No Charge For Torani Syrup?

aeneas1

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Mar 22, 2005
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the number one gripe i hear from specialty/gourmet coffee drinkers is that they feel nickel and dimed to death by coffee shops and, i have to admit, i can easily see where they are coming from.

consequently i decided to try a little experiment which involved bumping up all of my coffee prices a bit and permanently offering torani flavorings, chocolate and whipped cream at no extra charge. a couple of months have gone by since i started this and all i can say is that i wish i had done it years ago! i have received nothing but great responses from my regulars and new clientele simply can't believe their eyes/ears when they realize they don't have to dig a little deeper for little more sugar!

i quickly discovered the following beneifts once i began this program:

- immediate perception of value added and, conversely, no feeling of nickel and diming to death - an excellent vehicle for word of mouth business.

- specialty coffee "extras" lend themselves perfectly to this sort of offering in that they are inherently self-limiting. far more people request less whipped cream than more while many request none at all (health/diet) and torani syrups will ruin a coffee drink if used in excess which most/all specialty coffee drinkers know.

- customers that do not opt for flavoring or whipped cream far outweigh those that do; at my location less than 20% of my clientele request whipped cream or flavoring and the ratio has not changed since i began offering such extras free of charge. consequently, 80% of my clientele cover the cost of the 20% that choose the extras.

- the impact of the "torani bar" is formidable and makes a lasting impression. all of my syrups are equipped with pumps and located in the customer area where coffee drinkers are free to help themselves to whatever flavor(s) they wish to add.

- also, i do not charge extra for mochas or, rather, i moved my latte/capp prices up to my mocha prices. given that capps and lattes far outsell mochas, the capp and latte drinkers subsidize the additional mocha expense - and then some!

is anyone else doing this?
 

Rockcreekcoffee

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Dec 8, 2004
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Billings, MT
Xtra Charges

In some ways I agree. Unfortunately, that would not work in my geographic area. Most of my customers absolutely have to have their syrups with their lattes.

I do include whip cream into my prices. I have done some other things that are included into my pricing (based on what my competitors do not do).
 
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aeneas1

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Mar 22, 2005
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rcc -

i hear ya loud and clear! fortunately (unfortunately?) i live in northern california where diet and health is foremost on the minds of most of my customers so i pour a lot of skim (soy has taken a beating lately) and most likely don't go through nearly as much whipped cream, whole milk, syrups and sugar as other operations.

heck, the hoops i have been jumping through just to dial in a quality, all-natural soft serve product for my new taylor machine; what a nightmare! the dq stuff is nothing but chemicals (which is the case with 99% of the soft serve products available) but tastes fantastic and is hassle-free! but all-natural stuff is a bear to get just right!

btw, what are the other things you mentioned that you include based on what your comp doesn't do?
 

Muddycup

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Dec 4, 2005
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New York
it seems that all you did was reverse your pricing and instead of charging those customers for the extra flavor you are charging more to those who don't get extra flavor, no wonder you flavor customers are happy they aren't paying for the extra the other suckers are. You will get killed when another shop opens and there caps and lattes are as good but cheaper than yours ( we did this recently at one of our new locations) the other guy had $4 moccas ours are 3.25 and lattes are 2.75. Customers really noticed that.
 
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aeneas1

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Mar 22, 2005
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do you charge drip coffee customers extra for cream, milk and sugar? if not, do your customers that take their drip coffee black feel like "suckers" given they subsidise the costs associated with the milk and sugar crowd? and what about your customers that don't opt for a free refill (assuming you offer this)? do they feel like "suckers" as well given that the price they paid included this? do you charge extra for honey that your hot tea drinkers use (not as expensive as torani, but close) or soy used in your lattes/capps (which is more than twice the cost of milk)? whipped cream on your hot chocolates?

i now simply treat torani syrups, whipped cream and chocolate the same as i do any other coffee condiment (cream, sugar, honey, etc.) - and, as i mentioned, i have received nothing but great responses from my customers, and not just from my flavor-added crowd!

as far as another shop opening and undercutting my prices is concerned, well that's the nature of business whether you sell tires, burritos or g-strings... well maybe not g-strings. and, frankly, my goal has never been to be the cheapest place in town. ironically, a nearby shop could open up and charge more than you and just as easily sink your ship if you don't stay competitive!

fortunately for me there are 6 joints within 5 blocks of me that also sell specialty coffee drinks - i say fortunately because the competetion has forced me to stay on my toes since the day i opended which was 10 1/2 years ago! now there is talk about a guy seeking permission to park his mobile espresso van a block away from me on weekends!! my cafe is located in a tourist town and we can absolutely get packed on weekends, hence his interest.

your competitor asks $4 bucks for mocha? wow! i'm much more in line with your pricing! but once starbuck's bumps their prices to $4.00 - $4.25 a pop, how long do you think it will take independents to follow suit?
 
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