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What’s Wrong With Tweeting? A bird in the hand is meant to be worth two in the bush

n the early days of London’s specialty coffee scene every opening, new coffee and >>> travelled like wildfire through the specialty coffee community because of Twitter.

Specialty coffee consumer brands are vacating Twitter, United Baristas shares some observations and looks to the future of our Twitter feed

We periodically review our communication channels to ascertain their worthwhileness. Over time it’s easy for an organisation to do more, without deciding what it should be doing less of. Continue reading What’s Wrong With Tweeting? A bird in the hand is meant to be worth two in the bush

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How United Baristas Uses your Personal Information

With General Data Protection Regulation just around the corner, we explain how United Baristas manages your personal information and the principles that guide us

United Baristas was started to better connect coffee businesses and baristas as the specialty coffee industry quickly grew, and then became increasingly fragmented. Our industry experience allows us to understand that there are certain functions that are better conducted at an industry level that no single company or individual can tackle. There’s an element of sweet irony that it is the fragmented and modular nature of digital technologies and the internet itself that has allowed us to build a variety of services that better connects the coffee community.

General Data Protection Regulation
Digital technologies have progressed to the point where its often not necessary to actually build things; rather one assembles components linking together various cloud services and software products to create a bespoke product.

For those of you that are not familiar with how digital technology has progressed it’s important to explain that it’s often not necessary to actually build things in the traditional sense; rather one assembles components linking together various cloud services and software products. If you grew up in the mechanical age, then digital is now at the point where you can often go out and buy a boiler, a PID and a variety of other components and then assemble them to make a bespoke espresso machine. A good example is that it doesn’t make functional, financial or security sense for us to build a login platform to manage users across the various United Baristas services and websites, so we use an off-the-shelf product to perform this function. Auth0 is used by many companies and they have developed a purpose-built product, backed with superior engineering, infrastructure and technical expertise, and their overview of managing logins across the internet gives them additional data and insights which allows them to provide greater security that we ever could.

Continue reading How United Baristas Uses your Personal Information

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The proposed Latte Levy isn’t fit-for-purpose. Here’s how we can make it better.

The Environmental Audit Committee believes that a 25p levy on takeout cups would lead to a 30% reduction of takeout coffee cup use. Even with a 10x increase in reusable coffee cups, that would still reduce takeout volumes to levels that would put many coffee shops in breach of planning law. Ouch.

Back-of-the-napkin maths explains why many coffee shops would break planning law  —  and be forced to shut up shop.

Last week the Environmental Audit Committee proposed the introduction of a levy on takeout coffee cups of at least 25p in an effort to reduce the number of takeout cups going into landfill. We warmly welcome initiatives to reduce waste, but the industry needs to ask the committee to further develop its thinking. Here’s why…

Many consumers believe takeout coffee cups to be readily recycled. In fact, only 0.25% currently are.
Many consumers believe takeout coffee cups to be readily recycled. In fact, only 0.25% currently are.

At present the vast majority of takeout coffee cups currently go into landfill. A solution has to both reduce the use of takeout coffee cup used, as well as increase recycling rates. The current proposal doesn’t do enough to achieve these objectives.
Continue reading The proposed Latte Levy isn’t fit-for-purpose. Here’s how we can make it better.

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Wasting Less, But We’re Still Left Wanting More From The Proposed Latte Levy

Many consumers believe takeout coffee cups to be readily recycled. In fact, only 0.25% currently are.

How the Latte Levy, combined with other legislative changes, can tackle takeout coffee cup waste. A summary for the specialty coffee community and a response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report, ‘Disposable Packaging: Coffee Cups’.

Last week the media widely reported on a parliamentary committee proposal to introduce a 25p ‘latte levy’ on coffees sold in takeout cups in an attempt to tackle the a) high, and growing, levels of use, and b) the low rates of recycling.

How good is your knowledge about recycling? Which of these takeout coffee packaging items can actually be recycled?
How good is your knowledge about recycling? Which of these takeout coffee packaging items can actually be recycled?

Continue reading Wasting Less, But We’re Still Left Wanting More From The Proposed Latte Levy

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How Baristas Can Get Paid More

People in coffee work hard, really hard; and often don’t get paid particularly well. The early starts, long hours and constant customer contact can wear out the most devoted coffee professional.

Many baristas are well set up with a classic notebook and pen, the latest technology, and a coffee in hand; so why aren’t they better paid?

There’s no shortage of extracurricular activities either. Many baristas travel to origin, compete in competitions, attend industry events and devote time to furthering their knowledge.

So with all this activity, energy and passion, why are coffee professionals not better paid?

Continue reading How Baristas Can Get Paid More

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Pick your Customers

Catalyst roast coffee on site and prepare espresso with a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle.

Measure your baskets to know who you are serving profitably

In this article we’re going to start to draw together ideas from several previous posts so you can work out which customers your coffee shop is serving at a profit.

Background

In the previous post we looked at the profitability of SKUs; but to further our journey towards lifting profitability we need gain an insight into the profitability of your current customers. And the link between your SKUs and your customers is baskets.

You don’t need to have read all the previous articles to be able to make sense of this, but you probably will need to calculate your gross profit by SKU to be able to perform this analysis. If you’re serious about increasing the profitability of your business, taking the time to perform these calculations will be some of the best time you invest this week.

Catalyst roast coffee on site and prepare espresso with a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle.
Catalyst roast coffee on site and prepare espresso with a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle.

Continue reading Pick your Customers

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Not all coffee is equal

Raising coffee’s value in the eyes of consumers: a starting point

Over the summer we wrote a couple of articles establishing the need for the coffee industry to raise the perceived worth of coffee in the eyes of consumers.

To recap:

So, assuming you wish to charge more for coffee, maybe the best place to start is by doing some analysis on your current product range and proposition.

Attendant Coffee, Shoreditch preparing espresso on a La Marzocco GB5.

Continue reading Not all coffee is equal

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Predictions on the near-future price of coffee

Here’s why specialty coffee cup prices are going to rise – and why you should act now.

Last week we published an article explaining how coffee propositions can be developed into more viable niches using the concept of The Iron Triangle.

Read insights from the Iron Triangle

In summary, this concept puts forward that the three permutations of fast, cheap, and quality are viable, but offering all three is not.

This means specialty coffee business are likely to segment into:

  • Fast and cheap (lower quality)
  • Fast and quality (more expensive)
  • Cheap and quality (slower)
The three ways The Iron Triangle concept proposes speciality coffee propositions can develop.
 

We also pointed out that at present many specialty coffee shops are trying to offer all three qualities — and therefore find themselves with limited profitability .

Continue reading Predictions on the near-future price of coffee