Specialty Coffee Retailer

Specialty Coffee Retailer February 2014

Specialty Coffee Retailer is a publication for owners, managers and employees of retail outlets that sell specialty coffee. Its scope includes best sales practices, supplies, business trends and anything else to assist the small coffee retailer.

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Page 31 of 51

up to the individual store managers to select. Several cafes have beer on tap, while others oer beer by the bottle. Featuring local beers is generally the trend, along with a house red, house white, and prosecco. Prices generally range from $4 to $6 per beer and $7 to $8 per glass of wine. According to Beamish, the inclusion of alcohol on the menu hasn't greatly aected Cae Vita's core customer base. Most people enter the stores looking for coee, not even realizing that beer and wine are available. "Beer is just a nice counterpoint to what coee does," Beamish says. "Most of our cafes are open past 7 and 8 p.m. We're giving our customers an alternate way of relaxing and winding down." At Cae Vita, although beer and wine are available on the menu all day long, they are most popular during the closing shi of the day. Beamish reports that many times, customers will enter the store to meet up with a friend, not expecting to see alcohol as a menu option. When they notice it, many of them appreciate it and it may inuence their decision of what to order. BRINGING BEER AND WINE TO THE FOREFRONT While many retailers see the addition of beer and wine as just a supplement to their menus, some establishments are taking things a step further by bringing alcohol to the forefront of the operation. One such location is Kudu Coee and Cra Beer. When the business originally launched in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, it was known as the Kudu Coee House. en new owners purchased the business, reopening in February 2010 completely rebranded. In addition to coee, Kudu's now oers a broad selection of cra beers, along with a variety of wines, all of which are available for purchase from 10 a.m. until close. Prices range from $4 to $10, and alcohol sales currently make up 10-15 percent of the daily revenue. Additional menu oerings include sandwiches, quiche, pastries, sodas, and juices. Jason Bell, co-owner of Kudu's, says that he and his partners wanted to bring something unique to the city of Charleston. e area where Kudu's is situated caters mostly to college students, A T R Here are some things retailers should consider if they're interested in branching into the realm of alcoholic beverages: • Research licensing requirements. Retailers need to obtain a permit in order to sell alcohol. e process diers across states. Beamish says that in Washington, where most Cae Vita stores are located, the process of obtaining a license was much easier than he had anticipated. "Beer and wine is a lot easier to get licensed for in the state of Washington than liquor," he recalls. • Make sure it makes sense to your customer. Adding alcoholic beverage items may not be a good t for every operation. Consider the location of your store, along with the peak hours of operation, the demographics of your customers, and the atmosphere of your store. It it a place where people naturally come to gather in the evening hours? Are your late-night customers mainly the aer-work crowd, or families with young children? ese factors may aect the success of an alcoholic beverage program. "I see a lot of cafes adding beer and wine to the menu, but the atmosphere just isn't right, and they can't sell it," Ma says. • Consider a survey. Ask your regular customers if they'd be interested in seeing beer and wine added to your menu. is will help accurately gauge interest before deciding to make an investment in a new product category. • Start small. It's okay to only oer a couple of alcoholic beverages, especially if you are just launching the program. See what works best and use that knowledge to decide whether to expand. • Think about training. You will likely need to invest in additional sta education to make sure your team is as knowledgeable about the beer and wine oerings as they are about coee. • Focus on the coffee. First and foremost, coee retailers sell coee. at should never cease to be the focus of your business, unless you are interested in completely rebranding your company, as Kudu's and Mavelous did. e addition of alcohol to your menu should generally be seen as an add-on menu oering. It's not something you want to overshadow your main araction. • Be patient. Your customers think of you as being just a coee shop, and it will take a while to change that mentality. "It's been over three and a half years for us, and it's still nowhere close to where we'd like to be," Bell acknowledges. 32 | February 2014 • www.specialty-coffee.com B C V . 30-33 beer and wine SCR0214.indd 32 2/6/2014 12:33:02 PM

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