Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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that beverage experience. This, in return, creates loyalty and more repeat business." Sell that drink! Chances are, your baristas work bar more than you do, so you'll want to get them excited about, and familiar with, your rotating menu, as well. And what better way to do this than involve them in the process of building the drinks themselves? Levi recalls a local café that "post- ed pictures of their baristas testing new recipes, then a week later they posted the fi nale and announced the new signature drink. That set of photos was brilliant (and free) marketing." Says Angela of Torani: "Sampling new or special drinks with the staff and with guests is a great way to build goodwill as well as excite- ment. Even if someone doesn't order your [drink], they may talk about it to someone else later, or they will at least give your operation 'credit' for having something new and different to see on that day's visit. Another option would be to have a perfect drink contest with a prize—who can make the drink to specifi cation the most quickly?" Building confi dence within your staff through involving them in the creation and serving decisions can only benefi t your café. If your baristas feel a sense of ownership about a drink, they're more likely to sell it. Consider providing your baristas with some special ingredients—local, seasonal, etc.— and challenging them to develop a delicious drink with them. You can compensate them by letting them name the drink, and/or awarding a cash prize or gift card. "Always have a contest," advises Lisa from 1883. "People want a reward and will work hard for the recognition, additional pay, or ideal schedule. Holding a contest identifies the good sales people in your staff." Lauren of Beyond the Bean agrees. "Competitions are a great way to get both staff and customers involved and excited for seasonal specials. Here at Beyond the Bean, we host BTBootcamps where we present attendees with an array of ingredients and help them to come up with their own seasonal creations. By using this technique and adding an element of com- petition, [baristas] have the freedom to be creative. It will also help generate passion for what they are creating and make them feel like a valued member of the team. "It's also a good [way to] get staff to start considering the costs of their recipe to make them more operationally aware. Once the recipes have been decided on and tested, each member of [the] staff could then be an ambassador for their drink, promoting and sampling it with customers. Give a prize for the drink that proved to be the most popu- lar, and make that your featured seasonal special. You can even add the winner's name to the drink, e.g. "Claire's Beetroot Brownie Mocha." There's really no reason not to have a rotating seasonal drink menu, even if it's just one drink per season. From building customer loyalty, to improving your social media game, to increasing profi ts and grow- ing the strength of your staff, incorporating a special drink based on the season into your café's menu is almost a guaranteed sure thing. It might feel scary to add to a menu that's full of all-time favorites, but you have little to lose by taking the risk. "Don't be afraid to get creative, but make sure the drink is still approachable," advises Alden. "Try a unique twist on a familiar drink, or use a familiar fl avor in an exotic beverage. Incorporate a familiar element to your creation so the customer can imagine how delicious the drink will be, and feel comfortable spending the extra money." 93 www.baristamagazine.com

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