Paper Cups, China, or both?

AJPRATT

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Mar 7, 2007
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Atlantic City, NJ
I was planning on doing china for in store customers and paper for the take out customers, but then I met someone who just does paper. And then I thoughts about Starwhatever and they only do paper. What are your thoughts?
 

Tweaks

New member
Mar 30, 2007
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SC
I was curious about this too.... Cost wise is it more efficient to serve all paper cups than have to wash china, breakage, etc. On the other hand are in store customers more satisfied with china and more likely to return?

Any views on this out there?
 

psycho supreme

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Jan 6, 2007
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To be honest, the paper cups seems as if the customer isn't welcome.
The china gives the customer a relaxing feeling, and a welcome feeling.

The point of glass/china/porcelain/etc..
well it's just all about etiquette mate.

-matt
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
Tweaks said:
I was curious about this too.... Cost wise is it more efficient to serve all paper cups than have to wash china, breakage, etc. On the other hand are in store customers more satisfied with china and more likely to return?

Any views on this out there?

I was think the same thing.

I have been in a lot of shops where there is nothing but paper. When I asked why the reply was simply that the cost of breakage was to high for the amount of coffee that was sold. They said if they could add another 25 - 50 drinks a day they would probably go back to using china.
 

John P

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Jan 5, 2007
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Salt Lake City
Ceramic - in house, Paper -- to go.
If you're in upscale metro/urban area, I would be bold and do ceramic only, no to go.

Paper due to breakage is BS. In 2 years 8 months we've broken a total of 5 cups, 3 dishes. Paper in house says, "It's not about the coffee, and please leave--soon!"
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
There are a lot of coffeehouse's I service where the profit margin is very slim. They are still in business for the love of it. Quite a few are in very small towns with populations with less the 3000 people. Breakage is a very real thing.
 

3ternal

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Mar 22, 2007
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Seattle, WA
Paper is great for take out, but I drink my coffee in ceramic whenever possible, if it's a cappacinno or straight esspresso, I refuse to drink it in paper.
 

morrisn

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Mar 27, 2006
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We use paper to go and ceramic in house. Just watch the cost on the ceramic, we went fairly high end and the pricing has gone up. I am now looking at close to $ 20.00 per cup & saucer for replacements. Also depending on your area, some people will steal them.
 

kimbica

New member
May 1, 2006
40
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Tucson, AZ
paper vs ceramic cups

I recently opened my espresso bar and we offer both ceramic and paper. I had mugs made with my logo on them for both in-store use and for retail sales. I think people who are looking for cafes that differentiate themselves from ****bucks tend to like having ceramic in the indie shops. It shows we have a sense of stye and welcome them to hang out for awhile.

For this same reason I carefully chose comfortable seating and relaxing music. I think setting an atmosphere is almost as important as the quality of the drinks themselves. If there is any competition in an area, the shops with the best "feeling" will win more regulars than those without, even if the prices are a little higher. My drinks are more expensive than major chains and I offer a superior coffee shop experience that includes ceramic plates for my baked-in-house pastries and ceramic mugs and demis for my beverages. I also have 16 oz glass tumblers that are personalized. Yes, there are losses due to theft and breakage. But remember that even if someone steals one, it has become another marketing tool at work for you somewhere! :)
Make sure you decide for yourself and don't just follow the local trend. You might become different in some good ways that help you succeed.
 

Muddycup

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Dec 4, 2005
201
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New York
this is a no brainer, ceramic for inhouse and paper to go some people in house will still want paper, give the customer a choice, buy cheap mugs
($20 hope your kidding) set your self apart!
 
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AJPRATT

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Mar 7, 2007
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Atlantic City, NJ
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Thanks for your input. I have decided to do ceramic in house and offer to go paper cups. I have been to a few independents who just do paper and, no offense intended, but I think it takes away from the experience to just serve paper.
 

John P

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Jan 5, 2007
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Salt Lake City
Good insight.
Paper in house says, "I don't care about the coffee." --probably because it's really at it's very very peak--average.
 
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AJPRATT

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Mar 7, 2007
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Atlantic City, NJ
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Just wanted to ask another question, related to this discussion:

How many of each would you order to start out?

Sizes, paper and ceramic. I hope this isn't getting too detailed about your operations but I want to make sure I order a sufficient amount.
 

lizzy

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Mar 6, 2006
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We too have both. I shop at local stores and purchase numerous styles and sizes of ceramic mugs. the biggest issue is how many oz. in the colorful conglomeration of mugs. I take mugs and measuring cup to water fountains before buying. Big lots, dollar stores, Ross and Marshalls-all have fun and funky ceramic mugs for reasonable prices. When you pay around $1.00 a mug, it is way cheaper than carry-out.

It has become a trade mark of our shop, and I've heard customers comment on how neat that all the cups and glasses are different.

for take out, we stock a thin foam cup, 12, 16 and 20 oz. one lid fits all. you have to order at least a case. this is nothing like the fat styrofoam cup.

for in house, we only call the cups sm, med and lrg. lattes and mochas go in 16 or med. house coffee gets free refill, most people don't care that much about the exact size. I try to keep about 75 cups on the shelves.
 
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