Dripping profit – how to avoid waste in coffee shop businesses

close-up-drip-coffeeIs your business guilty of unnecessary waste? Independent coffee shops should be efficient, relatively low maintenance machines which can almost run on their own, and at minimal expense. But achieving this dream isn’t easy, so you need to constantly evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. In this post we’ll look at exactly what you can evaluate.

Your first port of call in evaluating what is or isn’t working involves finance and leakage. If you’re unnecessarily dripping cash or stock, however small, it has to end immediately.

What you’re using

It comes naturally for many cafés and coffee shops to scrutinise consumption. You can spend an infinite amount of time measuring wastage per shot of coffee, and it can even be overanalysed. Striving to understand what lost stock means for your business is important, but it’s far from being everything.

Look elsewhere for potential wastage. The counter and the kitchen is a good place to start. Grinding, tamping, milk usage: it’s important to transparently regulate all of this, ensuring staff understand the rules and their importance in minimising costs.

In the process of evaluating this, it’s a good idea to spend some time casually observing staff and their individual processes.

coffee shopAt the cashpoint

Another factor is the tools you have at the cashpoint. Selecting the right Point-of-Sale (POS) software can have a massive impact on your business. Your system needs to be easy to use and monitor, while allowing you enough depth to capture all the data you want.  Some systems flag orders that are changed and regulate cash sales, whilst also acting as a clocking-in system for staff.

The right system can save you a lot of headaches.

What to eat

If you’re selling food, it’s smart to offer products that don’t quickly go stale. Do your research into cakes which take the longest to dry out, and for sandwiches consider smoked meats with a longer shelf life. You need to protect all stock by ensuring it has the maximum shelf-life possible and the best chance of being sold. When entering agreements for new stock, create relationships to help secure the best products for the best price in the fastest time.

Cutting out cash

Keeping more cash on the premises than necessary is another consideration. Solutions can come in the form of mobile payments and smartphone applications connected to bank accounts. Get yourself or your staff familiar with what’s available, what works for you and how to actually use it. Then you can set about educating your customers if they don’t already use such an app. This can be useful for active customers who travel light, runners or cyclists carrying a device rather than a wallet.

Reducing time wastage

Much concerned with reducing time wastage comes down to discipline and structure. Set out your routine, try to stick to it, and make sure your staff do the same. Tend to physical requirements first, grab yourself a brew, cater to any training needs, manage your paperwork and media updates, serve your customers, consider your long term projects.

With a waste-focused system of consistent monitoring in place, you’ll have greater control over your coffee shop business. You’ll also be better informed when it comes to fine-tuning, modifying, and confidently making progressive changes.

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