Is a coffee cart profitable

Increase sales in gastronomy: 6 profitable ideas (including calculation)

It is very likely that you are constantly optimizing your core business in order to generate better profits. You are trying to lower your cost of goods or to increase your prices. However, you never know for sure whether your changes will be accepted by the customer.

But there are also products that (almost) always sell and significantly increase sales with little effort. Even better: Often, high revenues can be achieved with low cost of goods. We show you exactly how this works in our collection of the 6 most lucrative additional businesses in the hospitality industry. Surely there is something for you as well!

Coffee and ice cream: the two classics of the additional shops

The most popular additional business in gastronomy is all about the Germans' favorite drink - coffee. No matter which catering concept you pursue, almost every restaurateur can profitably use coffee for themselves.

Source: Tchibo Coffee Report 2019

"To Go" or not "To Go"?

Coffee To Go has come under fire because of its environmental pollution. Many disposable cups are only slowly biodegraded, but are still the most convenient option for spontaneous customers to enjoy coffee. The market therefore reacted very quickly. There are already many environmentally friendly versions of "to-go" coffee mugs. Reusable cups that you have brought yourself are also becoming increasingly popular. In the meantime, every second customer takes their coffee with them in their own mug. Every third person takes their coffee with them in a to-go paper cup and around 18% of Germans use both options.

Overall, coffee to go is still extremely popular despite environmental concerns:

Source: Tchibo Coffee Report 2019

Whether to go or not: If you don't offer coffee yet, the investment will pay off very quickly. Because coffee is a "fast seller". Large quantities can be sold every day at the right location with the right concept.

By the way: You can find out which coffee machine is right for your concept here.

What can a coffee cost?

Opinions differ here. Price ranges from € 0.99 to € 3.10 and even more are conceivable. The price your customers accept depends on your concept, the quality and your competition.

Normally it is never advisable to simply align your own sales prices with the competition. We always recommend calculating your own cost structure as precisely as possible. For example, an individual surcharge rate (eBook) or the cost calculation are suitable for this.

But: The additional businesses listed here are in a way the exception to the rule. Because it is extremely difficult to work uneconomically with these products. It is much more about generating the maximum profit. We would like to clarify this using the example of coffee.

Example: calculate the coffee price

So that we can determine the lower price limit for our new additional business, let's first take a look at the incurred Net cost (very important!) for a cup of coffee sold. We dedicate ourselves here exclusively to the so-called material costs or the Cost of goods. That is simply the coffee beans, the milk and everything else you need to make and sell.

We would like to offer coffee in our company, which costs around € 15 per kilogram. With a dosage of 9 grams (including loss), we come to the cost of 14 cents per cup (see graphic). For the other variable costs (milk, cups, topping, ...) we add a flat rate of 20 cents:

Tip: It is best to do the math again with your own costs! Maybe it doesn't have to be that expensive coffee or you buy cheaper? Try to come as close as possible to your real, individual costs per cup and check your assumptions after 3 months at the latest.

A cup of coffee sold generates 34 cents (net) in cost of goods. If we use the simple surcharge calculation, these 0.34 € are simply calculated times 400% (times 4) to determine a sales price. In our example, the suggested retail price would be at least € 1.36 (gross).Of course, a cup of coffee usually costs significantly more. And that's exactly why the sale is so worthwhile (more on that in a moment).

Tip: VAT is already included in the 400% surcharge for the simple surcharge calculation. So it always results here Gross sales prices based on Net material costs. You should definitely pay attention to this!

Good to know: Why can we make the calculation so easy here? Approx. 25% of the cost of goods is incurred in gastronomy. On average, the sales price corresponds to four times the cost of goods used. Even if we only have one roughIndustry average for the calculation, that helps us enormously for a quick orientation. Incidentally, the basis for these guide values ​​is formed Figures from the tax office. Every year these are calculated for many business areas and published here. Very convenient: Depending on which type of gastronomy you operate, you can also get the average for the industry (and competitor!) and compare it with your own cost of goods.

Let's get back to our additional coffee business, because now comes the exciting part. We have calculated a price suggestion of € 1.36 gross. But how does your cost of goods develop when you have a cup of coffee with you Example costs € 2.00? Let's quickly make the rule of three:

(0,34 € / 2,00 €) * 100% = 17% cost of goods

Wow! Even with a completely unspectacular retail price of € 2.00 and relatively expensive coffee beans, our cost of goods is still well below the industry average of 25%! With this advantage you can do a lot: Maybe you “lure” customers with one cheap cake offer and make your calculations with the coffee profitable? Maybe you offer that best price-performance ratio over coffee and sell additional small snacks with an equally good cost of goods? There are many options, be creative!

Conclusion: You can (almost) not go wrong with coffee. The Germans love it and drink more and more of this pick-me-up, the use of goods is fantastic and low seasonal fluctuations make coffee an absolute high performer in your company. The investment is always worthwhile.

Our second classic ...

... is the most popular way to cool off in summer: a delicious ice cream.

And believe it or not, getting started in this lucrative additional business is easier than expected. A former restaurateur and GastroHero employee explains:

We used to sell ice cream in the summer because it was really worth it. The walk-in customers alone make a big difference. I had a small counter in front of the actual shop. So it's very simple: an ice cream counter, an employee and that's it.

And the same applies here: despite the simple implementation, high profits await! It doesn't always have to be a huge effort to run a lucrative additional business. Sometimes it's easier than you think. This is also proven by our next 6 small sales drivers.

Small but mighty: How you can increase your sales with mini catering concepts

Often a gastro device and a few accessories are enough to give your customers the icing on the cake and to increase your sales. The good thing about it: Buying a single device is not a big investment. We have selected 6 small but very popular concepts for you, all of which can be implemented using just one device and accessories. Your advantage: The costs are covered quickly and you will make a profit in a few months!


With 50 sales a day, you can write a profit after just 6 days!

And your guests will love the diversity. Whether sweet or savory, the low costs pay off. The dough mixture is not expensive to buy. The individual toppings justify your selling price. This is how profit is made quickly. Take a look at our calculation!

And as promised, you only need a device and a few accessories for this additional business.

»Click here for the shopping list

cotton candy

Admittedly, a somewhat unusual concept. You normally only see the colorful clouds of sugar at fairs and not in traditional restaurants. But maybe you can use that to your advantage !? Hardly any competitor will offer this little extra. And if you do it right, with 20 sales a day, you could be making a profit in just 2½ months. Because your cost of goods is almost zero here:

»Here is the calculation

Your investment costs are less than € 2,000 and include the machine, a hood and wooden sticks. Further details can be found on our shopping list.

Cotton candy can also be used in a really creative way:







Source: @fluffegram

What creations are you coming up with soon?

We'll continue with the next sweet temptation for your guests.

Bubble waffles

The airy waffles are not that new anymore. They came out a few years ago and this year they have an absolute boom. But the waffle is likely to continue to enjoy popularity next year as well. Specialists have the sweet calorie bomb in a number of variations on the menu. Perhaps it is also worthwhile for you to include the Bubble Waffle as a dessert variation. It triggers an absolute hype from which you benefit:

Instagram has around 224,000 posts about the popular waffle!

Source: Instagram

But let's take a look at the financial first. With the Bubble Waffles, you can make a profit in your restaurant with 50 sales after just 10 days. Unbeatable! Sales prices around € 6.00 are well received. You can find out which costs are offset in our calculation.

So jump on the bandwagon while you still have this huge sales potential!

»Click here for the shopping list

cake pops

Coffee + cake pops = double success

They are also just beautiful to look at. Instead of a piece of cake, there are just a few cake pops, maybe even to go? The cake globules have definitely already seen a hype and are still popular. The base dough is again very cheap and the toppings are special. In this way, you can adapt the cakes to your gastronomy and strengthen your brand. Is your color concept more white / pink, dark or brightly colored? There are no limits to you.

You need exactly 5 products for this. You can find out what these are on our shopping list. All in all, you are then just over € 1,000 with your purchase. And if you manage to sell 100 pieces a day for € 1.00, you can make a profit after just 13 days!

Can you do more?

»Here is the calculation

Which is your gastro sales driver?

Low investment and large margins. So which of these devices do you still have space for?

Or maybe you haven't found the right one yet? You can find two other concepts including calculation on our website, including the popular teppanyaki ice cream:

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Which concept have you decided on or which are you already successfully implementing? Write us in the comments!

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