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Operators use coffee to perk up afternoon sales

For consumers and operators alike, coffee in the morning is a given. But why stop as the day moves on? Afternoon coffee options are a welcome jolt to re-energize the day and grab sales, as some chains have recently shown. Dunkin Donuts, for instance, recently rolled out revamped afternoon drink offerings and implemented a “Happy Hour” deal between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Starbucks similarly offers its Frappuccino items at half price on select afternoons to drive post-lunch sales.

Although new coffee flavors and formats, such as cold-brew coffee or espresso tonics, can boost excitement and entice trial, for many operators, high-quality brewed coffee programs always have a following—and that loyalty extends well past noon.

In fact, according to Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion report, 59% of consumers say they purchase some type of coffee drink as a snack at least once every 90 days. And with more people snacking all day long—75% snack in the afternoon, while 42% enjoy a snack in the evening—there’s plenty of room for operators to capitalize on that. Operators who focus on offering quality coffee during the afternoon and other softer times of day can capitalize on consumer demand for caffeine and boost the bottom line.

The consumer demand for quality

Cutting-edge equipment, such as the BUNN Infusion Series platform of brewing equipment, can help operators offer high-quality cups of java more easily any time of day. “The re-engineered BUNN Infusion Series brings a craft brewing machine to life,” says Doug Bishop, director of product management at BUNN.

The test of quality coffee is how it tastes without extra flavors or new techniques. The Bunn Infusion Series brings technology to coffee brewing that ensures quality and consistency across various coffee profiles. The Peak Extraction sprayhead, for instance, showers water at an angle to ensure full flavor across every brew. Proof? “The standard spray renders about 70% uniformity of extraction. The new Infusion Series clocks in at over 80%,” says Bishop. “Long-time BUNN customers insist the new design has taken the flavor of their coffees to new heights.”

Coffee is a highlight, not an afterthought

Coffee should be fresh and well-prepared long after the omelet crowd has left for the day, as consumers seek out freshness in coffee offerings. According to Technomic’s recentBeverage report, 70% say they’re more likely to purchase fresh-brewed coffee, and 26% say they’d pay more for it.

Optimizing coffee preparation and holding methods can help ensure coffee quality during both busy and slow times of day. Infusion Series Soft Heat models eliminate continuous unregulated heating with a docking system that supplies controlled pulses of heat to the brewed coffees keeping the finished beverage at an ideal flavor for longer periods. Soft Heat models also allow for over 30 brewing recipes from one footprint with three brew buttons and three batch sizes per brewing head.

Quality coffee without the labor

Coffee shouldn’t be a hassle for staff. But keeping equipment clean can be a challenge. As the day’s service comes to an end, the open lid design makes cleaning a breeze and the bail-style handle easier to transport.

By focusing on coffee quality and freshness with equipment designed to reduce labor and deliver the best result in the cup, operators can grow late-day coffee service into a top-line sales builder.

Learn more about BUNN Infusion Series brewing platform here.

This post is sponsored by BUNN