For many people, a cup of coffee isn’t simply a refreshment. It’s an experience. Going for coffee is a little luxury; a way to take a moment to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of hectic daily life.
Making the coffee experience extra welcoming and special for your guests is therefore a high priority in the hospitality industry to encourage repeat visits, positive reviews and increased spend.
So how can you make the most of your coffee experience? We asked National Coffee Excellence Trainer, Mark Hodovan, to share his tips for improving the coffee experience in hotels.
1. Create an environment your guests want to spend time in
First impressions count. Your guests are going to want to spend time in the bar or café area if it meets their needs. Maybe your hotel is situated near an airport or city, in which case, make sure you cater for those travelling on business and include plug sockets, free wifi and tables suitable to work at. Maybe you’re more of a country retreat, so make sure you have cosy sofas and a relaxing atmosphere. Maybe you’re a bit of both. Either way, you want to encourage them to spend time there, so the little finishing touches can make a big difference.
2. Upsell snacks with the coffee
There is so much opportunity to upsell food with coffee at various times during the day. Train your teams to ask guests if they would like a cake or pastry with their coffee order – many won’t be able to resist the offer, especially if you have a delicious selection of baked goods on display to tempt them!
But it’s not all about indulgent snacks. Don’t neglect to offer healthy options and snacks for those with dietary requirements. Offering vegan or gluten-free snacks alongside your standard snack offering means you are not excluding these growing groups of consumers.
There are a wide range of vegan, gluten-free, virtuous and decadent snacks in our Espresso Warehouse range.
3. Create promotions
Following on from upselling with food, why not offer promotions to tie snacks and coffee together? For example, coffee and cake for a fixed price, or a promotional price for coffee and croissants mid-morning. Be sure to provide good signage to advertise your promotion to attract guests to your special offers.
4. Pre-warm the cups
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. This one is about taking a few seconds extra to ensure you are serving excellent coffee.
Serving coffee in cold porcelain cups can reduce the heat of the coffee by up to 10°1 and can cause the crema to break down, meaning the overall coffee quality is comprised. Heat your cups by filling them with hot water while you are grinding the beans to prepare your espresso. Pour the water away just before you add the espresso to the cup. If you’re using a bean to cup machine, it’s a good idea to have a cup warmer next to the machine so you can always serve your coffees at the optimal temperature.
5. Offer seasonal drinks
Adding different drinks to your menu for a limited time is a great way to refresh what you offer and helps you test out new trends. Who knows, one of your seasonal recipes could prove so popular you want to add it to your menu permanently.
In the summer, broaden your drinks offering by creating iced coffees, frappes and smoothies – these prove popular when it’s just too sunny for a hot cuppa. You can also get creative and serve latte art hearts on Feb 14th, use pumpkin spice in your coffees in October, not forgetting the trusty Christmas syrup staples like gingerbread and cinnamon in December. Make your seasonal drinks look awesome with latte art or stencils – this will encourage guests to share your beautiful beverages on social media.
6. Introduce a loyalty scheme
Keep guests coming back for more with a loyalty card. It’s common practice to offer a tenth drink free, meaning loyal customers are encouraged to buy nine drinks with you first. Get yourself some cards and hand them out to your business guests at the till point. It will work even better if your teams start to recognise your regulars and can offer them ‘the usual’ – a personal touch goes a long way!
7. Designate a ‘Coffee Champion’
Coffee drinkers are becoming more discerning. They know a great cup from a mediocre one, so it’s never been more important to ensure your staff are preparing excellent coffees day in, day out. One way to do this is to choose a dedicated member of your team to be the ‘Coffee Champion’. Give the Coffee Champion the sole responsibility of making coffee; they can focus on coffee excellence rather than other tasks meaning you will have a specialist barista. There are loads of ways your Coffee Champion can hone their skills from watching YouTube videos, following coffee blogs and publications, as well as specialist training…
8. Prioritise staff training
Professional training is vital when it comes to making great coffee. It’s important your teams learn how to not only make the basic drinks but know how to clean and maintain the machine and associated barista equipment to ensure they are delivering the best cup every time.
At Tchibo Coffee Service we have a team of SCA qualified coffee trainers based throughout the UK, who are dedicated to passing on their expert knowledge to your hotel teams. Find out more by visiting our website!
Do you have any other tips? Share them with us in the comments!
Tagged with: coffee • Promotions • Seasonal drinks • Training • Upsell