Beverage occasions are increasing and consumers want more menu options when it comes to beverage choices. With so many options, operators need to look at their bottom line and decide which beverages are making a profit and which ones are not. Currently, most operators offer coffee, soda and milk; these continue to be the staple beverage options to any fast food or fast casual restaurants.
With the explosion of specialty beverages, operators now have the option of adding additional beverages for customers to choose from. From smoothies, frappes, teas and hot beverages customers are able to customize a beverage that satisfies their craving. Customers expect to be able to order their beverage and modify its preparation to suit their individual tastes.
Upsizing and increasing the premium aspect of ordinary menu items is a continuing trend. Many consumers seek beverages low in calories or go for the “healthy halo” that some teas and smoothies offer. From super fruits to protein-rich ingredients, smoothies appeal to a wide range of health needs. Operators feel good about serving better for you products and customers can feel even better about drinking them.
Specialty beverage customers seek beverages that have the healthy halo to craving those that are more indulgent or even decadent and they might enjoy drinking both beverages on the same day. Frappes are a great way for the customer to customize or create something special. By starting off with a base vanilla, chocolate or mocha, customers are able to pick and choose flavored syrups, sweeteners, sauces or espresso to make their own specialty beverage personal.
Customers looking to enjoy the “healthy halo” in the specialty beverage category can turn to organic or sugar free options. Organic frappes & hot beverages lend a healthier choice due to the strict guidelines that have to be followed in order to achieve the UDSA organic seal. Organic products are GMO free and pesticide residue free. Cafe Essentials Organic powder line also is free of artificial flavors, colors & sweeteners and is origin specific.
Finding the right beverage option is essential to keep the customer happy and returning often. Offering beverages of the month, special holiday recipes or providing samples for customers to try is a great way to get input and build a solid menu. Operators that embrace the specialty beverage category provide value to their customers, to their business and their bottom line.