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TOPIC: Coffee

Coffee 21 Nov 2001 09:05 #25716

  • Linda
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Does anyone sell coffee or hot chocolate?
Every winter we get lots of requests and are thinking about adding it, but am trying to do some research about how to do it and do you really have to worry about people getting burned? What kind do you sell and what kind of machine do you use?
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Re: Coffee 21 Nov 2001 09:57 #25717

  • RoxyVaudeville
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A few years back after hearing many requests for coffee I decided to add it to our menu. I found a local coffee service that was willing to install a machine at no cost to me other the the actual cost of goods. The minimum brew was 6 cups. How could I go wrong, I thought. It ended up that we sold two or three cups a night on weeknights and about four or five on weekend days. This was during a period when a slow weeknight brought in at least 100 people. The waste factor was at least 45%. Needless to say, after a six month trial period (during the cold months)coffee became a thing of the past.
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Re: Coffee 21 Nov 2001 10:02 #25718

  • trackfood
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Coffee is one of those items I would never add. I think you really have to have the right kind of theatre to sell any real quantity of coffee to make it worth it. The local Landmark theatres (art chain) have very ecclectic vending stands and sell coffee and other stuff I would never sell in a traditional house,and probably do well with it because of their clientelle. But for the average theatre, I don't think it works. Yes, I too receive a few requests for coffee, but nothing major. Its easy to get a 2-3 burner Bunn coffee maker at a used resterant supply house,then get the prepackaged coffee packs from Sams Club. I think you would have more waste than anything else. If you are really interested in getting a warm product for your customers, get a 2-3 head cappuccino machine,then you can have hot chocolate and cappuccino. You don't have to worry about waste with these machines. Yes, they are expensive new, but go to a few resterant auctions and you should be able to pick one up reasonably priced.
Good Luck
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Re: Coffee 21 Nov 2001 14:09 #25719

  • poppajoe
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I don't sell coffee or hot chocolate. But if I did I think I would go with a vending machine because I don't want the hastle of making pots of coffee. It would free up time haveing someone just come in and take care of it. That might be a costly deal, I don't know because I really haven't looked into it.
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Re: Coffee 21 Nov 2001 15:13 #25720

  • Avalon
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I sell tea. Most coffee junkies can make due and tea lovers will have you canonized. The problem I have with coffee is that you get into health dept. issues. You need a sanitizer for the pots and so on. That leads to inspections. For tea, I got an on-demand hot water heater for $99 at the local independant building supply (installed it on the same counter as the pop machine. Make sure to use and on/off swich for the heater so it isn't on when closed. Put a HUGE caution sign next to the hot water sigot so people don't try to fill a cold water cup with hot water). Use paper cups with Java Jackets and lids, pre-packaged sugar and no cream. I got an eight box tea rack and sell Stash Teas which are available at any restuarant supply. Top rack is caffinated, bottom rack is herbal. I get and easy $1.50 per cup and it sells like crazy when the temp drops. When people ask for coffee, more than half buy when directed to the tea rack. I just set the hot water in a cup on the counter and they pick out the tea back and steep it themselves so I'm off to the next customer. Works for me.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: Coffee 21 Nov 2001 17:35 #25721

  • BECKWITH1
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We sell coffee, decaf, herbal and other flavored teas, hot cider, irish creme cappuccino, french vanilla capuccino, and hot chocolate. The 3 head cappucino machine is a recent and expensive acquisition - but I am now totally hooked on irish creme. I am still working on building up a substantial clientele that is hooked also.

After all the research that we did to find a machine that fit our narrow counter, we still ended up with one that didn't fit after all. It is now located between the boxoffice and the popcorn machine rather than in an obvious place. I ended up making signs on the computer advertising its existence and people are gradually figuring it out. We charge $1.25 and $2.00 and will have to sell a lot to ever cover the machine cost, but we had been serving cappuccino from individual packets from Sams Club which we mixed in a mixmaster. The problem was that Sams quit carrying them.

We serve all of this stuff as a matter of philosophy. We try to have whatever our customers want that we can find a way to make reasonably fast and efficiently. We would much rather serve it than have them bring it in. We also do it as a way of differentiating our theater from the competition.

Now that I have the cappuccino machine I would rather not make coffee but still get fair number of requests for it. We purchased a two warmer Bunn coffee maker. We always have a pot of hot water on and the coffee is made on request. We just keep a pitcher of water on hand to pour in and get a filter pack of the desired coffee from the under the counter. Takes 30 seconds. Customer gets to do cream, sugar or whatever themselves. Avalon is right that tea is probably quickest and easiest for the theater and buys you a lot of goodwill for very little trouble. We have worked out ways to do all this even when we are busy. Tea & hot cider are $1.00. Coffe is $.75 and $1.25.

No - we don't make big profits from the whole kit and kaboodle, but we DO make happy customers. Ours is a competitive market and we use our concession stand as one of the reasons to choose our theater whenever possible.
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Re: Coffee 23 Nov 2001 13:01 #25722

  • Linda
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Thanks to everyone for the input. As always, you all are very helpful and have given me a lot to think about.
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Re: Coffee 24 Nov 2001 19:56 #25723

  • BurneyFalls
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I, too, just bought a three head cappuccino machine and I am selling a fair number of cups at $1.50 and $2.00 (12/20 oz.). Unfortunately, I am probably drinking away all my profits also. I like the English Toffee. The unit was too big to fit in my small concession area, so it sits across the lobby on the hot dog condiment counter. That is also where my customers can sign up for my newsletter. Since I got the cappuccino machine, I have received a lot more newsletter requests. The customer pays for the cappuccino at the concession stand and is given an empty cup and lid. A large sign on the machine says "No Free Refills." Haven't had a problem yet with it. It makes enough noise when activated to catch our attention so people are not getting it for free.
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Re: Coffee 10 Dec 2001 10:07 #25724

  • fevzigenc
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I have a small theatre has one screen in Turkey. We sell coffe, tea, cappucino etc. more than coke in winter. We use a small vending machine installed by Nescafe. My opinion, it is a good alternative for adult who doesn't like drinking coke, juice etc.
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Re: Coffee 10 Dec 2001 11:14 #25725

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I think that there is room for coffee and tea in the concession venue. During winter you can only drink so much hot chocolate. I would welcome coffee at our local theater.
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Re: Coffee 10 Dec 2001 12:25 #25726

  • Mike
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WE have wrestled with this one forever. We don't have enough demand to make it in advance so if we get an order we make a fresh small pot of 3 cups and it is normal to chuck. Worst of all? Our coffee sucks. I mean S-U-C-K-S. In this day and age of good coffee tere seems like no inexpensive way to have a good-fast-not too expensive option for coffee. I was looking at a beautiful colorful cast iron enameled mini expresso machine but 700.00 bucks! The flavored coffee mixes seem to be the thing to get. Restaurant auction and I'll keep in mind. The machines are expensive but often the product distribs give the mac=hine away with a sale of enough proct to outfit a big biz.

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Coffee 16 Dec 2001 01:23 #25727

  • BurneyFalls
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The guy that supplies the machines for free and sells the cappuccino powder in this neck of the woods jacks up the powder price over 50% from what I can buy it for elsewhere. That's why I bought my machine.
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