Celebrate Summer With Promotions in Your Café!

Summer-beachThe warm weather is coming, and summer will be here before we know it, so now is a great time to start planning your summer promotions! June 21st is the official “First Day of Summer”, so it’s time to let your customers know about it with summer menu items and promotions to celebrate those refreshing beverages. With schools getting out and the absence of all night studiers needing their caffeine fix, many Cafés have to adjust for a different customer base.

Get your customers to vote from 4 different types of “summer” beverages to add to your menu on the first day of summer. On the weekend of June 21st, bring in the new menu item with a bang by offering specials on it and pairing it with tasty snacks from your shop. We suggest getting them to vote from options you don’t offer year round like a flavored iced latte, a flavored iced chai, a summer smoothie, a frozen lemonade or a flavored iced tea. Make these drinks fun by giving them summer or tropical themed names!

Iced beverages become a favorite when the temperature rises. You should continue to offer your same delicious coffees, but make sure they are all available iced. There are many different ways to create iced coffees: the Toddy process, chilling espressos, pour over methods, concentrates, etc., so there is no excuse for you to not be offering this delicious coffee option! To inspire regulars to try iced coffees, give coupons to customers who buy morning drip coffee. Have the coupon set for use in slower, afternoon hours to encourage those morning customers to come back.

Designate a week of Summer called “Iced is Nice” and offer discounts on iced beverages. Whether iced coffee, Italian sodas, flavored teas or lemonades, get your customers to celebrate by trying all your refreshing drink options! Flavored Teas and Italian sodas are a great way to make drinks with syrups you already have. Our vendor DaVinci reports that 55% of those who drink iced tea would be likely to try a flavored iced Tea. If your café serves iced tea already, adding extra flavor can add to the menu price without costing you much at all (and increasing profits for your shop)! Flavored Teas are also a “healthier” alternative to all the sugars and calories that can be loaded into coffee drinks or smoothies. This is a great way to appeal to your more health conscious customers.

Father’s Day is June 16th this year, and just like with Mother’s Day, encourage your patrons to bring their parent in for a drink with a BOGO promotion. If they buy something for themselves, they get a free one for their father! Offer $2 off on your retail coffee for gifts the week before. Remind customers that freshly roasted coffee is a great gift for any occasion, especially for a Dad! And don’t forget to offer gift cards for sale!

If there is a pool or other popular summer venue near your shop, reach out to them for co-op marketing opportunities such as hanging up flyers and posters for your events and promotions. Remind their guests how easy it is to drop by your shop on their way to or from the pool or concert. Summer is a big time for festivals and outdoor events. Try to volunteer or set up a booth with your shop’s name prominent and some of your iced coffee for sale. This will show your involvement in the community and help you reach out to potential new customers.

Smoothies are very popular in the summer months (see our newest blog on why you should make them a part of your menu). Consider a smoothie “Happy Hour” with discounted smoothies from 4 pm to 7 pm. This will give customers a reason to come in for a treat after work, or a day running errands.

The important thing when having special events is to market them properly. Social media blast your followers, set up flyers, table tents & posters, and have your baristas reminding customers of all your specials. Ask customers to “check in” with Foursquare when they visit your shop for an extra discount off their purchase! Set up a “social media special” for customers who write reviews for your shop on Yelp, Google +, Facebook or any other review site. Have them show you their review for a percentage off their coffee. This will help you get more marketing out about your shop and bring in new customers!

Here at Stockton Graham & Co., we are always looking to help our customers grow their business with new trends and new ideas. Call our Customer Care Associates today at 800.835.5943 to learn about our Summer product promotions, new ideas to market your shop, recipes or to place your order!

Check out our other blogs on Summer themes!:

Beat The Heat And Grow Sales By Incorporating Iced Coffee In Your Summer Menu!

Father’s Day Promotions!

Adding Summer Kid’s Drinks To Your Menu Will Keep Mom Coming Back For More, Too!

Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day Promotions for your Coffee Shop!

cha cha chaiMay is a warm month with two fun holidays to celebrate in your cafe: Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day! Cinco de Mayo (a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride) is the 5th of May every year, while Mother’s Day falls on Sunday May 12th this year. Promotions for these holidays will help to drive traffic into your shop, especially for more iced and blended beverages!
For Cinco de Mayo, consider a “Fiesta” in your shop. Set up a piñata (particularly in an open area) and let customers know it will be hit at a certain time Sunday the 5th. Encourage customers to bring their children for “free candy” and get the adults to indulge in your beverages at the same time. Have free salsa lessons in your shop during the party, and be sure to play mariachi music!
Margaritas, horchata and other traditionally Latino beverages make great promotions in your shop for the first week of may. Promote a Mexican Single Origin coffee the first week of May, or a free cup of Stockton Graham Coffees Organic Mexico Chiapas Single Origin coffee with every food purchase on Cinco de Mayo. 
As for Mother’s Day, encourage customers to bring their mothers into your shop for a special treat. A BOGO promotion is great for this holiday. The customer buys their coffee and gets their mother’s for FREE. This adds their parent as another loyal customer to your shop! Have a free baked item for every mother that comes in that day and makes a drink purchase. Get the customers to show you a picture of them with their child or children to create a special customer/barista bond.
Utilize your retail coffee sales by offering Mother’s Day baskets for sale! Include a bag of your house blend, a motherly mug, a few tea bags, some chocolate covered espresso beans and more! Remind customers picking up their morning coffees that your coffee makes a great gift for any occasion.
Always remember to advertise your promotions thoroughly the week before they occur. Keep updated information about them on your social media accounts and encourage your customers to attend as they order. It’s more personable to invite your customer to the events face to face. Stockton Graham & Co. is here to advise you on all your promotional plans. Give us a call at 800.835.5943, to get more ideas and place your order.

Spring Recipes For Your Cafe’s Menu!

smoothiesSpring is rapidly approaching, so it’s time to liven up that menu with some cool and refreshing beverages to prepare for warmer weather!

Lemonade is a perfect seasonal drink and a profitable seller to add to your menu for spring! You can liven it up by adding a shot of flavored syrup, and also charge a little more while doing so. Add flavors like raspberry, strawberry, blackberry or blueberry to create a specialty lemonade with higher profit margins. Add a fruit garnish to really showcase the drink and draw more attention from customers. For a 16oz modified lemonade add 4 pumps of the flavored syrup of your choice and mix with lemonade and ice!

Frozen lemonade is another top pick to add to your menu! As mentioned above, you can add a shot of flavor to create an even tastier specialty beverage. Stockton Graham & Co. is currently promoting a flavored frozen lemonade combo from Jet until March 31,2013. If you buy one case of Jet Arctic Lemonade smoothie mix at $76.80 you will receive 1 bottle each of DaVinci Gourmet Fruit Innovation Raspberry, Strawberry and Blackberry Blood Orange and a 3 tier syrup rack with 3 syrup pumps for no charge! For a 16oz frozen lemonade using these products use 7oz of the Jet Arctic Lemonade, 4 pumps of syrup and blend with a 16oz cup of ice!

Another simple beverage to add to your spring menu is iced tea and flavored iced tea. Tea is always good to offer, especially in warmer weather. Add shots of syrup to be able to charge more and create a drink that is not offered at competing locations! Raspberry and Peach iced tea are a great way to refresh your customers in the upcoming warmer weather! Feel free to experiment with any fruit flavor to build a tea special to your cafe!

With higher temperatures also comes a higher demand for Frappes, so be sure to have a few variations available! These are some Frappe recipes that we recommend to start your spring menu:
16oz Irish Cream Mocha – 1 pump chocolate sauce, 3 pumps Irish cream syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend
16oz Brown Sugar Cinnamon – 4 pumps brown sugar cinnamon syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend.
16oz Caramel – 2 pumps caramel sauce, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend.
16oz White Chocolate – 2 pumps of white chocolate sauce, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of and blend.
16oz Chocolate Covered Cherry – 1 pump chocolate sauce, 3 pumps cherry syrup, 2 shots of espresso, 4oz base, 16oz cup of ice and blend!

Last but not least, don’t forget to have fruit smoothies available! Fruit smoothies offer a nice non-caffeinated and healthy option to your customers. Stockton Graham & Co. carries smoothie mixes from several different vendors so make sure to check out the product catalog on the web or call a Customer Care Associate at 800.835.5943 to find out which product is best for your shop! Don’t be afraid to get adventurous, mix and match flavors or allow customers to request their very own fruit smoothie concoction! We have some rebates on certain smoothies brands that can be found here.

If you are looking for other great drink ideas be sure to give us a call at 800.835.5943 and our Customer Care Associates will be glad to collaborate with you on recipe ideas! Spring is a great time to bring back your frozen beverage menu, and boost your summer sales. Make sure you are offering everything you can, to keep your customers cool in the warm months.

Using Marketing to Grow Your Cafe’s Profits! Part 2

marketing-part2In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed the importance of marketing your store and developing a marketing plan to do so.  We also re-introduced our MAP (Marketing Area Profile).  If you have completed your MAP, then you can now begin to identify potential targets and events in your immediate area.  Recall that we are hoping to achieve a FAT bottom line.  We do this by increasing the number of visits from each customer (Frequency), how much they spend (Average) and, of course, getting new customers through the door (Trial).

Before you dive into marketing your location, let’s do a little housekeeping first.  It is a good idea to make sure every customer, new and old, is having the best experience possible while visiting your shop.  I once had a mentor who would say that the best way to go out of business is great marketing.  What he meant is that before you spend money to bring in new customers, make sure you aren’t driving them away with a bad first impression.  So, take a look at your operation from the customer’s point of view.  Is each barista well-trained and producing great drinks consistently?  Are all staff members presentable and friendly?  Is your store clean and well-maintained?  Look on both sides of the counter; are work areas kept neat and clear? Are the retail shelves clean and inviting?  How about your fans and light fixtures; are they burnt out and covered in dust?  Are the floors and furniture clean?  Is the outside of the store inviting?  What about your drink and food menu?  Do you have what customers want, and would you eat the food you have displayed?  Check online reviews and find out what customers love and hate about your shop; address any issues, and applaud your staff for successes.

You may want to invite some friends in to give honest feedback about what they see and how they are served, and then treat them to coffee at a competitor for comparison.  While you are there, check their prices against yours.  Are you in-line, too high, too low?  Does your pricing model even make sense?  We hear some of our customers say that they haven’t changed prices in several years, while the big guys change theirs yearly.

When you first opened, you probably had a check list for each shift.  Now would be a good time to dig it up, update it and reinstate this policy with your staff. This will ensure that your store remains as presentable as you originally envisioned it to be.

As you review your menu, please feel free to call any of our Customer Care Associates for ideas and suggestions on the latest trends.  We can help you round out your menu with the types of items that customers are asking for, and help you do it profitably.

In the next installment, we will discuss the details of Frequency, Average and Trial, and how this concept can add double digit growth to your bottom line.

Written by: Thom Swain – Business Development Representative

See Part 3 to finish off this series!