Coffee Is the Takeout Champ. Sell More of It

Friday, January 1, 2021

Customers love coffee—from black to flat white to iced. And it pairs so well with meals at every daypart. Learn how to get patrons to say “Yes I’ll have a cup” more often. 

Barista presenting a cafe latte

The classic 1946 “Coffee Song,” penned by Bob Hilliard and Dick Miles and first recorded by Frank Sinatra, includes the lyric that Brazilian coffee is so popular that “they put coffee in the coffee in Brazil.” That’s how popular you want your takeout coffee program to be.

The goal is to give customers every reason to say yes to coffee as part of their food and beverage orders, by making it more appealing and by removing any impediments or inconveniences.

That’s because coffee is a high-margin item that also adds to customer satisfaction, and it requires minimal effort on the part of staff to prepare and promote.

  • Stock a variety of sweetener and lightener options in single-use formats and offer them at the time of the order, including non-dairy coffee creamers, both plain and flavored; dairy (half-and-half, full fat, and 2%); plant-based milks; and sugar substitutes. Include these on the menu or online order form if appropriate
  • Train staff to mention coffee when taking or filling a carryout order
  • Offer a special bundled price on coffee as an add-on to any food order, from a breakfast pastry to a full-course dinner
  • Suggest à la carte flavor shots with flavored creamers or syrups--either through staff, in-app, or online ordering-- to boost interest and profits
  • Pay as much attention to quality with decaffeinated coffee products as with full-caffeine versions
  • Make sure to include the option of iced coffee and/or cold brew year-round to match growing demand for cold coffee
  • Feature different coffees on a rotating basis, such as a Variety of the Month, an Employee (or Customer) Favorite, or a seasonal special
  • Invest in high-quality, coordinated to-go packaging for coffee, including cups, lids, sleeves, bags, carriers, service caddies, and bulk containers for self-service catering and family/group meals

The information provided is based on a general industry overview, and is not specific to your business operation. Each business is unique and decisions related to your business should be made after consultation with appropriate experts.