Selling coffee alone is hard to build a business on. Customers these days are looking for quick, delicious and good-for-you food options to pair with their specialty coffee drinks, now more than ever. But it can be a difficult task for coffee shops to incorporate food menus. Many are overwhelmed with menu development, food costs, training, equipment planning and space issues. Coffee Fest returns to Los Angeles to help address these issues on August 19 – 21.
“Food prep and menu development is a scary thing for café owners and something they did not even consider just a few years ago,” commented Coffee Fest Show Director, Erika Lowery. “Cafes have now embraced the model seen all over the world and are adding food options to their menu because it compliments coffee and offers a new revenue stream. The restaurant show will open their eyes to the opportunities and source distributors to help them.”
The restaurant farm-to-table trend has helped consumers develop a taste for locally sourced, fresh ingredients. In a lot of ways, specialty coffee can be looked at in the same way. “It is no longer acceptable for restaurants to default to food service grade coffee. Not only are restaurant customers asking for local specialty coffee, restaurants want to work with someone that can train their staff how to brew & serve it properly,” observes Erika. “Coffee Fest will help open the eyes of restaurateurs to the amazing choices in the coffee world to complement their menus and delight customers.”
That’s why for the first time ever, Coffee Fest and the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and Healthy Food Expo have worked together to bring specialty coffee & foodservice even closer.
Coffee Fest will be just as big as it always has been with over 200+ specialty coffee exhibitors, three lively specialty coffee competitions, over 150 hours of specialty coffee education and plenty of new products. And the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be just as large as it always is as well. The big difference? Both will be hosted at the LA Convention Center, side-by-side. Three shows. One Badge. All for just $60. Browse exhibitors from show floor to show floor. Catch the coffee & food action at several competitions on the show floor. Catch up with some emerging trends at the Coffee Fest Campfire Café. Stay in-the-know and learn some new tricks with a couple of paid workshops and free seminars.
San Diegan coffee purveyors will be competing in three competitions: Modern Times Coffee (America’s Best Espresso); Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, NightWatch Coffee, and The Steeping Giant (America’s Best Cold Brew); and Parakeet Cafe (Latte Art World Championship Open).
Launching in LA this year, the Healthy Food Expo will feature food items and resources with a better-for-you focus – a growing movement in both the restaurant & specialty coffee industries.
The goal? To bring a larger footprint of new products, partners & education together under one roof to make it easier for restaurants, caterers, specialty coffee & tea shops, coffee roasters and other industry professionals to find the broad resources they need to keep growing their business.
People looking to start a coffee business or restaurant are also encouraged to attend. With several start-up educational opportunities & a wide variety of companies on the exhibit show floor, there are plenty of takeaways for anyone looking to break into the industry.
Erika’s hope is that “they will be amazed at how the three shows complement each other, be excited about the value of everything being in one place and excited to return next year.”
Coffee Fest Los Angeles runs Sunday through Tuesday, August 19-21 at the LA Convention Center. Visit this website to learn more and to register.