Properly Merchandise Coffee Counters for Impulse Sales

Properly Merchandise Coffee Counters for Impulse Sales

By Steve Di Orio
Posted in Convenience Stores, Store Fixtures
On May 11, 2016

There is a strategy to increasing the sales of coffee and breakfast items in your convenience stores. But when starting up your own business, where you position your coffee and pastries may not be at the top of your priority list. However, how you organize and market your food and beverages can have a major impact on your sales.

“The lay out should be strategically drawing people further into the store so that they walk past more impulse items like cakes/snacks,” says David Mendez, Vice President at WB Law Coffee Co. “By leading them into more items, this should also help drive increased sales.”

So how do you actually go about making your coffee and pastries irresistible to your customers? Luckily, it’s easier than you may think. Here’s a simple two-step strategy to boost sales and make it easy for your customers to get their coffee and breakfast in the mornings!

1. Make Sure You Have the Right Coffee Counters

Catching your customers’ eye starts with your coffee counters. You don’t just want any old counter to place your coffee and pastries. You want a strong, visually appealing coffee counter, like one from Handy Store Fixtures, that adds another level of sophistication to your store. The right coffee counter has the power to make your customers gravitate toward your coffee and pastries every single morning, so make sure you get the right size, material, and color for your store:


Manchester Coffee Station 2

There are two main coffee counter sizes you can choose from for your store. The first is your regular coffee counter like the Manchester Coffee Station. This station goes up against the wall so it has its own spot in the store, and is spacious enough to hold all your food and beverages. These counters are typically 36’’ high, 36’’ in depth, and the length can be based on your needs.

Your second option is the Island Coffee Counter. While smaller than the Manchester Coffee Station, it has the right shape to be placed right in the center of your store. This is a great choice if you want your coffee and pastries to be front and center as customers come into your store. These counters are typically 36’’ high, 48’’ in depth, and the length can be based on your specific needs.


You also have a few options to choose from with counter top material, including Formica, Corian, Granite, and Marble. They all can come in a variety of colors and patterns based on the look and feel you’re going for in your store.

coffee counter

For the underneath cabinets of your coffee counter, you can choose from Formica, Corian, and Melamine finishes with various color and pattern options. The underneath cabinets are one of the most important parts of your coffee counter because of the inserts used to hold all the materials your customers need for their coffee and breakfast. The most common inserts are cup dispensers, condiment displays for sugar, straws, and sweeteners, lid dispensers, and trash chutes.

2. Strategically Place Your Coffee and Pastries

Cumulatively, the U.S. convenience store industry serves 160 million customers per day, which means that on average, more than half of the U.S. population is at a convenience store every day. That’s a lot of people who could be buying your coffee and breakfast products! But only as long as they are strategically displayed to make it an easy purchase decision for your customers.

Once you have your coffee counter picked out, you need to make sure you are providing a nice flow for your customers to follow.

“The whole goal when we merchandise counters is to create a flow that will give value to the overall store. We want to create an efficient assembly line flow,” says Mendez. “First should be access to cups, then to coffee, lastly ending where the milk and sugar and lids are. This is also where the trash should be so that consumers can throw away their trash in an attempt to keep the coffee bar clean. Consumers spend about 90% of their time at the condiment section, so that should be as far out of the way as possible.”

With this type of flow, customers won’t have to back pedal to get what they need, eliminating bottlenecks and providing a more spacious, relaxed atmosphere.

Once you’ve got the flow down, make sure all your coffee and pastry items are within “line of sight”. You don’t want any of your coffee or beverage machines blocking people’s view of your pastry items.

“Try to put taller machines like powdered cappuccino machines towards the end of the coffee bar,” suggests Mendez. “Sometimes when it sits in the front, the height and depth of the machine creates a ‘wall’ and the consumers can’t see the coffee and other products behind it.”

Also be sure that your pastry items are within arms-reach. Putting your pastries on end caps is a good way to get customers to pick one up as they are carrying their coffee to the checkout register. Another way to make your coffee and pastry display a money maker is to have your pastries on shelving units that are eye level to the customer. To boost sales from your customers, the objective needs to be making your breakfast items as easily accessible as possible next to the coffee.

When just starting up, one of the easiest ways to grow your business is through your coffee and breakfast products. Make sure you have the right coffee counter and follow our coffee and pastry display strategy to provide a successful customer experience and improve your sales.

Steve Di Orio

Steve Di Orio


Steve has been with Handy Store Fixtures for over 15 years. After becoming the Marketing Manager in 2006, he was named Director of Marketing. Steven earned his MBA from Montclair State University with a specialization in Digital Marketing in 2019. When not at work, he loves to travel, play golf, exercise, and talk all things search engine marketing and retail display tips.