Post - How Have Bus...

3 July 2020

How Have Businesses Maximised Profits Since Lockdown?

Back in March, hospitality was the first industry to call last orders. But it’s a resilient sector that’s no stranger to tough trading conditions, so operators have been working around the clock ever since to ensure that their businesses survive the peak.

We’ve seen businesses of all sizes explore new and innovative revenue streams in order to survive and thrive. The sort of opportunities seized have included everything from introducing delivery and takeaway options, to local pubs transforming into mini supermarkets and selling either fresh produce or surplus stock.

With many now preparing for reopening tomorrow, we’d like to showcase some of the innovative ways in which businesses have shown entrepreneurial spirit to maximise profits during lockdown.

These strategies will continue to be relevant as lockdown restrictions ease, too, so it may be worth considering whether they could apply to your business.


Takeaway and delivery services

When doors reopen there will still be many factors to consider; reducing customer capacity, staff covers, contactless service, and making space to adhere to social distancing rules. This will prove to be a challenge for many businesses, but it may also be a little confusing for customers.

With many punters previously heading to their local pub or café for business purposes as well as socialising, this leaves revenue streams that may not return for some time. So, why not take the coffee to them? Takeaway and delivery options could be a key to success.

According to CGA, 13% of consumers are getting a delivery from an outlet for the first time, or at least more than normal, in the past month. Its research also shows a clear opportunity for outlets to sell drinks – with more than 32% of consumers indicating they are looking for both food and beverages. Perhaps there’s an opportunity here for businesses who have not previously run a delivery or takeaway service to tap into this customer need for good, fresh coffee.

As we’ve previously seen in tough economic climates, the demand for coffee is unlikely to change – as demonstrated by Starbucks’ long queues across the country when it opened its drive-thru’s this month. In fact, 80% of UK consumers who visit coffee shops (outside of coronavirus circumstances) do so weekly. So, it’s easy to imagine that there’s an unsatiated desire for the coffee experience.

By offering a takeaway or delivery service, you could help to recreate that experience to your customer base. Providing great quality coffee is a must but creating a value for money model around this new service might help you compete with other home coffee purchases.

Improved menus that prioritise high Gross Profit products

In order to ensure a business maintains its profitability, which is especially critical during tough economic periods, outlets have been reducing their food and drink menus. Not only to ease teams front and back of house, but to be as profitable as possible. When considering which products to keep, the best are generally those with a high Gross Profit (GP) percentage, such as coffee or other hot beverages. Keeping these products at the heart of a menu change is likely to be good for business. The GP on coffee is one of the best within the ‘beverages’ category, and offers a serious alternative revenue stream for any type of outlet – but it must be done well.

Not investing in a quality coffee offer will result in a huge missed revenue opportunity. Our research shows by selling just one more cup of coffee per day over the course of a year, a business will make an extra £800 – and if an operator has multiple venues, this figure quickly increases.*

Preparing for pre-orders

One of the practicalities of social distancing measures is that customers may feel uncomfortable and want to spend less time in confined spaces. This could include waiting for an order at the bar or queueing to pay at the tills. So, businesses will be taking steps to try and ease any tensions in this area, and make the customer experience a smooth one. Businesses could look to get ahead of the curve by introducing the right technology (most likely a mobile app) that enables customers to ‘grab & go’. The type of pre-order tech that could be useful to customers includes:

An option to remotely order a product before reaching the site

Reducing the amount of time a customer has to spend within your store while still delivering a satisfying and complete customer journey is the core objective behind a pre-order app. It’s important that your app allows customers to browse through a range of goods/products with ease. What’s more, the app experience should be enjoyable and simple enough to allow you to showcase your full range of products, offers, and encourage the right consumer mindset that leaves users open to buying products they come across.

Increasing efficiencies

There has never been a more critical time to evaluate the efficiency of a business. Everything from kitchens and equipment, to ordering systems and payment methods, should be considered, but don’t forget your coffee machine. According to a recent study CGA Business Confidence Q2 2020, 85% of operators state ‘operational challenges’ as their biggest concern for reopening. And with a further 11% concerned over team training, now is the time to get ahead and refresh teams’ skills and knowledge to ensure an efficient customer experience.

For coffee machines, there is a range of potential inefficiencies to consider:
– Location – is your machine in the right place to make service as quick as possible?
– Cleanliness – does it have a professional appearance and deliver a quality final product?
– Results – does your team know the machine well enough to get the most out of it and produce the finest coffee, consistently?

It might sound simple but getting these things right, and having an effectively trained team, can directly impact your bottom line – your coffee will be better, and you can deliver what customers want: fast service, exceptional taste, consistent quality, and good value for money. Controlling and maintaining your coffee and machines is simple but adhering to new stricter hygiene regimes and obtaining uniform quality across the team is the challenge. Knowing how to identify and manage day-to-day inefficiencies will have a big impact on the commercial opportunity that coffee and a coffee machine provides an operator. However, ineffective training and inefficiencies can kill the commercial opportunity.

Our data-driven approach to coffee excellence, COFFEEWORKS has been created to ensure you have all the tools to serve consistent coffee cup after cup. We have a range of videos available, ranging from how to pick the right machine for your business to dispelling common coffee machine myths. If you require any additional support, or would like to discuss how COFFEEWORKS can help you maximise profits then please contact

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*Based on nation’s favourite coffee Latte. Calculated using UCC Coffee ‘One More Cup Calculator’