How have the drinks industry adapted during Covid-19? During an unusually challenging year for coffee businesses, resilience, adaptation and innovation has never been more important. We look at what businesses like us have been doing in response to the global pandemic.
Adapting drinks2go business practice
Coffee businesses have had to balance home life with work, becoming teachers for their children and learning new ways of working. How many of us have had to hold a Teams call with their little one in the background or on their lap?! Whilst many employees have been mastering this, employers have also been forced to adapt the way they work.
Taking it digital
We’ve seen a magnificent rise in the use of video conferencing apps, with Zoom seeing 62 million downloads globally during the week of 14th March; 45% up from the week before (TechCrunch, 2020). Due to lock-down and social distancing measures, businesses like us are now using platforms like this as a normal part of our everyday working life.
Since re-openings began, coffee shops have been introducing solutions to meet new customer demands. Many have introduced click and collect and online ordering services to keep up with the operational necessity of offering coffee2go, convenience and cashless transactions.
The shift from out of home to in-home coffee consumption has seen other coffee businesses extend their services to products that can be delivered to their door. In May, Nestlé joined forces with Deliveroo Essentials to launch an app-based delivery platform offering instant coffee. In the same month, the UK’s largest coffee chain, Costa Coffee, announced the expansion of its packaged coffee range across Europe (World Coffee Portal, Covid & the UK Coffee Industry, 2020).
Innovation for coffee2go businesses
We have been working hard alongside our clients to ensure they have everything in place to maintain a hygienic coffee to go service. Distance Selection is one of the new developments we have introduced on our coffee machines, allowing customers to complete their drink selection without physical contact with the screen. We also introduced new touchless sanitiser dispensers available to our existing and new clients.
A crucial change we have had to make is the amount of face-to-face communication we have with our clients. We now visit customer sites during their out-of-store opening hours to minimise physical contact and have created a portfolio of training videos to avoid the need for in-store training.
Drink sales keeping afloat
Despite these challenging times, with spending on take away hot drinks aat half of 2019 levels (Daily Coffee News, 2020), many of our customers are seeing increased hot drink sales. One customer alone saw a 3% increase in like-for-like sales for this time last year and another was 56% up compared to the previous 8 months.
Seasonal drinks such as gingerbread lattes and creamy hot chocolates are a great initiative to help businesses increase their sales during this winter period. All our coffee to go solutions serve luxurious Thornton’s hot chocolate with many having the options to add flavoured syrups- syrups account for 25% of our hot drink sales.