Pubs face customer exodus if they can’t do coffee well

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The market for coffee machines could get a boost if pubs take notice of a report that 44% of customers would be put off returning to an establishment that serves poor quality coffee.

The research, conducted by UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, suggests there is a “significant opportunity” for pubs to increase trade through an improved coffee offer.

With consumers rating the quality of coffee as ‘average’ – just three out of five – the findings reinforce the demand for better coffee in non-specialist outlets, it said.

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41% of the 750 respondents surveyed said they would buy more coffee more often in pubs if the quality was better.

The report reaffirms that coffee is the on-trend drink of today with more than a third (33%) of consumers buying coffee out of home at least four times per week and almost two-thirds of consumers willing to pay £2.99 for a great cup of coffee.UCC coffee report comments

More than a quarter (28%) of consumers state that, if it opened earlier, they would visit a pub or bar for their morning coffee, rather than a high-street coffee shop.

And almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers believe that a high-quality cup of coffee at the end of a meal makes the difference between a good quality experience and a truly great one. A third of diners (31%) said they often order coffee instead of a dessert when eating out.

Phil Smith, head of category & insight, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, said: “Lots of pub operators are doing coffee well but there’s still significant room for improvement across the market. For pubs and bars keen to diversify, grow and retain their customer base, or to set themselves apart from the competition, high-quality coffee is the key. For pubs with a strong food offer, coffee quality significantly impacts on customer satisfaction.”

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