Local Store Marketing for Students

Well, school holidays are over for most of the students here in the US and it’s time to start thinking about the kids that are back in school and how to gain some sales from the school crowd.

This is especially true of any store in a shopping mall or near a school. Many stores do better business when school is in session than on the holidays so time to get out your local store marketing caps and start thinking kids!!

Here are some ideas to get you going.

  • Develop some kid friendly beverages, make them colorful and fun and keep them at a price that will suit their average spend.
  • Talk to the local schools about hosting after game meals. You can either do it on premise or do carry out packs the coaches can pick up prior to the game.
  • Offer discounts for students at special after school times. This can also help you with sales in the slower afternoon period.
  • Get some bookmarks printed with your store name, logo and a discount coupn and give it to every kid you see.
  • Get on Facebook and attract some fans!! Be careful though, Kids can be very truthful if they are not happy with service and price.
  • Advertise in your local school news letter or at their sports ground if possible.
  • Free upsize to all students on your slowest day. Works with non students as well.
  • Give vouchers to the school to use as incentives for a winning match or great scholastic achievement. Don’t worry, there is a good chance that they will bring there parents and siblings along to redeem the voucher and they pay full price!!
  • Package meals and snacks to appeal to students. Be creative, make sure it’s hard to copy and price point aggressively.

I am sure you can think of many more to suit your establishment but make sure you are aware of the growing trend for healthy foods, you can even advertise the fact that your offering is low carb, vegetarian, low gluten low fat etc.

So have a look at your menu at start picking out some items you can bundle or discount without hurting the bottom line too much and talk to your printer about the vouchers and advertising. Don’t lose site of one of your most important tools in your arsenal….Local Store Marketing! Good luck!!

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:

Caramel

Vanilla

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

Lime

Orange

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.