Cozy Up Your Shop: Crafting Irresistible Cold Weather Coffee Drinks


As the weather cools, coffee shops should be in full swing, especially as the holidays draw closer. There’s something almost magical about sipping on a hot cup of delicious coffee when the weather is cold, wet, or snowy outside, and coffee shops can be cozy corners of comfort, offering guests some welcomed respite from the bitter cold of the outdoors.

Another compelling reason for coffee shops to be more accommodating is that customers demand more coffee during the holiday season. So, it’s essential to capitalize on that trend as much as possible.

Embracing Seasonal Coffee Flavors

Fall is unofficially pumpkin spice season, as evidenced by Starbucks going all out with its pumpkin-spiced latte (among other favorites). Local coffee shops and chains can also embrace the idea of seasonal cold-weather coffee. For example, operators can develop signature coffee beverages centered around the time of year or a specific holiday. If a coffee shop can create its signature beverage, that could increase demand and help generate buzz for marketing.

Oddly enough, cold drinks can also see a spike in sales during this season. While one may assume that cold weather would inspire people to drink hot coffee, cold brews, and iced beverages are also popular. So, operators should lean into that and offer colder options, especially holiday-inspired ones.

Cold Weather Coffee Pairings and Treats

While coffee is delicious, it’s far more enjoyable when paired with sweet treats like donuts, pastries, and more. However, while offering baked goods with coffee is easy, pairing can be a much more involved process. One of the ways that operators can stand out is to create a pairing menu based on the type of coffee they offer.

For example, Central and South American coffee already has chocolaty undertones, so it pairs well with bread and chocolate. However, African coffees are usually lighter and fruitier and pair well with fresh fruit. In addition to creating a tasting menu, cashiers can upsell specific items based on the coffee a customer orders.

Finally, it makes sense to create seasonal treats with holiday-inspired coffees. For example, a customer could order a peppermint mocha latte and a side of house-made peppermint bark to complete the set. Overall, the season can inspire creative offerings that will engage customers and drive sales.

Merchandising and Retail Opportunities with Cold Weather Coffee

Why stop at seasonal coffee beverages and sweets? Operators can lean into the holidays and generate all kinds of coffee-themed merchandise and swag. Mugs are also an excellent option for additional revenue, as a shop can sell traditional and travel mugs to guests.

Fortunately, with print-on-demand stores becoming so mainstream, a coffee shop doesn’t have to have the infrastructure necessary to create these items from scratch. Instead, they can print a few prototype models and then sell them in the store. Then, operators can restock whatever sells out quickly and direct guests to purchase their own online for delivery.

Another option is to create gift baskets with proprietary mugs, t-shirts, and coffee items. This way, fans of the shop can get an incredible gift, and the operator can get some valuable word-of-mouth marketing. It’s a win-win!

The holiday season is the perfect time for coffee shops to get creative and embrace trends. As demand for seasonal coffee rises, this is the ideal time to capitalize on consumer engagement.

Learn more about preparing your foodservice operation for the holiday months by visiting the Alto-Hartley showroom. We’ll also provide a 15 percent in-store discount!