By Steph Goldie, brand manager for DaVinci Gourmet
Quality and atmosphere are key to driving sales on campus, with the NUS stating that students’ unions will create interest by offering a ‘coffee experience’. Caterers can do this by ensuring their range offers more than standard lattes, espressos and cappuccinos, and instead expand their menus with a range of speciality drinks.
To keep your till ringing, it is important to avoid menu fatigue, but this doesn’t mean you need to invest in expensive new coffee lines. Coffee syrups are a quick and simple way to introduce variation. Three or four speciality drinks can be introduced every few months and drive footfall – use the seasons as inspiration.
To maximise the potential of your menu and keep students on campus, create your hot drinks, name them and market them as a whole product, instead of a latte with an extra shot of syrup. This allows operators to charge an extra 25p to 40p for each drink, with an overall profit margin of up to 80%.
The espresso has remained at the heart of UK coffee culture, but there has been a significant change in coffee choices. Lattes now take up the largest share of the out-of-home market, outselling cappuccinos. Part of the reason for their success is their versatility – when used alongside syrups and sauces, they can meet customer demand for personalisation – an invaluable way for university caterers to stand out from highstreet competition.
Serving coffee well is part of creating a unique atmosphere in catering on campus. Offering 45 minutes Wi-Fi access with the purchase of a hot drink can drive footfall from students on the go between lectures, as can lunchtime meal deals which offer a free coffee with a sandwich or baguette.