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Fruit Smoothies

by Jay Weller, Owner @ Barista Pro Shop

fruit smoothiesFruit Smoothies are: Fruit based or fruit flavored blended frozen drinks. Fruit Smoothies may or may not contain dairy products such as milk or ice cream. Fruit Smoothies may be made from scratch (and might include fruit juice, frozen fruit, frozen yogurt or ice cream and nutritional supplements). Fruit smoothies may also be made from powdered bases, liquid concentrates or a combination.

Why Serve Them? For many of you, the decision to offer fruit smoothies has already been made. Let's begin though by reinforcing why putting fruit smoothies on your menu is so critical. The bottom line reason to offer any product is profit, and the profit from fruit smoothies is significant! Some of the other benefits from offering fruit smoothies are:

The emphasis that you decide to place on Fruit Smoothies will depend on a lot of factors. You should analyze each of the following factors to help you decide how hard you should try to sell Fruit Smoothies.

Sold on the idea of selling Fruit Smoothies? Psyched up to improve how you do it? The rest of this article will take you through the different ingredients available from Barista Pro Shop that you can use to make Fruit Smoothies. We'll offer you some recipes and simple strategies to get you started. For registered wholesale users of Barista Pro Shop, we'll help convince you even further with our Drink Profit Calculator and an interview with one of our customers who has really benefited from offering Fruit Smoothies and Blended Iced Coffee drinks.

Brand & Product Comparison
One of the strengths of Barista Pro Shop is that we offer you a lot of choices to make the different drinks on your menu. Perhaps nothing on the menu is more illustrative of this than Fruit Smoothies. We offer liquid concentrates, powder bases and flavored syrups—all of which can be successfully used to make your Fruit Smoothies. We'll break it down for you by brand.

A word on the tools you'll need - Barista Pro Shop offers blenders from the leading manufacturers in the business—Vita Mix and Blendtec. We do have some packages available to get you up and running if you are interested, and we carry many of the parts and extra canisters for your blender. Most importantly, we'd like to take this opportunity to strongly encourage you to buy a commercial blender! They may seem expensive, but they will pay for themselves quickly. Beware the "commercial" blenders readily available at the local big box or club store will not serve you well over the long run, and you'll end up buying a commercial blender in the end anyway. It's a good investment. Trust us.

Profit Calculator - For registered wholesale users of www.BaristaProShop.com, you may log into your account to use our Fruit Smoothie profit calculator. This robust calculator allows you to build your Fruit Smoothie the way you want to, and determine what your profit margin will be based on the prices you charge. This tool will help you understand how profitable a strong Fruit Smoothie program can be for you.

Strategies - Coupon early in the day to get people to come back for a frozen drink that day. Easy to date stamp a coupon good for the same day or next. Fruit Smoothie Happy Hour. Sample, sample, sample! Sample your coffee customers early in the day, they'll come back later in the day if they like what you're serving. Make the presentation special. Upsell whipped cream and then have the baristas make it look special. Garnish the drink.

Interview - Kim Schatz owns Loveland Coffee Co. in Loveland, Colorado. She has 2 stores. Her original store is between a Quiznos and a travel agent and in a building next to a major Post Office. Her new store opened last summer, has a drive-thru and is adjacent to a bank's lobby. I interviewed Kim at her original store on February 21, 2007. Here are some excerpts from our conversation. Additional audio from our conversation can be downloaded or listened to online

BPS: What's your busiest time of the year for espresso based hot drinks? Is there a significant drop off on those come summertime? LCC: I would say it's 50/50 in the summertime, whereas now it's 75% hot. Our frozen drinks are really popular, I don't care if it's zero degrees out, we still have those everyday customers that come in for those frozen lattes.

BPS: I'm sure it depends somewhat on the weather, but when do you typically notice that iced and frozen drinks start picking up? LCC: Yesterday was a nice day, everyone's so sick of the snow. We live in Colorado which is the perfect place for a coffee shop because you have those days that fluctuate—so you still have the frozen drink sales and hot drinks.

BPS: Are there advantages to frozen drinks over hot drinks? LCC: Uniqueness—our frozen drinks compared to other coffee shops.

BPS: What kind of equipment do you blend on? LCC: We use Blendtec. We have 2 Blendtec Titans at each shop with 8 containers at each store.

BPS: That's a lot of capacity. Have you always had commercial equipment? LCC: Yes! It's way worth it.

BPS: What products do you use to prepare Fruit Smoothies? LCC: We use Jet.

BPS: Exclusively? LCC: Yes, that's it. We can add cream if someone wants a Peaches n' Cream—it's easily made, there are no steps to it. We sell the product as 100% fat free, and the price point is just right.

BPS: What are the top 3 flavors? LCC: Strawberry is our number 1. Wildberry number 2. And then I would say a mixture. If somebody wants five different flavors then we just let them do it, or we come up with our own. It's all power of suggestion. You can put POS signs up by the register, but if you make a suggestion verbally to the customer, it just seems to do a whole lot more.

BPS: Do you offer any nutritional supplements to go in the drinks? LCC: No, we didn't have a lot of luck with it.

BPS: Do you offer whipped cream? LCC: We make our own whipped cream here using Da Vinci syrups and fresh whipping cream.

BPS: Do you do any special training with your Barista and register people that's specific for Fruit Smoothies? LCC: Yes--they know how to pronounce everything and they know what goes into the Fruit Smoothies.

BPS: How about upselling? Like a small to a large? LCC: The customer comes in and decides on what drink they want, we put our hand on a large cup and say "a large?", so it's an inconvenience for you to move your hand all the way to the smalls. As far as whipped cream, we ask if anybody wants whipped cream on all the drinks.

BPS: Do you sample smoothies to customers? If so, how do you do it? LCC: We sample in a little soufflé cup when we have a full dining room—smoothies are huge. Usually if I'm going to sample one thing, I will sample smoothies. We fill a tray with the soufflé cups and I put whipped cream on all of them to make them a little prettier.

BPS: How targeted are you about it? Do you sample every day? Do you do it 2 times per day? LCC: I usually wait until our dining room's full.

BPS: Thanks Kim!