How branding, staff training and driving sales of coffee can boost hoteliers. The importance of a good cup of coffee should not be underestimated. Here at Beacon we work closely with Douwe Egberts and we have pooled our knowledge to offer tips and advice to hoteliers on their coffee offering.
At Beacon we have almost 400 customers trading with three key suppliers in the coffee industry spending over £500k per year on coffee and coffee products. Coffee is undoubtedly hot in a drinks market that is declining. Despite the overall sector shrinking 12%, we are seeing growth in the coffee category of 6% since 2014 and that is despite a predicted increase in the price of beans of 15%.
The South American droughts had a huge impact on the demand and supply of Arabica beans and due to the two-year harvest cycle of coffee beans, this impact is still being felt across the board now. However, Douwe Egberts, one of Beacon’s expert suppliers, has identified that guests are still comfortable paying £3 to £4 for a good quality cup of coffee, so if you’re using a premium brand it makes sense to showcase this to customers. If the customer knows they can have a good cup of coffee at the bar, it will make them less likely to go down the road for a coffee at the nearest coffee shop.
The branding of products in a hotel environment is paramount to giving the hotel its own brand identity. As well as this, providing a unified coffee offering throughout means guests can enjoy the same high-quality branded coffee in their room, at breakfast and at the bar, which shows a commitment to high quality coffee and consistency throughout the hotel – adding to a customer’s overall perception.
In terms of driving sales, the key coffee drinking occasions are breakfast and conference events. The importance of a good cup of coffee at breakfast cannot be understated. It has been proven that coffee is the second most important item to get right in a hotel at breakfast, according to guests, the first being the sausages on a full English breakfast. Essentially, a good or bad coffee can make or break a guests stay and the report from UCC Coffee UK and Ireland revealed that 30% of guests would consider not returning to a hotel that served poor coffee – so a hoteliers coffee offering should not be taken lightly.
Finally, it’s important to consider whether your front of house staff should offer decaffeinated coffee as an option to guests. To put it very simply: yes they should. While decaff is slightly more niche than it’s caffeinated counterpart, it still has it’s place front of house and certainly shouldn’t be dismissed. You can easily keep decaffeinated coffee pads behind the bar, which you can use with a traditional espresso machine at no extra effort for the barista. Consumer behaviour has shown that hotel guests remember the bad experiences far more vividly than the good ones, so a decaff coffee drinker being unable to get decaff at the bar will most definitely cast a shadow over their experience as a whole.
Eddie Smith at Beacon supplier Douwe Egberts, commented on the importance of staff training:
“Training is fundamental in serving great coffee. You can have the best beans and the most expensive equipment money can buy, but if a barista with no training is making the drink then ultimately it will be poor quality. We always use the equation that a great coffee is 25% ingredients, 25% equipment and 50% barista, so the barista’s skill really is imperative to the final drink.”
To discuss your coffee and hot beverage requirements, contact Beacon today to speak to Mark Holness, our expert Drinks Buyer.