How to Design Plant Based Milk into Your Coffee Shop Menu

In our previous two Plant Based Alternative Coffee Blogs, we have discussed the various plant based milk available and how they froth different to dairy. In this Coffee Blog, we are going to look at how can you incorperate plant-based milk drinks into your menu design.

How Many Types of Plant-Based Milk should you Offer?

There is no simple type of plant based milk definitively better than the others, and everyone has their own taste and allergy preference. So it makes sense to offer more than one, and this has become an expectation that coffee shops have multiple plant-based beverage options nowadays.

But don’t be tempted to offer every type of plant-based milk you can find. As with dairy, they are perishable goods, so you don’t want waste money on spoiled stock. Always keep an eye on how quickly you are getting through your stock and order them accordingly.

Nut and Soya Allergies

Keep in mind that nut and soy allergies are fairly common. Coconut and oat, which are the best range for customers with common allergies, and should be included in coffee menu for certain.

It’s also important that nut and soy based milks are prepared separately from other drinks to avoid contamination. Having different colour coded frothing jugs available can be a handy solutions.

Beside having a few extra things in the barista station, it is also important to make sure that the staff are trained properly on how to handle PBAs (Plant based alternatives) and they are disciplined enough to execute that for every drink they prepare.

Barista Training 

The more types of milk you offer, the more time you will need to invest in recipe development and barista training. To maintain good consistent quality and reputation, your baristas need to be able to foam and texture plant-based milks and know which are best-suited to which coffees. You can refer to our previous Coffee Blog on How Plant-Based Milk Behave Differently To Dairy for more details on how each plant-based milk behaves differently under high temperatures.

The rule of thumb is “Practice makes perfect”, because non-dairy milks are ordered less frequently, baristas have less opportunity to practice and perfect their skills, therefore extra training time is required to ensure consistence.

Charging Extra For Alternative Milks?

The price of a cup of coffee has risen across Ireland in recent year, mainly due to the government has increased the VAT on the hospitality sector which came into effect in January 2019, the VAT rate rose from 9pc to 13.5pc, and many cafés have responded by raising the price of a cup of coffee by ten to 20 cents.

On average, coffee shops in Ireland charge around 50cent extra for non-dairy milks, which is consider amount of increase to consumers.

So, as PBAs grow in popularity, perhaps it is time for coffee shop owners to consider scrapping the additional charge for non-dairy milk, your immediate profit margin may be reduced, but instead you could gain a loyal customer base that bring in more money over the long-term, while all other coffee shops charge 50 cent extra for PBAs.

At Vero, we provide SCA Qualified Barista Training to all our customers, from dialing in the grinder, extracting the perfect the espresso, to how to froth dairy and non-dairy milk for your popular cappuccino, latte, and flat white…

Give us a call today and see how we can help to drive your coffee business.

Read Part 1 of our PBA Coffee Blog – The Rise and Rise of the Plant-Based Milk 

and Part 2 – How Plant-Based Milk Behave Differently To Dairy

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July | 2019

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