8 Things To Consider About OCS & Micro Markets

Dec. 19, 2017

Many operators find that micro markets are driving revenue, as is their office coffee service side. Therefore, the two segments might be better together. Take these eight points into consideration if you're thinking of incorporating coffee into your micro market.

1. Location, location, location:

· You can have a micro market in any location over 100 employees, but if you want to offer office coffee services, you'll find you have the most success in offices. This is because the consumers in offices are looking for high-end, premium options, and they appreciate micro markets and better OCS offerings.

· Really any size office can work, whether it's a smaller location with under 150 employees or a larger campus with a few hundred. What may differ is the type of brewer works best at each particular location and so on.

· Evaluate each location separately to determine which OCS method will work best. There are a few different options to offer: single-cup, bean-to-cup, and coffee vending machines to name the most common. It typically takes some trial and error to figure out what works best for a location. Remember that every location is different, and there really isn't necessarily a "one-fits-all" mold; what works for one site may not work at another. It's important to strategize with your team and with the team at the location to figure out the best possible solution for everyone.

2. Bean-to-cup over other single-cup brewers

· If applicable, go with a bean-to-cup brewer over other single-cup brewers. Bean-to-cup brewers were the most popular in 2016-2017, growing in placements over other single-cup in and out of micro markets. They offer a wider range of coffee, giving the operator more options to choose from. Many bean-to-cup brewers also offer touchscreens and the ability to create specialty drinks, such as espresso.

· Bean-to-cup brewers may also be better for smaller locations, under 150 employees, some operators have noticed.

3. Premium coffee = premium revenue

· Offering office coffee services in a micro market is a premium service. Make sure you highlight this by offering high quality coffee. Generic, value-brand coffee won't bring in high revenue. Bring in local roasters and national specialty coffees to your micro market – the types of things that you would be likely to see in a small roast coffee shop. You want your OCS to have a coffee-shop-type feel. Consumers are willing to pay for not only a better cup of coffee, but the ambiance that comes with it.

4. Brand recognition

· Bringing in a branded brewer, especially a single-cup brewer, can make a difference with consumers. Consumers know about brands. They know what's trending. Having a branded brewer shows them that they are getting a high-quality product.

5. More Creamer and sweetener offerings

· Operators are reporting that locations want more options in creamers, coffee flavorings and sweeteners. Consumers who are provided with these options are more likely to make larger and future purchases. Having these items in your micro market, especially if you can find the offerings in scannable single-serve packages, is more likely to lure in customers.

6. Different ways of dealing with coffee in micro markets

· The company could be sponsoring the coffee, and it's therefore free to the employees, just located in the micro market.

· Another option is with company-sponsored coffee situated elsewhere and then more gourmet or specialty selections in the micro markets.

7. Bundled purchases

· Coffee sales in the micro market offer the opportunity for 'bundled' purchases, such as coffee-related snacks. Every time someone buys a cup of coffee there should be snacks available that complement the coffee. It is the perfect opportunity to increase the ticket, especially in the morning hours when consumers are looking for breakfast-type items like granola bars, fruit, and muffins to go along with their gourmet beverage.

8. Office coffee service + micro markets = better together

· Don't look at coffee service and micro markets as separate entities. When you combine the two, they work better together more often than not. Employees like the coffee-shop feel of a micro market, and what better way to do that than to offer gourmet coffee beverage choices along with all the other food options in your micro market. Combining your office coffee service with your micro market is a win-win.