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Issue #2 July 10, 1997
In This Issue
* Feature Article
Dateline: Atlanta. We arrived on Saturday afternoon, the day before the opening of the Southeast Restaurant Show at the Georgia World Congress Center. After distributing our magazines throughout the convention center (Fresh Cup), we teamed up with a couple of cronies for dinner, and decided to take a cab to a "Chicago" steakhouse located downtown. After being informed that the cabbie would be delighted to drive us to the restaurant, we discovered it was only about one-hundred feet away, so we decided to walk.
Relaxing after a pleasant dinner of steak, kabobs and prime rib, we innocently asked for a round of cappuccinos. The waitress, in a carefully rehearsed reply informed us that the management didn't think it was necessary to provide this product since this was a steak-house, and only a steakhouse. We were incredulous. After explaining to the waitress how much we were about to spend in some other establishment (if we could find one that would serve us espresso, dessert and a couple of after-dinner drinks), we paid the bill and left.
Sure enough, we found a newly opened spot a few blocks away that was more than willing to accommodate our requests, and after three cappuccinos, three desserts, three B&B's, and three Grand Marniers, we paid the bill and retired for the night. The money that walked because the first restaurant couldn't provide us with cappuccino (even though they also offered desserts, B&B, and Grand Marnier? It came to $68.50 plus tax, and the saddest of all, a $12 tip that the poor waitress lost. Gone. Forever. Multiply this by one-third of all customers the waitress told us that normally requested an espresso drink after dinner, and this restaurant is missing out on some major dollars.
The next morning we were greeted by snow swirling about the Peachtree Center. Being from the Northwest, what do you suppose came to mind? A piping hot latte of course! So off to the mall. A breakfast eggery beckoned. Perfect! A hot latte, an omelet, some juice, and then off to the trade show. Surprise! No latte here. No espresso. No cappuccino. Again when asked, our waiter told us that approximately one-third of his customers asked for specialty coffee drinks. And the answer given by the person at the cash register? "Gee, we serve more than 600 people here every day, and our waitstaff is entirely too busy to stop and make fancy coffee drinks!"
Six-hundred customers? And one-third ask for specialty coffee drinks? A bit of quick math reveals that two-hundred people a day want something we ain't got. If the average espresso-cappuccino-latte drink retails for $2 to $3.50 (average $2.75), and we sell 200 of them a day, five days a week... that's a gross of $2750 per week! Times 52!
And if our food cost is .11 for an espresso, or .25 for a cappuccino or latte, we can afford to hire another person, or at least retrain a bus person or other employee to become an expert barista (the person behind an espresso machine). A good two-group espresso machine with grinder, the proper cups and steamer pitchers, etc., should cost under $6000. Any purveyor of this equipment would be glad to train the staff to produce and sell these drinks.
Add it up folks - how often does an opportunity to dramatically increase your gross sales like this come along?
Espresso drinks can really affect your bottom line (while giving your establishment a "signature" product). This is a profit center just waiting to happen.
Ward Barbee is the Publisher of Fresh Cup Magazine, a trade publication of the specialty coffee industry.
Food for Thought - Recipe & Cooking Links
Complete E-zine Directory
The VNR Culinary Professional's Resource Center
New England Computer Services
The One-Case Wine Cellar
Microbrews Gain Macro Consumer Interest
So You Want To Write A Cookbook - Some Tips To Get You Started
Wine Spectator Review of Steak Houses
Summer Beer Report- by Jim Anderson - A How-to informational guide to help restaurants be more successful with their brews.
Beer Glossary - A helpful mini-dictionary of popular beer terms.
Wine & Cheese - by Phillip Silverstone - Recommendations on mixing and matching your favorite cheese selections with an appropriate glass of vino.
No More Seedy Service - by Nicholas S. Nickolas - A scorching look at service in today's restaurants.
Chef's Table - by Jim Coleman - A discussion @ Coffee
Accountant's Corner - by Ron Noll - Tax Rules for Leasing a Business Vehicle
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Copyright 1997 Restaurant Report
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