.99¢ Latte Day?

Ever heard of the Dollar Menu?  Well, it seems that all the big fast-food restaurants are doing it now.  Guess what else they’re all doing? They are coming out with better coffee; some are audacious enough to call it gourmet or premium.  That means increased competition for you, the independent operator.

In addition to requesting a copy of our Marketing Area Profile and requesting your 2010 Seasonal Promotions Kit, consider your own comeback to the Dollar Menu.  One of our clients has had great success in their stores with a .99¢ latte promotion.  The promotion is simple: come by during certain hours and get a .99¢ latte with any purchase.   (Even if a customer orders nothing else, they still get a .99¢ latte.)  It is a 12 oz., standard latte, any extras are at normal price, staff are encouraged upsize to a medium or large for an .50 cents per size.  Average tickets during these promoted dayparts remained steady because of increased purchases of food or multiple drinks.

The strategy is simple: Pick a day or days of the week where you have weak dayparts, and promote during these hours.  During this promotional period, be sure your store is in order, the staff should be ready to handle orders, understand how to ring it up, and of course be prepared to upsell.  Be sure that you have plenty of impulse items and fresh pastries ready to sell, too.  The key to this type of promotion is giving great service, making a lasting impression and winning new customers.

If you can drive more customers into your store with this type of promotion, chances are you are also capturing new customers.  And a loyal customer for most coffee shops adds $1,000 or more each year in sales; not a bad return for a discounted latte here and there.  For those worried about cost,  a standard 12 oz. latte with two shots should cost less than .50¢ to make including cup, lid, sugar etc.

Don’t forget to blog, tweet and Facebook your .99¢ Latte Special too. Also, try promoting your deal on sites like Groupon and Living Social. You want as big and broad an impact as possible when offering such a great deal.  For more information about using social media to your advantage, give us a call at (800) 835-5943.

Thom Swain
Stockton Graham & Co.