Jai Singh Rai explains why getting a new coffee machine has proven to be a wise decision for his community and his store
My wife and I received our coffee machine in January and installation could not have been simpler. After the fitter had tested the machine and passed it ready to use we were ready to offer our customers a much-improved cup of coffee.
Owning the machine and investing £5,000 was a big decision for us and we will have to work hard to make it a success. We know that we like the coffee, and the reaction of the customer who tried a cup in the first few days certainly gave us a lot of confidence that we made the right choice.
Having flexibility on the price per cup was an important part of choosing to buy a machine outright. We have set our standard price at £1.50 and offer a shot of syrup for an extra 20p. With a cost of less than 25p per cup, once we have sold the first 3,600 cups our investment will be covered. We should be able to make a very comfortable 80% gross profit margin on our coffee-to-go sales. 20 cups for 180 days = 3,600 cups in 6 months.
We are going to have to work hard to make our new coffee offer well known to our customers, both current and future. Our coffee providers have helped us with our marketing and have already provided a professional video advert for us to show on our big in-store media screen.
We are looking at starting a monthly coffee morning for our older customers and making the first cup free. As neighborhood retailers we want to help to connect our community particularly the elderly who can feel lonely.
I think that the most important thing is to get as many people as we can to try our new coffee. One of the investments we are doing is giving away a cup to every customer shopping with us from 6am-9am. The first time we ran this promotion we gave away 67 cups of coffee over 6 days, growing our daily sales.
Offering a great tasting coffee to our customers and having total control of the price we can charge by owning our own machine is proving to be a valuable addition to what our store offers the community.