Back in 2007 when this article was originally written, syrups and flavorings were still a common item on specialty coffee menus, however the times have changed.

Today’s preference is to eliminate as many flavors from menus as possible – anyone can pour sickeningly sweet syrup and chemicals into a cup; very few can serve a well-prepared cup of coffee, which can offer your business a competitive advantage.

Additionally, all of those add-ons are extra overhead. Carrying a wide variety of flavors increases your inventory, complicates the customer ordering process, requires extra storage space, and can potentially create sanitary issues (if using spouts or pumps, you must soak them ALL regularly).

Select those flavors most popular in your region and best compliment your flavor profile, then promote the ones best define the unique character of your business as a “signature beverage,” the drink or drinks that your consumers can get only at your location(s). If planned properly, those beverages can also be your most profitable.

Remember though, when serving flavored coffees, you’re attracting customers that want a beverage that tastes other than coffee. Is that the ideal customer that you wish to attract?