Turn Cold Drinks Into Cold Cash

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Iced coffees, blended iced drinks and smoothies are popular year round—and can increase sales and profitability in the summer.

The reasons for their popularity are as varied as the drinks themselves. Retailers like them because they can be some of the most popular and profitable drinks on their menu. Iced coffees and iced lattes are 50% ice. You use half the product you would normally use in the same sized drink.

The typical smoothie or blended coffee beverage retails from $3.25 to $4.00. Up to and additional dollar can be tacked on to that price through add-ons. Typical add-ons are an extra shot of espresso, add fruit or yogurt to the customer's smoothie, or add an extra shot of syrup.  The cost to make the drink is often around $1.00.

To better control inventory and to increase profitability, make sure you know your recipes and your staff is following them. Dollars slowly swirl down the drain because an 18 oz drink was made for a customer who ordered a 16oz drink and the extra is thrown in the sink.

Shop Intermix

Market these products according to customer tastes. Many consumers see fruit smoothies as a healthy alternative to sodas. Jet Tea, for example, contains a half-pound of fruit for a 16 oz drink. It also contains Vitamin C and the antioxidant-rich green tea.

Fruit smoothies are considered by some as a meal replacement. When yogurt is added, it allows your consumers to add more dairy to their diet. Smoothies also are an alternative beverage for non-coffee drinking customers (it's hard to believe there are customers like this but there are).

The bottom line is cold drinks can increase your sales and profitability and recent reports indicate that nothing is slowing this trend in specialty coffee.

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