According to experts at Convenience Store News, a store is only as good as its hot beverage program. It is the center of services, the foundation upon which the rest of the services are built. So, you're focused and you want to step up your program, but you're not sure how to go about it? First you need to establish what needs to be done. Can you just add to your existing program or do you need to revamp it?

Assess your existing program:

  • Quality - Is your coffee fresh and good?
  • Staff - Are they trained to multitask? Can they attend the coffee program by keeping it stocked, clean, and prepared for service?
  • Customers - Do their comments reflect satisfaction with product and service?
  • Sales - Do you have good earnings that are potentially moving upward?

Once these issues are addressed, then you can start toward your improved and expanded coffee program. Where you want to take it depends upon the variables that affect it:

  • Who is your competition? What do other stores in the area offer and how might it affect your potential earnings?  Who are their customers and what are they serving?
  • What is going to be your gold standard product that separates you from your competitors, basically diminishing their threat?

After establishing your expanding product, you must then lend support to it by ensuring that your customers experience it as the best case scenario.

  • Elevated customer satisfaction providing prompt service during peak patronage
  • Product customization supported by practical condiments
  • Sufficient promotion of new product (s)
  • Variety and new choices
  • Incentive and rewards connected to promoted product

By focusing on what the customers want, they will give you what you want in return, increased patronage and sales. Penny pinching is not going to save you money. It is counter-productive to sales and detaches your customers from a sense of service.

  • Encourage customer feedback and respond promptly and accordingly.
  • Don't focus on new patrons at the expense of existing ones.
  • Seek professional advice from marketing experts.

Making the jump from good to great is the difference between acceptable and excellent. All of your cylinders have to be efficiently functioning and consistently meeting customer expectations.