For many people, coffee is an essential part of their morning routine. The popular beverage has led most foodservice businesses, from small cafes to restaurants, to add coffee to their menus and in many cases, coffee can be a driver for consumers to visit a location. However, consumer behavior is once again changing. Consumers are ordering coffee past the morning time and getting their coffee fix at all times of the day, especially in the afternoon. With the rise of afternoon coffee, foodservice businesses must accommodate this growing market to grow their sales.

The Rise of Afternoon Coffee

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the coffee industry in many ways, especially the way people drink coffee. Since the start of the pandemic, more and more consumers have begun to drink coffee throughout the day – not just in the morning. According to a recent study from the National Coffee Association (NCA), in the United States, 24% of consumers now drink coffee in the afternoon compared to the 36% who take coffee in the morning. This change in coffee drinking patterns can be linked to more people working from home and using coffee as an afternoon-pick-me up for better focus.

Although COVID-19 restrictions are lifting and workplaces are reopening, the afternoon coffee momentum has not stopped. Consumers are still taking part in the afternoon coffee experience as a way to reconnect with others after a long time apart, as a treat, or just as an energy booster during the day. Cafés, restaurants, coffeehouses, and bakeries that serve coffee in the afternoon can significantly increase their sales and revenues by catering to this group of coffee consumers.

As a foodservice business wanting to capture your share of the afternoon coffee-drinking market, it isn’t enough for you to simply start serving coffee in the afternoons. Rather, you have to know how to enhance the afternoon coffee experience. Here is how you can enrich the coffee-drinking experience for the afternoon and occasional coffee drinkers.

Spice Up Your Menu with New Coffee Items

More and more consumers are interested in getting their afternoon coffee fix. A great way to attract these consumers is by adding iced coffees and cold beverages to your menu. Because the weather is warmer in the afternoon than it is in the morning, it is a good business move to expand your menu to offer a wider range for all opportunities. Your business should think about serving iced beverages that are stimulating and cooling to the taste buds. Items like cold brew, iced coffee, and iced tea should have a place on your afternoon menu.

Specifically, offering cold brew could do wonders for your business. Cold brew is a menu item that is enticing to consumers because of its refreshing and energizing qualities. According to the NCA, about 22% of consumers enjoy cold brew as a morning beverage while 30% of consumers prefer cold brew in the afternoon. Additionally, cold brew is less acidic than hot coffee and also sweeter and smoother to drink. This makes cold brew coffee a popular, easy-to-drink choice for consumers looking for the perfect afternoon pick-me-up on a warm day.

Establish Coffee Happy Hours

Happy hours aren’t just for the bars and nightlife. Creating coffee happy hours during the afternoons is a great way to draw in afternoon coffee drinkers and the occasional coffee drinkers. Your business can benefit from offering discounted prices on coffee drinks or “buy one get one free” options. This is a time to get creative with your happy hour offerings and experiment a little to see what works best for your customers and your business. One good way to integrate a coffee happy hour into your business is by promoting a 2-for-1 happy hour deal to your morning customers as an incentive for them to come back later in the day.

Consider introducing coffee happy hours into your foodservice business at a time when people in your community are likely to take afternoon breaks from work or school. Keep in mind that as COVID-19 restrictions lift, many consumers are looking to get together with their friends to catch up, and for many, a coffee chat is the way to go. Coffee happy hours could serve as a valuable opportunity for you to refresh your brand, increase brand awareness and sales, and even foster customer loyalty to your brand.

Offer All-Day Coffee

Consumer coffee-drinking patterns are changing. Now, people want to drink midday coffee, afternoon coffee, and even evening coffee. Businesses that want to capture this market share and increase revenue and sales must look into offering all-day coffee items on their menus. This will allow your business to cater to the needs of each and every customer while enhancing the coffee experience of your customer base.

Key Takeaways

Consumer behavior is continually evolving. In past years, coffee was mainly a breakfast beverage. But this isn’t the case anymore. As the owner of a foodservice business, it is important to make sure that your business is keeping up with this afternoon coffee trend, as well as other coffee trends. To successfully take advantage of this shift, you should focus on enhancing the afternoon pick-me-up experience by adding new coffee items to your menu, serving coffee all day, and introducing afternoon coffee happy hours into your business.

By delivering an excellent coffee experience, your customers will want to keep coming back for more. Gaviña Coffee Solutions provides an extensive selection of high-quality coffees and beverages that suit every customer’s taste. We are committed to giving you the best quality coffee so you can give your customers the best coffee experience.