Adding Tea To Your Coffee Menu

Is hot tea on your coffee menu? It should be. Some cafe owners choose to ignore tea and it’s a detriment to their overall sales numbers. The number one reason to add tea to your coffee house menu is, well, because not everyone drinks coffee.

What are the benefits of expanding the menu for tea? For starters, offering hot tea opens up a shop to a new segment of potential customers that would normally not walk through the doors. Also, tea is a high margin item, with an average cost of goods between .30 and .40 cents.

The most common excuses for ignoring tea are:

1) “I’m not educated enough about it.”

2) “My customers don’t ask for it.”

3) “I don’t want to add another group of items to my inventory.”

These concerns simply aren’t legitimate. First of all, you don’t have to be a tea guru to sell it. Tea isn’t the focus of your business, but luckily there is enough information online to educate yourself on the basics in order to effectively market to consumers. Two Leaves & a Bud, Mighty Leaf and red espresso are the tea brands we carry and their websites are full of useful information regarding where their high quality products come from, what’s in the them, how much caffeine they contain, how long to steep them, etc. Your Stockton Graham & Co. Customer Care Associate can be a resource for you, too.

What about customers not asking for tea? Why would a person continue to come in just to check if a business has decided to carry a product? More than likely, they will go to a competitor. It’s a fact that that over 90% of customers who don’t have a good experience never complain to anyone in the store – they decide to never come back. Don’t lose any more customers by ignoring tea!

The last excuse is probably the toughest to mentally overcome. Retailers occasionally view new products as just more stuff to buy – more overhead. Certain additional expenses can be a gamble for a small business owner, but tea is virtually risk-free. Tea ages slowly, so you have plenty of time to sell through stock without having to stress over any expiration date. Also, if you own a coffee house you already have almost everything you need to brew and sell tea. Hot water dispenser? Check. Cups and lids? Check. Done and done. All you need is a tea rack which can be had for less than 60 bucks and a few teas and you’re set.

When starting out, offer two black teas (a breakfast varietal and the ubiquitous Earl Grey), one green tea and one herbal, caffeine-free tea. With all new products, it’s always best to start small and expand as customer demand dictates.

So, for less than $200.00 (which includes product) you can add an additional revenue stream that has the potential to bring in new customers every single day…no excuses!

Also, for more information on introducing iced tea to your menu, check out THIS previous post.

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.