One of the major keys to customer satisfaction in almost every sector of hospitality is consistency. A customer who has been to a cafe and had a positive experience will expect to relive the memory of it the next time they visit.
People in general are more disappointed by a let-down of expectations than they are by mediocrity. Providing a consistent experience is vital to maintaining a loyal customer base and also helps greatly with online reviews which are more valuable than ever in 2022.
The majority of Australian cafes stock cups and mugs, as well as takeaway cups in sizes 8oz, 12oz, and 16oz. This, in and of itself, is a glaring consistency issue that’s been brought up before within the coffee community.
Let’s say someone purchases a small flat white in a takeaway cup every day. Generally what they are getting is a single shot of espresso in an 8oz paper cup with steamed milk. If that person decides to sit in one day and they order a flat white in a porcelain cup, they will likely be served a single shot in a cup that holds between 5-6oz of liquid, essentially a stronger flavoured and less viscous beverage than what they are used to.
There are a few ways we’ve seen cafes combat this issue. The most obvious is to stock differently sized takeaway cups that more closely resemble the volume of the in-house cups and mugs. However, this move can be alienating to some customers (particularly of the older generation) who have become accustomed to the standard takeaway sizes.
The other solution we’ve seen is to use a different espresso recipe for dine-in vs. takeaway coffee. For example, a ristretto shot in the porcelain cup rather than a full shot of espresso. This change gives the dine-in cup a closer resemblance in flavour and consistency to its takeaway counterpart. Using a machine that has multiple preset recipe profiles like the Dalla Corte XT, ICON, or the Dalla Corte Zero is a great way to easily brew different recipes for different purposes without further stressing an already overwhelmed barista.
While we’re on the topic of consistency, let’s be honest, it’s not always possible to have an experienced barista behind the counter, and on a busy day the wrong trainee can be a liability. The beauty of the DC system available with the new ICON is that by using the GCS (grinder control system) and OCS (online control system) the business owner (or the experienced barista) can preset recipes on the machine to coordinate with a specific dose from the grinder, making staying consistent that much easier for new staff.