Cafe Tips: Improve your Cafe Profits

October 23, 2019 3 min read


Sell more Retail Coffee.  Before starting Rumble, I spent many years running my own cafes. One of the easiest ways I found to improve my cafe profits was by selling retail coffee. It’s easy, requires little effort, and can return great margin. You have a uniquely captive audience of coffee lovers right there, in your shop, waiting for COFFEE. So your job is already half done. 

So many cafes are missing out on the opportunity by either not offering retail or just not making the most of their displays, so we have put together a quick guide to help you get your retail set up done right. 

None of this is rocket science, just a collection of simple and repeatable steps. The trick is to commit and do the same steps over and over again. 

Have fresh coffee available.  If it’s not there you won’t sell it. One bag by itself won’t sell either.

Have it within reach of the customer.  The customer needs to be able to touch and feel the bags of coffee.  Having it on a beautiful shelf behind the bar will never work. 

The perfect spot is somewhere close to where people wait for their takeaway coffee. They have a couple of minutes to kill and could use it perusing your beautiful retail section. If the barista can chat to them about it while they wait then that’s a bonus.

Clearly labelled and priced.  We provide pricing signs to our customers, or you can write up your own. Make it as easy as possible.

Breakfast Thieves Retail Coffee Shelf | How To Sell More Retail Coffee

Have a grinder so you can grind it to order.  At Rumble we even designed  our own dial for the EK-43, just to make it easier to grind quickly and correctly. The regular EK dial just has numbers, ours shows where to grind for everything from espresso to plunger.

Let your customers know about it too.  A sign saying ‘We can grind it for you’ will really help.

Rotate each and every week with fresh coffee!  Our advice is order for retail first, the customer wants the freshest possible coffee to take home. As a cafe, you don’t mind a week or so of age on the coffee, in fact, that’s preferable. So whatever you haven’t sold each week goes into your hoppers to serve as espresso or batch brew. 

At Rumble, our retail coffee is priced at the regular wholesale kilo rate (plus $0.50 for the extra bag and card) so your risk is zero and you have plenty of margin when you sell a bag. 

Have heaps of stock.  The old adage is ‘stock sells stock’ If you only have one lonely bag of retail coffee then you won’t sell many. If you have 20 bags then you might sell 12. Load the shelves. And keep loading them, keep extra stock under the counter and refill the shelves as soon as possible when you make a sale.

Sell  brew gear.  Get a couple of  Aeropress’ and two  porlex grinders, if you have space then add some Hario gear. The gear makes it look like you’re serious about selling coffee because you are.

If you’re selling Aeropress then you can even list on their website, and I can say from experience that people will come to you from that link.

Small Graces Retail Shelf | Rumble Coffee Sell More Retail

Batch brew.  Use your batch brewer to introduce customers to new coffees. Give away samples and use the Rumble coffee cards with the tasting notes to get people excited about what they are drinking when serving filter coffee. Then have the same coffees near the till with the coffee cards so they are easily visible when it’s time to pay. You could even offer a discount when purchasing to incentivise like - “Batchy and a bag for $20” 

Commit!  The most important part is commitment. You won’t sell twenty bags your first week but you might sell four, the next week could be six and after three months you might hit twenty.

For more info, I recommend the excellent  What I Know About Running Coffee Shops  by Colin Harmon. 

You can also, of course, always get in touch with the team here at Rumble.