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On Charging What You Can?


I was in a hurry the other morning, out the door of the apartment rather quickly; and so I was surprised but incredibly relieved to see that the coffee shop directly below me had opened. We are in an up-and-coming part of town and businesses are finally braving the real estate and settling in, much to the happiness of us already living out here. There's nothing like knowing your own local cafe will be there for you on a blustery day. Proximity--therefore, convenience--likely dictates one's routines, and I could easily assume that I'd be a regular at this new spot.

I burst through the doors, proclaiming how much better would my mornings be now that "to get a coffee" was no longer part of the day's commute. We shared a laugh and I ordered a latte.

"That will be $3," said the barista.

Come again? That's THREE DOLLARS for a latte? I have long lived in the world of $4 and sometimes even $5 lattes. I've learned it's a vice that I must pay to nurture, and most of the time I choose to. I was honestly so shocked that my first thought was that my new little local spot might not be around for too long.

Then I had an "aha!" moment and realized that all the other cafes charge $5 per milky drink exactly because people like me exist in the world. They don't charge $5 because eight ounces of milk and espresso costs them that much; they charge $5 because the mes of the universe will pay $5 for it.

So this begs the question: Just because you can charge high, does it mean that you should? If the money is there to be made, might you as well make it? This new cafe had likely already gained my business because of the convenience-factor, of course. The cheap lattes were just a bonus.

Here is what else they gained, however: My undying love. My promise to share this discovery with the world. Perhaps even committment for a day-to-day relationship. I've told everyone I know about the $3 latte; and now, Internet, I'm telling you. 

When it comes to pricing your menu, it's not just about the money you bring in. Your choices are reflected in your community, your customer service, and the longevity of your brand. What will set you apart in such a way that your customers will want to share your name with everyone they know? Maybe it's a $3 latte. If not, contact National Restaurant Consultants for a menu overhaul today. We'll help you run a smart business built on the kindness of loyal customers (and possibly caffeine addicts).