In looking at what attracts diners to breakfast establishments, Datassential found that coffee was the most important breakfast beverage, with 34 percent of consumers reporting having drank some type of coffee at their last breakfast meal outside of the home. That 34 percent mark topped the next closest items—juice (20 percent) and tap water (19 percent)—by a healthy margin.
“Breakfast was the only daypart showing growth pre-COVID,” says Emily Wood Bowron, vice president of strategic marketing at Red Diamond Coffee and Tea. “And when you consider that 65 percent of coffee is consumed at breakfast, it shows that you have to have the right beverage for that crowd, or you might lose a repeat customer, one you can’t afford to lose right now.”
While restaurant brands pivoted at the outset of the pandemic, so too did Bowron and her team at Red Diamond. The coffee and tea experts helped customers devise and implement coffee beverage programs that would suit the new normal for breakfast time and anytime. While each brand required custom solutions, Bowron pointed to something salient that could benefit every operation: a continued investment in high-quality coffee beverages.
“I think it’s a great time to reemphasize that coffee is one of the highest margin items out there,” Bowron says. “If you don’t invest in the quality of coffee, it’s going to hurt you in the long run. You don’t make money on coffee by saving on the cost of it or buying cheaper coffee. You make money by delivering a very good cup that appeals to morning drinkers and keeps customers coming back for more.”
To that end, Red Diamond has been leveraging a line of quality coffee products to help its clients attract loyal customers. That includes a go-to brand for LTOs, Red Diamond Estate, which Bowron says offers a variety of flavors and seasonal favorites for your morning menu and throughout the day. Those LTOs can carry a brand competing with convenience or grocery stores.
“It’s all about generating buzz right now, so it’s going to be crucial for operators to create and promote LTOs and other specialty items on social media in order to bring in customers,” Bowron says. “LTOs are really hard for coffee retail brands to put together due to how long the process takes, whereas a restaurant can be much more responsive. Pumpkin spice is still a very popular fall flavor, and people will go out of their way for a peppermint mocha or gingerbread caramel coffee.”
If an operation is strapped for staff and things like hand-crafted coffees or a full-on espresso program are expenses that can be spared, it is all the more reason to lean on a quality coffee partner.
“Just having a really great cup of hot or iced coffee and some unique ways to customize it—whether it’s whipped cream, or foam, or chili powder, or cocoa and cinnamon—can be enough,” Bowron says. “That’s why it’s so incredibly important that the coffee you’re offering stands above the competition.”
To find out more about how quality coffee can amplify sales throughout the day, visit reddiamondbevservice.com.