Mine’s a pint … of espresso

The rise of the coffee shop has been one of the real business success stories of the past decade or so, but it seems that the previous ‘most popular’ place to pop in for a drink – the pub – is not taking the potential of offering coffee to its clientele seriously, and is missing out on extra revenue as a result.

This is the news released as a result of a survey conducted by Hospitality GEM, the guest experience management experts. They questioned a number of pub, restaurant and coffee shop customers, and found that no less than two-thirds of them now expect the opportunity to be able to pop into a pub and order a decent cup of the black stuff (that’s not Guinness).

Despite this desire, the survey found that only one in one hundred people actually did go to the pub with the express intention of sipping on a cappuccino or a cafe latte. The other ninety-nine people head for coffee shops, cafes and restaurants.

The managing director of Hospitality GEM, Steven Pike, said that these results displayed a ‘real opportunity’ for pub owners and landlords to jump on consumers’ love of expensive coffee in order to improve the amount of cash they cash prise out of their punters’ pockets.

“A lot of marketing effort goes into illustrating the wonderful food and creative ales that pubs now offer,” said Pike. “We believe pubs should take a similar approach to promoting a more relaxed coffee-led experience than dedicated shops can offer, encouraging customers to go into a pub during the day and ask for a coffee. Pubs are seen as the heart of the community and nearly half of our respondents said they are most likely to enjoy coffee as a social event with friends, and a further quarter with their family.”

The survey also found that the number one key element crucial to coffee lovers was good service. Around eighty-six percent of those questioned regard good service as being important when buying coffee, which may be good news for those qualified who are seeking barista jobs.

One surprising finding was that only one quarter of survey respondents said that they thought that the coffee service was better in restaurants than it was in high-street coffee shops. This, perhaps, demonstrates the potential that exists for pubs to gain coffee-loving customers based on the coffee-serving experience as a whole.

The survey also revealed – perhaps not too surprisingly – that over six out of every ten people questioned considered good value to be important. People also seem to think that coffee shop offerings are a little two expensive, and very few people when questioned said they were happy to pay above two pounds for a regular Americano.

“It’s well worth landlords and other operators evaluating their offering,” said Pike. “By which we mean the whole experience rather than just the product, to check it’s the best that can be done for their audience.”