inspired drinks at a premium is one of the most appealing reasons to incorporate a rotating menu of signature coffee drinks. Here's advice from the experts on how to do it. "The fi rst thing anyone must do when pricing is to see what the competition is charging and what the market will bear. Know who you are and the image you want to project. Do you want to be competitive in price, lower than competition, or position yourself with premium pricing? You must know your complete cost from products, garnish, mixers, ice, straws, and even labor and time. In other words, a true cost. You must know your desired profi t margin and where you are willing to go with your pricing to do business. With beverages at 25–35 percent cost, you should see a 65–75 percent profi t, which is ideal and fair. With proper training and cost control, you can offer a lower sale price than your competition and still make a higher profi t." —Lisa Ash, manager of 1883 beverage innova- tion, Routin America "Take the base drink price, add the cost of the additional ingredients times three. Example: So, if one ounce of syrup is $0.10, you would charge $0.30 additional to the drink." —Darren Loscalzo, VP of innovation, Monin "Adding a 10–20 percent premium to seasonal beverages helps keep them profi table and can account for the cost of additional ingredients and garnishes." —Angela Ramirez, manager of consumer and customer market insight, Torani 90 barista magazine

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