In Boris Johnson’s latest speech, the Conservative government confirmed that it would be sticking to it’s roadmap out of lockdown. This included the reopening of indoor hospitality, such as pubs and hotels, as well as the relaxation of household meeting and social distancing precautions.
With this information in mind, now is the time to invest in your pub, to ensure your opening week takings are as high as possible on the 17th May. This could include modernising your menu, as well as your drinks offering - specifically hot drinks.
An opportunity for growth
Despite the likelihood of a short-term resurgence as pubs reopen on the 17th May, the truth is that bar the blow-outs on a Friday and Saturday night, punters are drinking less alcohol than ever before, putting a strain on local pubs.
Contrary to this, both Coffee and Tea continue to see an increase in demand within the pub, with the Tetley Tea Report revealing that coffee is the third most popular drink in pubs, with tea coming in at sixth.
The report’s findings highlight how coffee and tea have both seen an increase in consumption, largely as a result of breakfast becoming a more critical part of a pub’s offering. Hospitality giant JD Wetherspoon has already tapped into this market, offering a broad breakfast menu, including Tetley Tea and Lavazza coffee for just 99p.
As consumers are leading increasingly busy lives, many have become dependent on quick service. According to the report, snacking has become more prominent within our lives, with the average person now enjoying five smaller meals throughout the day, instead of the regular three. It is this unstructured routine, primarily being driven by Millennials, that is driving coffee and tea sales within pubs.
By offering on-the-go hot drinks solutions, alongside a broad breakfast menu, your pub can tap into this growing market and boost takings.
Recipe for success
Selling coffee successfully in a pub environment is only going to be possible if you take the option seriously. That means well-trained staff, a visually appealing premium espresso machine, and high-quality coffee. It means taking pride in your product. Of course, what coffee shops have which pubs often lack is a bright, light-filled interior. But with more pubs introducing comfortable seating like armchairs and sofas, and the huge advantage that many have attractive gardens and plenty of outside seating, there are clearly ways of pitching any pub as a daytime coffee bar.
It’s tougher in towns, of course, but if you’re the licensee of a village pub, leasing a coffee machine is a no-brainer. You can find out all about the benefits of leasing a coffee machine for your business here, but for the moment the important point is that you’re not throwing thousands at the idea and losing valuable working capital. What matters is that in a village, you have very, very little coffee competition. Perhaps a traditional tearoom or farm shop serving coffee in the summer. But in the winter? When people want to get out for a spot of exercise and fresh air, and not lock themselves back up at home too soon?
How to pick the right coffee machine for your pub
Let’s look at your pub first. What’s your clientele like? Are you serving restaurant-quality food, traditional pub grub, or pork scratchings, peanuts and three flavours of crisps? In a really simplistic breakdown, there are three types of pubs: gastropubs, typical town or country pubs, and a good old British boozer.
If you’re running a gastropub or a particularly stylish pub or bar in a reasonably affluent area, there’s only one kind of coffee machine for you: a premium espresso machine. It’s what your customers will expect to see. Stylish, sophisticated, and requiring a little bit of barista skill. Hand-crafted coffee is the only way to go if you think your customers are aspirational and seeking out the finer things in life.
At chain pubs and the average pub or bar, you can absolutely still go down the commercial espresso machine route. They’re not too expensive, they look the business behind the bar, and your customers are always going to appreciate good coffee. Equally – and here’s where your customer footfall comes in – a good bean-to-cup coffee machine will serve you well. Each drink takes less time to make, so you’re at less risk of causing a queue at the bar. And these days, the quality of most bean-to-cup machine coffee is so good you’d hardly believe it hadn’t been made by hand. It’s a judgement call – and it’s yours to make.
At a proper British pub, where the focus is your drinks, atmosphere and facilities like a pool table or regular sports games on the big TV, you can go any which way suits your customers best. You know your regulars – what would they prefer? An espresso machine might go down a storm. A bean-to-cup machine with its super-fast, semi-automated servings will definitely tickle the taste buds. And the standard of coffee from one of our instant coffee machines is good enough that only serious coffee drinks will know the difference. And if you think there’s not a huge demand for coffee, the instant stuff lasts longer.