Convenience Store Operations Tips: Beverages

Convenience Store Operations Tips: Are You Making the Most of Your Beverages?

coffee beveragesWhat beverages are you selling at your convenience store, and how are you presenting them to customers?

Beverages have potential as significant money-makers. For example, a recent article from Convenience Store News states that “a well-managed coffee bar will yield over 70-percent [profit] margins.”

Whether they’re displayed in your refrigerators or available at dispensers, what can you do to improve the profitability of your beverages? The following are a few key tips.

Solicit feedback from customers. Find out about the kinds of drinks and flavors that are most popular in your area. In addition to tracking sales, ask customers what they’d prefer. For certain new flavors or drinks, offer samples and see what response you get. Keep an eye on broader trends and seasonal preferences; for example, in the winter, people might like a choice of peppermint or gingerbread flavoring in their coffee.

Quickly clean up leaks and puddles. If puddles are spreading out from under your refrigerator units, or your dispensers are dripping and splattering, customers will get turned off from buying beverages. Always make sure your beverage areas look fresh and clean.

Offer special promotions. Let’s say there’s a popular athletic event in your area, such as a charity run or a football match. You might take the opportunity to offer a limited-time sale on energy drinks or healthier beverage brands.

Always check your stock. Customers don’t want to hear a beverage dispenser gurgling as it spits out the last of its contents. And your refrigerator displays shouldn’t have large empty spaces. Gaps in the display can make it look less colorful and less enticing; and customers might assume that you aren’t able to regularly give them the drinks they want.

As part of the daily operations of your convenience store, don’t neglect your beverages. Customers on-the-go love to grab a drink. Make sure to show them that you’re responsive to their beverage needs.