EarthDay Primer: Easy Ways to Waste Less, Make More

Susatainable Coffees from Stockton GrahamLet’s face it, running a coffee business produces a lot of waste. Each one of those paper ”to-go” cups eventually ends up in a landfill somewhere. When you add the cardboard boxes, milk jugs, syrup bottles, aseptic cartons and coffee grounds, the average coffee shop could generate millions of pounds of trash each year.

As we prepare for International Earth Day on April 22, the team at Stockton Graham & Co. is thinking about ways to help coffee shops reduce waste and increase their overall profits.

We talked to Thom Swain, our Southeast Director of Business Development, about tactics he used to reduce waste as director of franchise development at a popular New Orleans coffee shop brand. His top suggestions involve saving on what’s likely to be two of your largest monthly product expenses: Coffee and Milk.

Coffee: The average coffee shop wastes as much as two pounds of coffee per week. Spillage from the espresso grinder alone can cost nearly $1000/year. Coaching staff to be more aware and avoid the spillage, or investing in an on-demand grinder would reduce this waste greatly.

Milk: Wasting as much as 1oz. of milk per drink can result in 1-2 gallons of milk wasted per day. This can easily top 700 gallons per year and cost $2000-$3000. Training staff to properly measure prior to preparation would curtail much of this waste.

“Since coffee and milk are agricultural products, waste affects availability and consequently consumer prices,” Thom Swain advised.

And since there are essentially two ways to make money in coffee — sell more and spend less — helping the environment by reducing waste can have a delightfully positive impact on your bottom line.

“If every American coffee shop were to reduce waste in these two ways, we could stop dumping 17 million gallons of milk down the drain and throwing 2.5 million pounds of coffee into our landfills,” Thom said.

For more ideas on how to reduce costs in your store, call Thom Swain or any of our Customer Care Associates at 800.835.5943.