Tea & Coffee focus: Tea to fill a sales gap

Related tags Tea Caffeine

Afternoon tea may seem a concept more suited to twee hotels of the type and vintage patronised by Miss Marple and Bertie Wooster - although never at...

Afternoon tea may seem a concept more suited to twee hotels of the type and vintage patronised by Miss Marple and Bertie Wooster - although never at the same time, we should stress in the interests of decency.

However, as pubs strive to find new business and extra sources of revenue, the cake, cuppa and cucumber sandwich market is one licensees should consider having a pop at.

In comparison to alcohol and even coffee, tea has a high percentage margin. A cup sold at 99p can generate a profit of 89 per cent. Infusions and green teas, which don't use milk, can push margins as high as 94 per cent.

It doesn't end there. Andrea Stopher, senior trade marketing manager with Twinings, says: "Pubs can generate incremental sales by teaming teas with food. By trading consumers up to add a snack, cake or sandwich to their tea, licensees can raise the value of each transaction and build additional profit into each sale.

"This can be done quite simply by teaming beverages with suitable accompaniments, such as infusions with a low-fat muffin or assam tea with a premium sandwich or panini."

These offers should be communicated with effective displays, snack or meal deals and point-of-sale material.

"You can also promote different offers throughout the day for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon and evening, varying the teas and accompaniments to move consumers around the range you serve and encourage customers to try something different," says Andrea.

Promotions around hot beverages can also drive sales, whether it is a tea of the month or a tea for two deal.

"We also recommend serving tea so that the customer has control over the length of time it is brewed and the amount of milk added - remember everyone has their own idea of the perfect cup," Andrea advises.

Customers are increasingly avoiding artificial ingredients and are looking for more natural products - whether it's cask beer or organic wines. With speciality teas and infusions, it is especially important for staff to sample the pub's range to help them make recommendations.

Visitors to www.twiningsfs.co.uk can claim free samples of Twinings' recently launched Traditional English decaffeinated envelopes and all natural Infusions, green tea and white tea range. The site also allows pubs to tap into Twinings' expertise with the Out of Home Advice section, featuring hints and tips on driving profits, choosing a core range and promoting hot drinks.

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