These days, it seems like almost every coffee shop follows the same “Starbucks” template. The menus include basic coffee options and a few plain pastries. People walk through the door for the first time already expecting the same menu, the same atmosphere, and the same smell that they’ve experienced everywhere else. And while some coffee shops benefit from sticking to the script, those that become truly popular usually do it by forging their own path. If you want your business to become a destination rather than just another bland coffee shop, you’ll have to think outside the box when it comes to menu items. Distinct options will (literally) give your business its own flavor.
Once customers have a chance to fall in love with your food, they’ll spread the word. From there, you should be well on your way toward building a lasting, meaningful brand. As far as specific menu options go, there’s really no limit to what could make your coffee shop unique. With that being said, there are certain foods that seem to sell better than others. Here are five unique foods to consider for your coffee shop’s menu.
Kebabs are great because they’re unique enough to attract attention but familiar enough to get people excited. A big part of what makes kebabs such a great menu item is their versatility. You can use practically any type of meat and any vegetable. While beef and lamb are more traditional, chicken and vegetarian kabobs are equally delicious. Just load up what are you want to serve on the kebab machines and you are good to go.
You can also serve kebabs in a number of ways. If you want to offer your customers complete meals, try serving the meat and vegetables on a plate with rice and salad. This might be a bit heavy for a cafe, but your customers will soon come to love it. For a lighter option, consider serving the kebab meat in a pita wrap with tzatziki sauce. This will prove a delicious menu item that customers can take on the go with their coffees.
While subs and traditional sandwiches are perfect for convenience stores and lunch counters, a cafe should offer something with a bit more artisanal quality. Paninis, with their rich flavor and crunchy texture, fit the bill perfectly. This is a great option for a cafe because making paninis is quick and easy. All you’ll need is a panini grill and fresh ingredients.
You can turn practically any sandwich into a panini. Grilled meats and chicken make the best protein options, while vegetables taste incredible between the crunchiness of the toasted bread. Make sure you offer some options with cheese since that melty sensation will get some customers salivating as soon as they see the menu. By selling paninis, you’ll give your customers an easy way to fill up with something delicious.
It might seem like the last thing the culinary world needs at the moment is more pizza. After all, you can hardly walk a single block without encountering yet another generic pizzeria. It’s important to remember, however, that consumers crave unique twists on this classic menu item. The basic pizza template leaves plenty of room for creativity from an imaginative chef. Personal pizzas at a cafe can embody a richness of flavor that sets them apart from the standard take-out fare.
If you’re going to serve personal pizzas, you need to make sure they’re delicious enough to stand out from the pack. The best way to do this is by investing in quality ingredients and practicing pizza-making until you and your staff have mastered the art. Once you’ve landed on a truly unique set of pizza recipes, you’ll have another secret weapon for beating out the coffee shop competition.
Tex-Mex has long had a growing influence on the culinary scene, and nowadays it seems consumers can’t get enough of Mexican classics. Tacos might not seem like the best option for a coffee shop, but consumers often enjoy finding a pleasant surprise on a menu. Anybody who comes through your door craving something zesty will light up when they see that tacos are an option.
There are countless ways to create tacos. While many Americans prefer crunchy shells or flour tortillas, you could attract attention by offering traditional corn tortillas.
Some consumers get a kick out of unapologetic comfort food. No matter how “classy” your establishment may be, mac-and-cheese balls are still likely to be a hit.
Making this tasty treat is easy if you can stomach the grease. Just make a batch of homemade mac-and-cheese, then fry it up. Toss the final product in some spicy breadcrumbs to create that unique flavor that will drive your customers wild.
Creating a more comprehensive menu is the best way to set your coffee shop apart from the competition. While scones and coffee cakes are certainly delicious, you can take your business to the next level by offering some of these unique menu items. Give some alternative options a shot. You might be surprised by how well your customers respond.