Over 90% of the UK’s petrol forecourts have a store/kiosk selling other goods1. This is direct result of the ‘to-go’ culture we are experiencing in Britain. We need stuff, we need it now, and we don’t have time to stop! The vast majority of forecourts are increasing their offerings in order to capitalise on this culture of convenience.

Forecourts are also the fastest growing sector in the convenience arena. It makes sense then that with the increasing trend for quality and ethical coffee, one way that forecourts can boost sales is through a premium coffee-to-go solution.

Even forecourts who already have coffee-to-go can benefit by re-evaluating their current offering to make sure they are keeping up consumer trends and therefore maximising sales potential.

Here are our five simple steps to help you boost your coffee-to-go sales:

1. Choose the right location for your coffee offer

Your customers are literally on-the-go; they are en route. They are already making a fuel purchase so it’s easy for them to accompany that with a coffee. It’s important to place your coffee offer in a convenient spot; by the entrance to the store is a great location as it will be seen when the customer first walks through the door. An appealing looking installation will grab their attention as will the aroma of fresh coffee! The other ideal place for your to-go machine to be installed is near the till point; that way when your customer is paying for their fuel they can easily add-on a coffee spontaneously.

Smokin' bean coffee and muffin

2. Make a meal of it

Another simple way to boost sales is by fuelling appetites as well as automobiles: offer food-to-go, a meal deal or coffee and cake.

Again, this is all about convenience. It is easy to make an on the spot decision to add a muffin or pastry to an order and provides the opportunity for an even more positive experience – in fact, recent research1 suggests that those who purchase food with coffee do so for reasons of enjoyment, and to treat themselves, so don’t deny your customers that little moment of joy!

In keeping with the convenience theme, this research also highlights that some consumers seek out coffee sites specifically for food at breakfast or lunchtime to avoid having to purchase items at multiple sites. You need to be there with the right goods at the right time!

3. Automate your coffee-to-go experience

We’ve talked about how consumers favour convenience, but we know that is beneficial to you as a business owner too. Taking on a coffee offer does not necessarily mean taking on a lot of extra workload too. In fact, many to-go machines are fitted with telemetry, which means you can gain insights such as the hours and days that are the busiest, which are the most popular drinks and how many of each drink you are selling. Based on Tchibo Coffee Service telemetry data from forecourts between January – July 2018, we at know Fridays between 7-8am are the busiest periods for coffee-to-go. The most popular drink sold is the latte, which accounts for 37% of all drinks sold from our coffee-to-go machines. Using this kind of information, you can tailor your promotions to maximise return – for example, a Friday morning breakfast deal would capitalise on this busy period, or you could try to boost sales during the quietest times (1pm – 3pm at weekends in case you wondered) by running a coffee and cake promotion.

Telemetry will provide cleaning reports, sales reports and can even auto replenish your stock. All you need to do is keep the machine well stocked and clean to ensure it’s always dispensing the best quality coffee, which leads us nicely onto tip number 4…

Tchibo to go machine hot coffee

4. Keep your machine clean, tidy, and well-stocked

Ordering food and drink is a very visual thing and we know that expectations of coffee quality are rising. Consumers have an increasing desire for premium quality coffee anywhere, anytime. This means it needs to look enticing and delicious.

No one wants to drink from a machine that looks messy from the previous consumer. A poor level of cleanliness is second only to bad tasting coffee when it comes to factors that discourage customer resvists1. Keeping it spotless will encourage usage and will also reflect well on you as a business.

As we previously mentioned, telemetry can monitor your machine’s cleanliness and prompt you when you need to clean it.

Keeping the café destination well-stocked and tidy will again improve the overall appearance and encourage sales and repeat visits.

5. Additional benefits to keep customers coming back for more

Boost sales by choosing an offer with added benefits: Smokin’ Bean café destinations offer a free shot of espresso or flavoured syrup with every drink and come with a selection of quality snacks from our food-to-go range – all convenient for the customer on the go.

free shot of Syrup or Espresso

Another great way to encourage your customers to keep coming back for more is to offer a loyalty card. This is a tried and tested promotional tool that coffee lovers themselves say is the most important factor encouraging them to revisit, (after the great taste of the coffee of course!)1.

You can find out more about Smokin’ Bean in our blog or at www.smokinbean.co.uk.

If you are considering joining the 70%2 of forecourts who serve coffee, or you’re rethinking the coffee offer in your petrol station, visit our coffee-to-go page, or give our friendly team a call.


1. Allegra
2. ACS Forecourt Report (2016)

Tagged with: