Most of us will be familiar with spending money (sometimes a little too much!) on our loved ones. But from a business perspective, have you ever considered how much ‘sweethearts’ are costing you on a daily basis
There is a paradox in the modern coffee trade which nobody seems able to resolve. Why, if virtually every local authority in the land says they want to adopt a ‘café culture’ approach to their high streets, do they make it so difficult for café operators to trade that way?
Paul Eagles has recently become the star of a new kind of chocolate marketing – he set up Kokoa Collection to promote the concept of single-origin, high-cocoa hot chocolate.
The 4th of July is going to be a notable day this year. It will be Independents’ Day – and that is no spelling mistake. It is the neatly-timed pun which marks the growing annual awareness campaign in support of independent traders on the national high street.
Claire Martinsen – left a career in big brands to create ‘posh pop’, a combination of interesting flavours, spring water, and the memory of her grandmother’s lemonade. She now runs, the increasingly successful, Breckland Orchard.
Gary McGann – sales and marketing director at Beyond the Bean – supplying drinks, gear and knowledge for the café bar industry.
How serious is an adverse reputation across the internet? Whether it’s a slur on a social networking site or a critical comment on a ‘review’ site, criticism is very easily made public today, and can have a painful effect on a business.
Letting the cup speak for itself. Sometimes, the inspiration which leads to an entirely new business idea comes when you least expect it, and from a direction you had not previously thought of.
Is cash really on the way out for the coffee bar and café ? There are now many suppliers of business software telling the café trade that modern payment methods are quicker, easier and cheaper than ever before… and the companies behind them are all new start-up
This may be the year that pubs make their big breakthrough with coffee. Although parts of the coffee trade still maintain that pub coffee is a minority market, we may be in danger of kidding ourselves – many pubs are already there, and many more are catching up fast.
Selling espresso machines to the Italians – To be able to claim a truly unique selling proposition is something that everyone in business hopes for. At Fracino in Birmingham, Adrian Maxwell has one unique tag which never fails to draw attention.
The giant Italian coffee brands have been both a guiding light and a target for the rest of the British coffee trade. Find out more about how Lavazza operates from the UK’s Sales and Marketing Director, Barry Kither.
Do the clothing trade’s uniform-makers have any creative ideas which might improve the look of everyday coffee-house staff?
Your local supermarket probably does it and the internet has embraced it without reservation: Display What You Sell Well.
Find out more about a host of the leading people within our business with the Caffe Culture Industry Profiles.
The biggest social and environmental crisis to come in coffee-producing countries will be in Africa – it is the ‘new form of colonialism’, and it involves multi-national corporations buying up land for their own use, with insufficient regard for the rights of local people. The warning was made in at a recent meeting at the… [Read more]
The phrases ‘direct sourcing’ and ‘direct trade’ have become currently fashionable in the coffee world, and it is easy to see why – the suggestion that operators work directly and fairly with coffee farmers, is a very attractive promotional image. Putting across the concept that a neighbourhood café or roaster is sufficiently ethically-minded to have… [Read more]
This month’s guest writer is Chris Brown, director of catering consultancy Turpin Smale. Here he discusses how design, humour and styling can create a café experience to remember: Cafés have often reflected a somewhat amateur start to life but, sadly, as they have become bigger and busier, the look has become more corporate – counters… [Read more]
Globetrotting and green beans The status of the green-bean importer has risen significantly in parallel with the rise of ‘speciality’ coffee – as the trade learns more and more about what really goes on at origin. There has been a growing appreciation that the bean importers are more than just commodity traders or sack-shifters,… [Read more]
It has taken rather a long time, but the place of chocolate in the café-bar trade has begun to be regarded with greater respect – chocolate is on a roll, and at last the concept of ‘great’ chocolate, as opposed to a simple generic product, is becoming spoken of. As when the artisan coffee roasters… [Read more]
Coffee has had some bad press over the years but there is growing evidence that coffee is actually good for your health
For impressive company image work in the coffee trade look no further than the development of Bolling Coffee, a Yorkshire roaster, into the additional identity of Grumpy Mule. Clive Balmforth set up Bolling in 1979 to supply the local catering market with freshly roasted coffee. A friendship with one of the founders of the Rancilio… [Read more]
The café trade’s customer-service policies have again come in for criticism in the press, with several recent stories about non-customer members of the public being refused use of the lavatory facilities in coffee shops. There has been the extremely embarrassing situation of an elderly pensioner in a Costa in Sussex (allegedly the second such case… [Read more]
Kimbo is very proud of telling the story of how three guys started off their own roastery in Naples in the 1950s, and became firmly linked with the city’s coffee style
Should the trade be recommending that its customers put their coffee in the freezer for best storage?
The Drury Tea and Coffee Company in south London quite cheerfully accepts not being one of the ‘cool and hip’ coffee roasteries
You can find no end of books about Starbucks, and you can find no end of books by Starbucks. The top man himself has written two, and there have been such gems by outsiders as the superb ‘My sister’s a barista’. The very best books about Starbucks are usually those written by people who have… [Read more]
One of the biggest problems facing the café owner is that of general snacks. The industry is constantly plagued by suppliers offering a wide variety of both take-away or sit-in snacks, which can be described variously as either ‘healthy’, ‘wicked’, or, ‘indulgent’. However, the suppliers rarely address the thing that café owners want to know… [Read more]
Caffè Culture has always been a place to contrast and compare the different technologies for making coffee, and this year provides the opportunity to investigate and discuss with manufacturers exactly what they have been developing. A welcome return of a recent trend is the offer by manufacturers for café operators to bring along their own… [Read more]
Whatever the predictions for the summer weather, it seems almost certain that the soft drinks market will continue the relative buoyancy that it has had in recent years, with most of the sector’s categories faring well. There was a worrying period a couple of years ago for bottled water, but all the trade surveys say… [Read more]
There is a phenomenon in the coffee trade which began in 2010, and is gaining momentum – it is the local or regional coffee festival. The first people to do it were south-western traders around Bath, and this year the concept has already appeared in Norwich, and there will be one at a stately home… [Read more]
There is a sales tactic which is extremely popular in the tea and coffee trades, and which continues to be both a powerful way of encouraging consumers to try a beverage, and an equally useful way of encouraging sales staff to sell it. It is the ‘tasting’. Properly handled, a tasting is a wonderful way… [Read more]
Much of the beverage sector runs in circles, or along well-established lines… it’s very unusual that an absolutely-new, completely-original angle on a product comes along. Chai is an ancient product – it is the spiced tea of the street vendors of India, who make probably the best tea in the world for a matter of… [Read more]
Can café bars capitalise on cultural events in the UK? Historically, this is a puzzler – there is no shortage of ‘occasions’ and ‘awareness days’ during a year, and this year is of course a more promising one than most. But why do caterers in general, and cafés in particular, rarely seem to gain maximum… [Read more]
Teapigs has made its name through a quite deliberate strategy of irreverence towards the conventional tea trade, and by pioneering the move towards the pyramid-format, large-leaf teabag as a direct competitor to the flat ‘dust’ teabag which still dominates the market. The over-riding argument is that large leaves in pyramid bags brew more thoroughly and… [Read more]
The Handmade Cake Company is one of those trading identities which is far more clever than it appears at first sight. It is quite true that all the company’s products are hand-made – the odd aspect of this is that some cafés have found that the name allows them to promote ‘hand-made’ cakes quite legitimately,… [Read more]
Sponsored Feature An international exhibition like Tea & Coffee World Cup is one of the best business opportunities offered today. Exhibitors can display their new products, demonstrate their machinery, meet with existing and potential clients and promote their company to a broad market. Companies ranging from associations and organizations at origin, to machinery manufacturers and… [Read more]
Karin Ridgers, VeggieVision TV, offers an insight into catering for the vegetarian and vegan markets. The word vegan may not be the most sexiest word we agree however catering for a meat free plant based diet is very easy. Vegan items are suitable for vegetarians – and meat eaters too. The big tip is once you… [Read more]
If there has been a common factor in the coffee trade during the first few weeks of 2012, it has been that everybody is running at full speed. And there is no expectation that things will let up – in a delightfully quaint phrase, one significant coffee supplier to the high-class hotel sector has said:… [Read more]
A new survey has placed coffee shops in the top ten businesses most likely to succeed for start-up businesspeople this year. The Startups UK organisation has said that after two months’ of research, which involved interviews with such authorities as stars of Dragons’ Den, it has highlighted the ten most promising business openings for 2012…. [Read more]
Sponsored feature, brought to you by Ferrari With more than 85 years of experience in running thousands of cafés and coffee shops, Ferrari’s brings much more to the table than you’d expect from a fine coffee roaster. Giancarlo Ferrari shares his invaluable experience in roasting coffee and running commercial cafés to help you maximise your coffee sales:… [Read more]
It’s been busy year for the UK café bar industry so, as it draws to a close, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the highlights and interesting stories that hit the media over the last twelve months. December 2010 The old year ended on a serious note – with the recent attention… [Read more]
As some green coffee output is hit by weather, some by crop pest, and some by alleged stockpiling, one international commentator suggests that we should stop complaining about climate change and take action to improve the entire worldwide industry. As weather problems hit many of the coffee industry’s prime origins, there have been further worries… [Read more]
The food and drink market is certainly an innovative industry – driven by both one off entrepreneurs and the hugely competitive major chains. Everyone is looking for products that will differentiate themselves, lure customers in and loudly proclaim that they are a hip, fun place to be. Here we take a look at how the… [Read more]
It is now thirteen months since an espresso machine exploded in a public café. There is still no formal word to the beverage trade from the authorities investigating the incident, and yet the trade continues to experience a number of new puzzles allied to the situation. By Ian Boughton There have been some very interesting… [Read more]
Vhari Russell from Image on Food, offers some pearls of wisdom about how to generate sales based on your seasonal offering. Making seasonal sales work for you Many of you may ask what all the fuss is about when it comes to seasonal sales, why do we need to be stocking Halloween products before the… [Read more]
Following our recent article about the apparent idiosyncrasies that exist within the process of applying for a licence for outdoor chairs and tables depending on your location, Laura Leatherbarrow of DHA Planning has put together a simple guide to help you achieve success with your application. A guide to the pavement café application process “Alfresco” eating… [Read more]
The distinguishing factor between café-bars used to be the standard of coffee… but that doesn’t seem to apply any more. The real difference in winning and keeping customers is now appears to be based on the quality of service. So, is customer service is the next big battleground for the café-bar trade? At a recent… [Read more]
You can’t outspend the big chains, says Britain’s top lateral-thinking author… but you can outrun them. “Only the paranoid will survive…” As business philosophies go, that’s an attention-getter. It came from the chairman of Intel, the computer chip people, and it has a major truth behind it – it means that if you do not… [Read more]
The café-bar trade may not after all be entirely isolated in its position on outside tables, chairs, awnings and barriers. For many years, the trade has fought a constant battle against local authority planning departments and county highways departments – often both at the same time. Even many of the councils who have spoken of… [Read more]
Chris Brown, Turpin Smale Catering Consultancy www.turpinsmale.co.uk As an operator you want distinctive, high quality food that will make you a great margin and keep the customers flocking back. What do most of the small guys do? Buy standard, worthy items from 3663 or Brakes; make a sandwich or two and keep life simple. This… [Read more]
As the café-bar boom continues, so the number of suppliers to the trade increases. The coffee trade is lucky to have many supremely professional and knowledgeable suppliers… but like any industry, there are some less than reliable ones too. How does an independent operator tell the difference? How can you be sure a supplier is… [Read more]
It is fashionable in the coffee world to refer to the first wave of coffee bars, the second wave, and so on… but where do we stand now? What next for the British coffee bar? This is an exciting time to be in the café bar business. And it is also an exciting time to… [Read more]