Our appetite for fine coffee has sustained Australia’s café sector for the past five years, even when COVID trading restrictions hit dine-in food sales and profit margins. Over the next five years, café operators can expect to see revenue recover, fuelled by an easing of restrictions and an ever-growing preference for casual, café-style dining. IBISWorld market research predicts independent coffee shops with niche products will continue to dominate the industry, competition between boutique coffee shops and large coffee chains will intensify and business success will hinge on a venue’s price, convenience and location. Settle back with a steaming hot cup of inspiration as we pour forth more insight into what the future holds for cafes and coffee shops.
BRUNCH IS BACK
The rise of Australia’s brunch culture has seen many cafes broaden their menus to fall in line with restaurants and fast-food providers over the past five years. This trend looks set to continue as cafés offer all-day breakfast menus and brunch packages to sustain food service and encourage higher customer spend between the traditional breakfast and lunch periods.
Helen’s Hint: Serve light meals and breakfast products throughout the day to tap into the growing demand for brunch. Meals such as Helen’s Zucchini Slice, vegetable-packed Frittatas and new Tomato and Fetta Puffs nimbly bridge the divide between breakfast and lunch. These hearty and wholesome products are ready to serve, reducing preparation time during the busy brunch period so staff can prioritise customer focus and speed of service.
PREMIUM BITES FOR PREMIUM BLENDS
Consumers’ growing appetites for premium food are reflected in the premium products increasingly offered by cafes and coffee shops. Many operators have repositioned their businesses to target more discerning customers and consequently, menus have evolved from traditional snacks and breakfast items to more gourmet equivalents. IBISWorld predicts café industry revenue will expand over the next five years, driven by greater consumer demand for high-quality, convenient food and beverages.
“Industry operators are projected to focus on premium ingredients and gourmet cafe-style meals in an effort to boost sales of higher-margin products. Although competition is forecast to rise over the period, industry profit margins are anticipated to increase in line with premiumisation trends,” IBISWorld reports.
Helen’s Hint: Plan your menus around products that incorporate high-quality, seasonal ingredients that appeal to evolving customer tastes. In addition to sourcing the freshest produce available and supporting local producers, Helen’s products are handmade with love from traditional family recipes, ensuring quality and consistency every time.
It’s official – Australia is a nation of sweet-tooths and we love nothing more than a sweet treat or sugar-fix to accompany our morning cuppa or afternoon tea. IBISWorld data points to coffee venues selling a significantly greater range of sweet food items than restaurants.
Helen’s Hint: Consider adding sweet products, such as Helen’s new S’mores Chocolate & Marshmallow Slice, to display cases and menus to fulfil customers’ sweet cravings and boost profit margins. Products such as muffins, banana bread and scones can be served throughout the day.
SMALL SPACE, SMART SERVICE
As coffee venues increase, competition will likely drive rental costs upwards. To improve profitability, operators are projected to seek out smaller and innovative coffee shop locations, decrease staff numbers and reduce input costs. IBISWorld predicts coffee carts and booths will become commonplace over the next five years, due to lower rental costs.
Helen’s Hint: Get smarter – not smaller – when it comes to menu-planning in a tight space. Stock a variety of delicious ready-to-go or heat-and-serve products that scrimp on space, not quality. Seek out savoury and sweet products made with fresh, premium ingredients to improve your profit margins and tantalise your customer’s tastebuds.
ON THE RUN
Many consumers are living busier lifestyles, boosting demand for on-the-move consumption. As COVID restrictions ease, time-poor consumers will spend less time at home preparing meals and more time outside for work and leisure, supporting a preference for fast and convenient food. Cafes and coffee shops have already embraced this growing trend, offering both coffee, light meals and snacks that can be easily consumed on the go.
Helen’s Hint: Plating a meal for dine-in service is a valuable skill but it’s also worth taking stock of how you present and package takeaway food. Make sure the packaging is made from suitable material and the correct size, include condiments and dressings, consider packaging a hot item – such as a filo or quiche – separate to its crisp side salad and don’t forget to add cutlery and napkins.
Many customers purchase light meals or snacks with their coffee, supporting increased food sales at cafes and coffee shops. These food items are usually positioned as complements to coffee and consumers rarely purchase them without an accompanying beverage. Menu items that require intensive preparation only have a minor presence – if any – in coffee shops.
Helen’s Hint: Menu planning shouldn’t be an afterthought, no matter how small the space a café or coffee nook occupies. Add-on sales and suggestive selling higher-margin food products – such as Helen’s Savoury Muffins or S’mores Chocolate & Marshmallow Slice – can increase the average transaction value and boost business profits.
Helen’s premium range of savoury and sweet products is handmade with love using fresh, seasonal ingredients from traditional family recipes. View Helen’s full range of high-quality, café and coffee shop products HERE.