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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Billings, MT
    Posts
    39

    Customers Refills

    I have a situation that keeps coming up that I would like some feedback on.

    The way our drip coffee is set-up in shop is that our customers are given a cup and they fill it up at the end of the counter/bar. The problem I am running into is customers taking advantage of refills.

    Some of my regular customers are getting into the habit of getting a refill and not paying for it. I am starting to see a bad pattern. I feel like I am stuck and don't want to upset my customers - but don't want to be loosing profit either?

    Suggestions?

    Thank you,

    Peggy
    Rock Creek Coffee Roasters

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle,Washington USA
    Posts
    874
    Try posting a small sign near your airpot saying refills .50 or what ever price you want to price it. If they ask, just explain to them the reason you have to do this. Or mention to them because of the increase cost of quality coffee you can no longer offer them free refills. I know being an owner is tuff some times because you have to make these decisions, but it's a decision none the less. Your customers will understand. If not then most likely they are not your loyal customers
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    51

    Other options

    Is there anyway you could move your express coffee behind the counter? Then you aren't giving them the opp. to do it anymore. I do agree with putting up a sign, if your shop normally spells it out like it is. If this is out of the ordinary, put it ever so sweetly.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    35
    wow i have the exact same situation at my place!!!!!
    one thing we did in the mornings we have alot of senior citizens grouping up for there morning coffee well we went ahead and made free refills our senior discout.. but i have to find a way to fix the evinings when its the college kids in here cuz they will drink you in to the poor house if you let them ...and i dont have any other place to put my selfserve bar

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle,Washington USA
    Posts
    874
    So what's you solution?
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    35
    im thinking of like an honor pitcher with 50 cent refills....i really dont want to upset my costers cuz were really new and in a smaller town

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    10
    I am not sure if this is true for every shop; however, when you figure up food cost vs. sale price, you generaly would include the price of a to go cup (a good one can cost up to 30 cents). Your in house coffee drinkers should be provided with a house cup (individual use should cost less then 4 cents counting labor, water, electricity, dish soap, etc.). That gives you an added profit of around 26 cents vs. the to go customer. A pot of average resturant coffee costs around 9 cents including all overhead, when you up it to the specialty coffee level your cost should still be below 20 cents per pot. Therefore your customer can drink an entire pot of coffee without cutting in to your profit. Which is why I feel that giving your in house coffee drinkers free refils (so long as it is self service, and you don't have any expensive cream/sugar/half-n-half at the station) is a good idea. Again this may not apply to every situatuion. You may have the four or five pot drinkers who never sleep, or you may have lost your mind and decided to put authentic Kona on your self service bar, but keeping the customer happy is number one, and if charging for refils will loose you customers then the 50 cents you collect for a refil won't mean much when no one will pay the 1.25 to get the cup in the first place.

 

 

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