Espresso Menu Management

Apr 24, 2012



Top Tips for the best buy Espresso

Ideally, any self respecting espresso aficionado will know that the best espresso is made at home!

Firstly, because you are the barista at large and can show case your skills and experiment to your heart’s content and secondly, because it is so much cheaper than indulging in high street gourmet coffee society!

Past Blogs have commented that typically the cost of the actual coffee in a standard cappuccino might be 2 > 5% and the milk a further 7 > 10%

The rest of the price tag is made up of rents / rates / labour and MARGIN!

But had you ever considered that much like a food menu, the coffee menu could be constructed so as to maximise operator revenue?

Yes, menu designers use certain strategies that will make your ’mouth water and your wallet fall open’… and these include-

1)      Optimising half way down the page or menu

Depending upon the size of the menu there are known ‘hot spots’ where your eyes will naturally fall…on each page of a menu this is half way down the page

This is where the higher margin, or signature items will usually be placed

Signature beverages often mean trading up in size or with flavours and toppings – beware the subsequent cash and calories crunch!

2)      High Profit Items

Are typically highlighted, or put in other prominent menu positions…hence, why flat white, which is usually only available as a small (but at the RRP of an augmented medium) appears at the top of the menu card

3)      Recommended items and specific ingredients

Accredited coffees cost more

Original coffees of provenance cost more

And – Today ironically the arbitrage between Robusta and Arabica coffees has been massively reduced – but typically high Arabica coffee beverages cost more

But don’t allow yourself to be too fooled by the marketing gibberish… Trading up in size is often not a good idea as the extra fill simply doesn’t get consumed!

And coffee is not wine – any variance in price rarely actually reflects quality or taste performance – more usually supply / demand and cache

Drink at home and use ESE coffee pods / easy serve espresso pods has to be our recommendation!

But if you do drink out and about be aware that you are being ‘conditioned’ to trade up wherever possible… The marketing teams at the large coffee operators are smart cookies and already have introduced regional pricing policies and price lists for company and franchise owned stores etc all of which could mean you end up paying 50 > 80p / beverage visit more than you either anticipated/ wanted or needed!

Be warned!

This article was written by Guru (Andy Grelak) who writes for, the UK’s leading online retailer of 44mm E.S.E espresso coffee pods