Christmas is a key selling time for hot drinks and operators should be capitalising on this opportunity by offering customers a consistent, high-quality product. It's also an opportunity to spice things up a bit and experiment with new flavours and speciality drinks.
"The cold winter months are the perfect time to drive profits as consumers are increasingly looking for comforting food and drink; hot beverages clearly fall into that category. There's nothing quite like a rich, creamy hot chocolate or a sweet Gingerbread latte to ward off winter blues and get people in the Christmas spirit," says Aimee Hughes from First Choice Coffee.
"I'm working with each of the sites at the moment to show them how they can use syrups such as caramel and gingerbread to create seasonal specials."
Combine a double shot of espresso with two pumps of gingerbread syrup (we use Sweetbird syrups) and top with steamed textured milk. Dust with chocolate sprinkles or crushed gingerbread biscuits.
SPICED CHOCOLATE STEAMER
Add two pumps of cinnamon syrup to your hot chocolate base, top with steamed milk and dust with cinnamon.
For a really decadent drink, top with whipped cream and finish with grated chocolate.
Seasonal drinks provide operators with an opportunity to market new products and to charge a little extra for them. If the quality is high, then customers will be prepared to pay as they know the item will be available for a limited period only.
"Try rotating your ‘winter warmer' on a weekly basis or spotlight a specific winter warmer each week. Serve a chocolate or an almond biscuit on the side, to make the customer feel special by giving them some added value."
Aimee concludes: "Whatever seasonal drinks or offers you decide on, make sure the quality is perfect every time. Christmas and the holiday season is your most important time of the year. Disappoint customers and you won't see them in the new year, but impress them with the best quality, flavours, value and service and you're likely to see them again and again."