Pumpkin spice is a popular topic in the café world when autumn rolls around each year. Some truly enjoy the fall-inspired flavor while others enjoy teasing those pumpkin spice lovers. Whether you can’t get enough pumpkin-y comfort, or you dread its predictable and basic arrival, seasonal drinks can serve an important function in a café.
Specialties are Special
Though seasonal drinks are expected by most consumers, it doesn’t make the shift unwelcome. In fact, marketing studies show an overwhelming 70% of consumers enjoy seasonal menu offerings. The temporary menu changes or additions is reinvigorating for both customers, who agree seasonal flavors and ingredients feel fresh. In addition to adding an air of specialty, specific flavors can create emotional connections with customers.
Food and drink have the unique ability to generate nostalgia. Seasonal offerings fall into this category, generating feelings of warmth and comfort. This gives café owners a singularly exclusive opportunity to mold seasonal experiences that forge emotional connections. They are built-in occasions allowing for truly individualized and personal experiences for each customer.
Get the Juices Flowing
Limited time offers are also helpful in moving inventory and even inspiring creativity internally. Give employees the opportunity to exercise their imaginations in a seasonal flavor invention competition; design a holiday menu board; brainstorming new drink names; decorating the shop; or even refreshing merch setup creates buy-in and reinvigorates the flatness of daily work. If you’re able to offer incentives for participation, all the better!
A Simple Twist
Get a cup up on the competition by adding traditional seasonal flavors as well as twists on favorites. Most cafés are in the habit of incorporating classic cyclical flavors, but choosing less common flavors that are equally seasonal, or even an inspired combination of flavors—hello, employee competition—will create a competitive advantage. We’ll let you decide what that looks like at your café.
The Bottom Line
Consumers enjoy seasonal drinks. Seasonal offerings are fun and affordable treats that can help initiate, maintain or reestablish ties with customers. Use the calendric predictability as an advantage and engage employees with a spirit of comradery through fun competition and team building activities to the benefit of all. Embrace seasonal coffee drinks—it looks like the PSL is here to stay.