What size cup to offer?

KMM

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I'm getting closer and closer to opening my new shop....yet I still haven't decided what size cup(s) to offer. I know the standard 12,16 and 20 oz. For my shop, 20 oz is out. I'm in small, not very sophisticated Southern town. My roaster is local and has been making espresso drinks for the community (he will stop when I open). He only serves in 12 oz cups. To me this seems very simple....following the mantra of Keep It Simple Stupid!!! yet, whenever I get coffee at nearby bigger city, I always order the 16 oz, never the 12oz. Not sure why I do this??? 12 oz is really enough for me! From my analysis, the profit margin is slightly greater on the 16 oz. What I don't like about the 16 oz is that it takes 3 shots of espresso, right? So that means I pull a double shot and then a single shot. Seems like a lot of time for the larger drink....not sure it's worth the extra profit???

Any thoughts from coffee shop owners in this group? There is not another coffee shop in town; so I'm thinking, if I only serve 12 oz espresso drinks, make them damn good, served with a smile!!! my customers will be happy to have me in town and won't be wondering where the 16 oz cup is??? This could be for starters. As I get more settled in my shop, I could always add the 16 oz drink??

I could still offer my fresh roasted brewed coffee in 12 and 16 oz cups also???

Love to hear your thoughts and advice.

thanks

KMM
 

eldub

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Sounds like the community is used to 12 oz espresso cups. I'd stick with that until you hear clients ask for the 16 oz.

And if you have 16 oz cups available for brewed, it wouldn't be a problem accommodating the folks asking for 16 oz espressos.
 

hannah2012

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I think you should have 12, 16, and 20oz. S, M, and L. Why not? It's not more complicated, and you make more money selling larger cups, and you give your customers additional options ... I think it's serving your customers better and increasing your sales. Your margin is better by selling larger quantities as well. IMO just doesn't make financial sense to only have 1 size if you've got a full fledged coffeehouse.
 

PinkRose

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Hello KMM,

The cafe where I currently work offers 12 ounce (regular) and 16 ounce (large) espresso drinks as well as drip coffee. People seem to be okay with that. Also, a plain single shot of espresso goes into a small 3 ounce hot cup, and a double goes into an 8 ounce hot cup.

People like choices. Although there isn't a huge difference in size, people tend to like to decide which is right for them at the time. Sleepy people who think they need extra caffeine usually ask for the large size, or the husband gets large and the wife gets regular. It's a size thing.

Do you really plan to put 3 shots of espresso into a 16 ounce cup? When making espresso drinks, isn't it one shot for a 12 ounce cup and 2 shots for a 16 ounce cup? The extra steamed milk to accommodate the extra espresso shot should help fill the 16 ounce cup. And it leaves a little room if you need to throw in a shot of flavored syrup.

Rose
 

John P

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Jan 5, 2007
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If you are doing S M L, it's 8 12 16. 12 is not small.

However, since the precedent was set already, if you can start without having the 16, you are better off, from both a cost analysis perspective and a "better espresso drink" perspective. It's much easier to not have it, than to have it and then take it away. If there is any inkling that you may not want the 16, don't have it.

I say 8 and 12 ounce. Give them two choices. Some people really do want the smaller option. Also, 8 and 12 should both be double shot. A single shot is too diluted. People who really want to taste the espresso generally want smaller drinks. Reward them for it.

Best of luck!
 

topher

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we carry 4 sizes in hot coffee. 4, 12, 16 and 20 oz. 4 oz for espresso then we have tall, grande and "HUGE" for drip and specialty drinks. Whenever someone asks for 2 small coffees I hold up the demi...they usually don't get my humor and ask for a larger size. I used to sell the 20 oz as "enrome" hahaha everyone thought it was a real word! Cold cups we have 2 sizes. 20 oz and 32 oz. Thing that sucks on the iced cups is you have to carry 2 different sized lids.
 

PinkRose

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Hi KMM,

On second thought, I'm starting to lean towards the one size idea.

If you serve great coffee drinks in 12 ounce cups (one size only) people will grow to accept it and expect it. Plus, it will save some frustration as you stand there waiting for people to make up their minds as to what size they want.

Later, if people keep asking for the 16 ounce cups, you can introduce the new size as a special promotion. That way you can get some mileage out of how you listen to your customers and strive to meet their needs.

Rose
 

topher

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IMHO...12 ounces is just not enough coffee for me. If I get a coffee to go I will be half way down the road and coffeeless...20 is to much but its what my customers want. Pink..do you find that it takes your customers a long time to make up their minds on sizes? I usually don't have that problem. If a guest is taking a long time I tell them to take their time, we are open til 3. That usually makes them smile and also hurries them up.
 

PinkRose

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Topher....Yes, it takes some customers a long time to make up their minds. It's unbelievable how many times I've had to hold up the 12 oz. and 16 oz. cups and show people the difference in the two sizes. Then, they still have a hard time deciding. It's particularly annoying when there is a line of people behind them. To top it off, some couples decide to get a 16 ounce and ask for an extra cup so they can share!
 

CCafe

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I think what it really depends on is how much space do you have? If you can afford to have 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 32 and the number keeps getting bigger then go for it. Most shops I run into keep 12, 16, and 20. A few are 12 and 16 only. The people who offer 2 sizes usually are very limited on space so they keep everything to a minimum. I was in shop not to long ago that went all the way up to 64oz plastic mugs you'd find in a gas station. Granted they were commanding quite the price for it but they had tons of space so having tons of boxes wasn't an issue.

I always find it funny when you get that health conscious person at the bar asking for a Breve and inquiring if you have a cup lager then 20 ounces. I see it more often that I would like to admit.
 

KMM

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How many shots do you use for the 12, 16,20 oz?

we carry 4 sizes in hot coffee. 4, 12, 16 and 20 oz. 4 oz for espresso then we have tall, grande and "HUGE" for drip and specialty drinks. Whenever someone asks for 2 small coffees I hold up the demi...they usually don't get my humor and ask for a larger size. I used to sell the 20 oz as "enrome" hahaha everyone thought it was a real word! Cold cups we have 2 sizes. 20 oz and 32 oz. Thing that sucks on the iced cups is you have to carry 2 different sized lids.


Thanks for all the great responses. Could y'all please tell me how many shots you put in each size? I can hardly tolerate a 2 shot 12 oz ( I prefer 3!!), so for a 16 oz I think 3 shots would be a must.
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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My vote would be a 3 oz. max on cup size. Straight espresso or get the hell out!

It depends on the coffee you're using, how you're extracting, type of milk (as some is sweeter/fatter), demographics, etc. I personally found a double shot to work well in 12 and 16 oz for most drinks we offered. Occasionally somebody would order a triple or quad, but maybe 90% of the time the standard double worked well.
 
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