Coffee Drinks For Summer-Recipes!!

Its summer and the schools are all out for the holidays and it is time to start thinking about how you can capitalize on the season by adding summer beverages to your menu. They are easy to make, have a high profit factor and can bring a whole new customer base into your business. You can introduce one or two to start with or look at a whole range of new cold beverages.

Coffee can be made several ways as a base for cold beverages, the two best are using shots straight from an espresso machine or cold filtered with a long brew in cold water overnight.

If you already have a blender then the variety of beverages is almost endless. If you don’t have a blender and don’t want to spend the $1500 – $2000 for a top of the range commercial model then check out some of  used equipment websites on the net or if local health and safety laws allow it, head on down to your local Walmart or appliance store and buy a good domestic model. Don’t forget to order spare blades, o-rings and have at least two blenders on hand. One for milk based products and one for juice based products. Label one “Dairy” and the other “Non Dairy” You have to be careful not to mix them up for your lactose intolerant customers.

Coffee based cold beverages are always a favorite while the Italian sodas and fruit juice based smoothies are hot items on any beverage menu.

Check your local supplier for flavored syrups including Mocha, chocolate powder both sweet ground and white chocolate and cookies and a few of the tiny candy bars that can be blended with the milk based beverages to add that WOW factor.

Some of the flavored syrups that you should think about are:



Strawberry and any other berry that you think will do well in your market



Hazelnut (make sure it does not contain any actual nuts)

Anything else that will appeal to your customers 

Be creative and try combinations that you believe will work. Test them on your team and family.

Here are a couple of easy recipes that are standard throughout the world to give you a start. You will have to play around with exact measurements dependant your glass size.

Italian Soda

A shot of flavored syrup over ice and top up with soda. Garnish with lemon slice, parsley or mint

Iced coffee

Shot of espresso or double amount of cold filter coffee over ice and top up with milk

Vanilla, Caramel or Coconut iced coffee

Add a shot of the appropriate flavored syrup

Iced Mocha

Make iced coffee as above with ice to almost the top of the glass and pour into blender add a tablespoon of sweet ground chocolate powder and blend till smoot and no ice chunks left. Pour into original glass and sprinkle with chocolate powder.

Oreo Smoothie

As above but add one or two Oreo cookies and blend till smooth

Fruit Smoothies

Use only high quality pure fruit concentrate made especially for the beverage market.

In a glass quarter fill with water another third of fruit puree and heap the rest with ice. Pour into a blender and blend till smooth and no ice chunks left. Pour into the original glass and garnish with fresh fruit if necessary. Mix and match to liven things up or add fresh fruit to make a healthy option.

A couple of tips:

  • For carryout use clear plastic cups with lids that allow whipped cream to be added above the cup line.
  • Have chocolate sprinkles and chocolate powder in shakers for the customers to add themselves
  • Make whipped cream an option, free of charge if possible or build it into the price and advertise “Free Whipped Cream”
  • Daily or weekly specials on a chalkboard is always a good way to advertise and gives it that “Fresh Daily” feel.
  • Most chocolate powders are pre sweetened as are the fruit smoothie puree’s but the iced coffees and real fruit smoothies are not so think about sugar packets or simple sugar syrup as a sweetener.

Good mixing and don’t forget to be creative.

Franchise Restaurant Expansion – Are You Ready?

For the last few years I have been doing some work for a large coffee franchise as mentioned in my last post. This franchise has in the past gone through some enormous growth in unit numbers but is still basically an owner operator business with the majority of franchisees owning only one store.

As per most coffee stores, average check is low and cost of goods, with a commodity like coffee, is high and does vary greatly with the market.

The single most asked question from the franchisees is….. should I open a second store?

My answer in 85% of the cases has been a resounding no!!

I know that it is a bit of a blanket answer but, just because you have a successful business does not mean that you can translate that success into a second store.

It does not matter how good you are, there will always be some dilution of your skills, standards and business acumen when you are spread out over twice as many outlets. You cannot be in two places at once which means that you will have to take a big step and trust someone else to do the important things that you have always done yourself.

So where are you going to get this clone of yourself? From your existing store of course. Now you have taken your best employee and moved them to the new store leaving the second best to take up the slack. Good thinking considering you will only be at your existing store 50% of the time. Oops, that’s wrong because the new store will take up a larger percentage of your time for at least the first three months. That means with you spending only 30% of your time at your existing store your second best employee is looking after your livelihood!

Geez what is wrong with this scenario?

Let’s also take into account the added financial burden as well as significantly more hours spent at work and less time with loved ones. We all know how much stress these add to our lives.

It is not impossible and many people become successful multi-unit franchisees, but plenty of care and forethought are needed prior to this decision. Months if not years of planning and successional training are required to ensure even the operational aspects are in place let alone the financial planning and forecasts needed.

So if you are planning to expand for the first time, good luck and good planning.


Managing Social Networking For Your Restaurant Franchise

Managing the social networking in your restaurant franchise requires skill and forethought. I recently helped a couple who had been in a large coffee franchise for more than 10 years to exit the system. They were one of the first franchisees to invest in this particular coffee franchise and had bought and sold numerous stores during that time. At the time of my meeting with them, they still had 4 stores and were looking to sell one and purchase
another in a downtown area

Over the years in this system and previously in other QSR franchise concepts they had become successful business people who enjoyed being in business and all the perks that went along with it.

Part of my brief  was to evaluate their stores along with the other stores in the region and give suggestions to the franchisor as to who met the criteria for further expansion. The result was somewhat surprising to the corporation –  this couple did not meet the criteria for expansion! Their franchise representative and other franchisees around them were not too surprised as they had been unhappy with their performance for quite some time. But the corporation saw them as almost “founding franchisees” and had treated them as somewhat of a protected species.

So what had happened to them? Like a lot of people who have been in business a long time, they were more in love with being “in business” than running the business. They loved being local celebs. They were members of the local Rotary Club, gave talks to schools and business organizations, she was the president of the local women-in-business group, they led charity drives etc, etc.

Networking and being involved with the local community is very important to building your business and every effort should be made to be seen as part of that community. What went wrong here is that they forgot the reason for being in all of these organizations in the first place…… their own business! As more and more of their time was taken up with the non money making activities the result was that their business suffered. Sales and cleanliness standards fell, costs rose and productivity and profit plummeted.

What had happened was that they had lost the passion for the business and had replaced that passion with a list of things and groups they thought would help grow that business. They actually thought they were doing the right thing. Their problem, apart from the fact that they needed to get out, was that they went too far with the social networking.

Join as many groups as you wish but there is no need to be the president, chairman or secretary unless you have the time to do it. I don’t know many food franchisees that have that sort of time.

So, what happened to the couple ?  Well good news, they listened to what was being said to them, gave up a few of their social/business commitments and went back to work in their business. It took a few months and a lot of hard work but they tightened up their store, got their business back along with some of the profits and were able to sell their remaining stores. They are currently taking a break before looking for another venture to keep their fires burning.

So why didn’t they rekindle the passion for their existing business? They were already tried and tested in this concept. Simple. Everything has a shelf life and for them coffee had reached that shelf life, it was time to move on. They had lasted over ten years in one concept where the average was three to five years. Once you lose the passion for a business it is time  to have that hard discussion with yourself and make a decision that will be best for you and the business in the long term.