Convenience store coffee has come a long way in the three decades since Ric Martin started in the brewer business. And Martin, vice president of sales for BUNN in the western region and a coffee lover himself, is thankful for that.
The old notions of terrible c-store coffee are becoming extinct. It has been replaced by customized brews using premium beans, served at the proper temperature and held for an appropriate amount of time to ensure quality.
It’s vital to serve high-quality coffee at c-stores. Regular hot coffee remains the leading beverage offered at c-stores with 100% penetration, according to Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report.
People head to c-stores for energy-boosting beverages: Some 20% of c-store consumers buy hot coffee in-store each month, compared to 13% of grocery-store visitors, the report found.
“This is the next evolution in coffee brewing,” Martin says. “We’re really looking to help operators increase that customer experience and create repeat business.”
The new line of Infusion Series® brewers with modernized Soft Heat® servers are helping c-store operators produce the coffee that increasingly-savvy consumers are demanding.
The design of proprietary BUNN Soft Heat technology received a dramatic makeover for this new Infusion Series launch but it still features a reliable computer-operated blanket-warming system to ensure that the brewed coffee maintains a constant temperature. The gentle heat eliminates the off flavors of scorching caused by older-style, warming-plate heaters.
With this new technology, coffee can be held at temperature for about two hours before there’s any impact on quality and also be safely contained in a tamper-resistant, closed vessel.
And after those two hours? The new machines can be purchased with an option to communicate, via Wireless Server Monitoring, with a smartphone or tablet near the register to let operators know when servers are running low or are about to expire. And a wider top access and the new rounded design means that the servers are easier to empty and clean as well.
The BUNN Infusion Series brewers also feature recipe-management technology that allows c-store owners to create customized brewing recipes, load them onto a flash drive and share them across all units via USB ports in the coffee makers.
“It makes it easier for the operator to manage their coffee recipes and limit mistakes,” Martin says.
Even as c-stores upgrade their offerings with espresso and more, “that’s never going to replace drip coffee,” says Frank McAdam, vice president of sales for the BUNN eastern region.
“We understand and respect that a perfect cup of coffee is on the palate of the person drinking it,” McAdam says, adding that all brewing recipes are fully customizable to suit your customer base, which can vary widely by region.
The Infusion Series by BUNN is the first in a new family series of Infusion brewers anticipated in 2017 and allows operators to brew a half-gallon, gallon or gallon-and-a-half, cutting down on wasted product and tailoring coffee-making to each units business throughout the day.
Investing in high-quality brewing and serving equipment will pay off in less downtime, increased coffee sales, and repeat business, McAdam says.
Proclaim your great-tasting coffee in your truck signage. Market it heavily in-store. Advertise it at the pump. Once consumers try the smooth-tasting result in the cup, they’ll tell their friends about it, he says.
Learn more or request a demo at bunn.com/infusion-series/soft-heat.
This post is sponsored by BUNN