October 2014 Volume 2, Issue 10| Make Coffee a Conversation Starter

Pumpkin season is in full swing; what better way to celebrate than a special coffee or hot chocolate offering, featuring the number one flavor this fall – served in an eye catching way?

Like most people in this industry, I am constantly on the lookout for unique serving ideas and new ways restaurants can entice a customer to try a product. However, because I am actively looking for cool ideas, rarely do I partake in what is being offered. Can you imagine what my bank account, or worse, my belt, would look like if I said yes to every cool idea?! So, imagine my surprise when the hotel I stayed at this past weekend sold an entire carafe of coffee to me by using an insulated travel bottle like the one from Frieling on the right. While it is a normal action for most people to order coffee at breakfast, I have never ordered coffee in the morning before nor did I wake up with a desire to start ordering it. Yet it was not until I was enjoying my last drop that I realized what a great idea they had, and that I needed to share this with as many of our customers as possible.

I know what you are thinking; my customers are not traveling so why would they need this, wouldn”t a beverage carafe be better? Great point, but think about this, while I was at the restaurant, only one table declined to order the carafe of coffee and I heard several, now wide awake, patrons discussing the coffee as they left! While the coffee was decent, and stayed wonderfully hot, it was not conversation worthy on its own, it was the fun, unique presentation that made the memories of the restaurant”s coffee linger. The most important factors seemed to be the eye-catching height of the insulated travel bottle and the unique shape. Setting an insulated server on a table so guest can pour their own coffee is a great way to make your guests feel like they are getting great value for their money, but it has become common enough that people can easily identify what is in the carafe so it does not draw attention when one is set on a breakfast table; an insulated travel bottle though, that is something you typically only see on a picnic so what is it doing on the breakfast table? That is the question you want your customer to ask because it makes them take a second look at other tables and at your menu to see how they can order one too.

October 2014 – Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 20 minutes

  • 1/2 cup dutch processed, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin spice syrup (try our recipe from August 2013)
  • whipped cream
  • pumpkin spice or sprinkles


  1. In a saucepan whisk together cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and syrup over medium heat.
  2. Add milk and continue heating roughly 8 – 10 minutes on medium heat or until the desired temperature is reached.
  3. To serve, top with whipped cream and sprinkle a small amount of pumpkin pie spice or orange sprinkles on top.

Makes 34 fl. oz.
Recipe by: Brianna N. Eason

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