How to perc up your profits

By Jo Bruce

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Coffee Espresso Tea

Boost coffee sales with latte art
Boost coffee sales with latte art
In the first of a new series, Jo Bruce looks at ideas for how licensees can maximise the opportunity for hot beverages in their pubs. Hot ideas to...

In the first of a new series, Jo Bruce looks at ideas for how licensees can maximise the opportunity for hot beverages in their pubs.

Hot ideas to boost footfall

PubChef's focus on how licensees are using hot beverages to drive extra trade in their pub:

Where:​ Freehold the Kingham Plough, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

What's on offer:​ Children's music mornings with refreshments and lunch. Chef/proprietor Emily Watkins says: "A friend of mine is the Rose part of Maggie and Rose, the London-based members' club for families. She recently moved to the neighbouring village and wanted to do something locally, so we agreed that she could run a weekly hour-long music morning at the pub. Refreshments are provided for parents and children and an optional children's lunch is available after the class."

What hot beverages and food are on offer?​ "We include a cafetiere of coffee, squash for the kids and home-made biscuits in the price of the music class. Children can choose from a changing selection of three lunch options, which include cod fish fingers, cottage pie, sausage roll and fish pie, all home-made, and served with chips and peas, plus a scoop of our home-made ice cream."

How long has it been running?​ "The group has been running since January of this year. We are having a break for the summer and will run again, during term-time, from September."

How do we market the offer?​ "We launched the group at a kids' Christmas party that we held in December and now advertise on our website, on posters in the bar area and via our newsletter."

Business benefits:​ "The group is for a maximum of 15 children and we will be full for September. Classes are £5 per session plus £7.50 per child for lunch, which everyone opts for, so we are making nearly £200 each week when we would normally be shut. We also make money from the additional coffees and portions of triple-cooked potato wedges that the mums order while their children are having lunch. Some mums stay for lunch once the restaurant opens and we find they often bring their families back at the weekend, which is great, as we had a problem attracting families in the past. Instead of paying the music teacher I provide her two children with lunch for free."

Lisa Huntington, head barista trainer at Cooper's coffee, shares her tips:

• Latte art can be created in two ways: by manipulating the flow of milk from a jug into the espresso (known as free pour) or by drawing designs with a sharp object such as a thermometer tip (known as etching). With a good barista trainer, you can learn latte art in less than an hour.

• It doesn't take much extra time to do latte art on a coffee. The few seconds it takes create velvety milk and ensure you serve a fabulous drink.

• Latte art can increase your sales — serving a coffee with such a personal touch is guaranteed to help you stand out in a crowded marketplace. It also ensures that the milk is always steamed to perfection, creating a beautiful velvety texture.

• It also helps motivate your staff to master barista skills, allowing them to demonstrate their passion for serving perfect coffees and experience a greater job satisfaction.

• It's a great surprise for your customers and sure to bring a smile to their faces, encouraging repeat custom.

How to create a latte heart:

• Once you have textured (i.e. heated your milk), tilt the jug to a 45° angle and pour the milk steadily into one spot near the far edge of the cup, bringing the crema halfway up the cup.

• Lower the jug to the cup and tilt the jug downwards to a 90° angle. Wiggle the jug to allow the foam to pour onto the crema.

• Hold the jug still and pour to allow the white foam to grow.

• Still pouring the foam, pull the jug to the other side of the cup, cutting the foam circle in two and creating the points of the heart.

• The key to successful latte art is texturing. Pay attention to the position and angle of your jug, allowing the foam to flow and help you create your patterns.

Insider information

PubChef picks the brains of key suppliers on how licensees can make more money from hot beverages, cakes and food offers served with them. First up Ian Toal, managing director of Delice de France, offers ideas on maximising cakes and pastry sales with hot beverages

• Cakes, pastries and sweet treats are great impulse purchases and sales can be maximised by making sure they are clearly on display where customers can grab and go. Organise special days where different treats are on offer.

• Never under-estimate the effectiveness of a tempting deal. Promotions linking different treats with different hot beverages can help upsell hot drinks as well, encouraging customers to indulge and spend that little bit more.

• Don't forget to communicate. Create interest around attractive new offers such as whoopie pies, through table talkers for example, or announcements on menu boards. Let your customers know you have something new and encourage them to try it with their favourite beverage.

• Creating seasonal offers for special occasions such as Valentine's Day, Easter, Bonfire Night, will help keep things fun and interesting, encouraging first-time purchases as well as repeat buys.

• Items such as cup cakes and whoopie pies make great take-away gifts so offering them through an attractive packaging solution can encourage sales.

• Serving up an offer involving little goodies with hot drinks will allow you to make that little bit of difference that will have people coming back for more. A small cookie on the side of the saucer will define the difference between a quick take-away coffee shop joint, or an enjoyable, relaxed, quality experience.

• Linking different pastries, cakes, cupcakes, and other sweet treat offers with different types of hot beverages will encourage customers to spend a bit more to try a great combination. Experiment with different flavours and serving ideas and you should discover that a little bit can go a very long way.

What's new in hot beverages?

• 'Champagne' of coffee — United Coffee has launched a new addition to its Grand Café brand — the premium-blend Grand Cru, described as "hand-crafted, credible coffee".

Sourced from some of the world's finest plantations, the company believes the product is the "Champagne of the coffee world" — Elaine Higginson, managing director at United Coffee UK and Ireland, says: "The Grand Cru coffee has excelled in blind tastings for its character, complexity and extraordinary flavour. Its character is fruit-sweet and honey-thick to taste, creating a rich flavour that celebrates what great coffee is truly about. The subtle flavours will impress any coffee connoisseur — you could liken it to a fine wine."

All United Coffee customers are trained in how to deliver the Grand Cru experience, ensuring the best flavour is extracted and serving guidelines are met. For example, it is always served in an 8oz cup. In addition to training, United Coffee helps its customers to communicate the premium experience with PoS material.

For more information visit

•Tips to boost your tea offer — PG tips has launched a tea tips website with hints and tips to help caterers develop their tea offering.

The site includes tools to help operators build the profile of their tea offering and increase their profit margin including: how to choose the best products from the range for your pub's business; how to promote that you are serving your customers' preferred brand with a variety of merchandising material available (including PG tips, Lipton and Scottish Blend); tips on how to serve the perfect cuppa and a profit calculator.

For more information visit

•Whoopie flavours unveiled — The whoopie pie has recently enjoyed a renaissance in the UK and is set to rival the cupcake as the dess

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