5 Ways to Spice Up Your Restaurant’s Coffee Menu

by | Jul 6, 2022

Schenck Foods’ Full-Service Coffee Program

Coffee is a language unto itself, as anyone who has tried to order at Starbucks can attest. 62% of adults in the United States consume coffee–every day. 7 out of 10 drink coffee every week. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of coffee. As a wholesale restaurant supplier, we know that coffee should be more than an afterthought on the menu. It can be the perfect way to conclude a meal, and it carries a nice profit margin to boot.

To help you meet the consumer demand for java, Schenck Foods has partnered with Ronnoco Coffee to create a full-service coffee program that provides commercial coffee equipment when you regularly purchase coffee beans from Schenck Foods.

That’s right, our coffee partnership means your restaurant gets free commercial coffee machines, top quality coffee at wholesale prices, and regular delivery for $5. Give us a call to get started.

Ronnoco Coffee has over 35 private blends and more than 300 coffee offerings to choose from–meaning you can offer your customer a fantastic variety.  It’s a good thing that restaurants with a free Scheck Foods account can order complimentary samples!

Keep it Simple

Having espresso at the center of your menu plays into the coffee menu’s cardinal rule: be clear, informative and easy to read.

An overly complicated and long menu overwhelms your customer, and they may default to what they know you have–a cup of coffee–and you miss out on a potentially higher margin menu item. Also, the more fancy and complex your menu, the more potential there is for waste.

5 Favorite Coffee Menu Items

Now that you’ve got your hands on some good joe, it’s time to get it to your customers. Here’s where too many restaurant owners hit an avoidable hurdle–by not taking their coffee menu seriously. And menu problems equal profit problems.

With that in mind, here are five easy menu ideas that will make the most of a premium coffee solution.

Double-Shot Espresso

This is one of the most basic forms of coffee. Espresso is an Italian way of making coffee in highly concentrated shots. A single espresso shot is 1 ounce, so a double shot is 2 ounces. A shot of espresso offers that quintessential kick and helps you cater to the widest range of coffee enthusiasts. It’s also an important component of a variety of other popular drinks. Americano, affogato, romano, latte–the list goes on–espresso serves as the base for all of them.

Espresso does require the commercial coffee machines referenced above, but the numbers at the cash register make it worth it. Remember that investing in premium coffee beans is going to make a difference–folks won’t just drink your espresso–they’ll be coming back, and bringing friends with them.

Espresso landed at the top of the list for a reason. Keep it at the heart of your menu ideas. By having a drink that lends itself to other items on the menu you’ll increase sustainability and profitability. Training your baristas is important as you’ll want to give your customer a quality consistency–here’s one of our favorite “how to” guides to get you started.

Salted Caramel Latte

As mentioned above, the real deal latte drinks are all made with an espresso base. A latte then goes on to form some of the most popular coffee drinks in the world–including the cappuccino, macchiato, and mocha. All of these are the heavy selling choices on blackboard menus everywhere, making the latte an essential add to your restaurant’s menu.

There are lists of latte flavors and recipes–this is a great place for you to put in a signature favorite or a popular seasonal drink. To get you started, the salted caramel latte is a great choice, as it works year round, in both cold and hot weather. This is an indulgent drink that’s sweet with a little saltiness, plus our favorite recipe from Christin at Spicy Southern Kitchen adds some cocoa powder for just a hint of chocolate.

Your customer’s favorite flavor will be more. (Can you make an iced version of this?  Yes you can.)


Cappuccino. It’s fun to say. It sounds like a waterfall made of letters. The cappuccino is an Italian cuppa, popularized in Europe in the 1930s. It didn’t make its way to the United States until the 1980s, when its popularity exploded. Now it’s the fourth most popular coffee drink in the world. 

The cappuccino consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk and milk froth. Variations of the cappuccino include the dry (or dark) cappuccino with slightly less milk and the wet (or light) cappuccino with slightly more milk. (See how you can add variation to your menu without increasing cost?)

A cappuccino is typically served in a 6-ounce elliptical cup with a thick dome of froth. When rendered correctly, the cappuccino is a well-balanced experience of flavors and textures that delight the coffee-lover’s taste buds.

By serving cappuccino in clear glass with whipped cream and cinnamon on top you create a new spin on a classic–giving your menu something extra, while keeping your own costs and prep simple and sustainable. Check out the step by step process for making cappuccino here.

Thai Iced Coffee

Cold brew is all the rage these days. Due to its perceived simplicity, iced coffee is one that customers try to imitate at home. However, it takes more than a mason jar to make this complex yet delicious drink.

Thai iced coffee is a beverage you can find on just about any street corner in Thailand, and three ingredients make it unique: coffee, condensed milk, and some kind of flavoring. The coffee must be strong so that you can taste its caffeinated kick when mixed with creamy, sweet condensed milk, and the texture should be semi-thick (think a creamier iced latte). Here’s one of our favorite recipes from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen.

Making Thai iced coffee right requires some simple equipment from yourself and basic skills from your barista, which makes it an obvious choice in terms of menu ideas. You can also offer some variations within this drink that help you set your offerings apart from your competitors. Since its popularity is more apparent among the younger crowds, you are also going to enjoy an expanding customer base that prefers getting their caffeine fix from a cafe rather than their kitchen.

Strong. Creamy. Sweet. Your coffee will be so good customers will want to write a song about it.


Yep. We saved one of the best for last. This one proves the old adage, there is no “we” in ice cream. The concept is actually extremely simple. In its most basic form, it’s an espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and served in a cappuccino cup.

But there’s nothing simple about the result. The magic of affogato is that you get two pleasures in one: a spoonable dessert sauced with coffee, and a cream-blushed drink to chase it. The sweet ice cream and bitter coffee should enhance, not overtake each other. Like the best partners, they should meet in the middle.

We like this recipe from the New York Times, but to everyone’s delight, there’s room for variation, seasonal menu changes, or signature favorites. The ice cream could be fior di latte, vanilla, chocolate, or whatever you like. Dulce de leche, with its caramelized milkiness, would be wonderful, as would a cherry amaretto.

Whether you call it java, joe, brew, cuppa, daily grind, bean juice, rocket fuel, or just coffee, better coffee and thoughtful menu offerings can translate into increased sales and increased margin per receipt. 

That’s where Schenck Foods’ wholesale pricing and coffee partnership come into play.

Wherever you’re serving coffee, for whatever type of crowd, Schenck Foods has competitive pricing, quick order processing, friendly and efficient staff, and rapid turnaround and delivery time. What we don’t have is a mediocre selection, slow corporate hassle, or hidden fees.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to ask questions, request special ingredients, or take advantage of our full-service coffee program.