A while back I was having lunch at local restaurant establishment. While this is a true story, names shall remain anonymous. I had a sandwich and ordered a glass of Sweet Tea. The very nice lady taking my order enthusiastically responded to my Sweet Tea request with “Oh, perfect timing…Susie (let’s name her) just made a fresh batch of tea and she makes the best sweet tea”.
This isn’t anything I haven’t heard before, but for some reason my response was different on this particular day. Where I would normally respond with a “great” or a smile and nod for some reason today led to questions. “Really” I said almost as enthusiastically as she had spoken to me, “what is so special about the way Susie makes the tea from anyone else?” “Well, Susie always adds more sugar to make it really sweet tea”, my server responded. I smiled as not to disappointment her, and suffered through what was possibly the sweetest Sweet Tea I’ve ever had (including the great state of Alabama).
Personally, I like tea with my sugar and I stopped there since they always have really good Sweet Tea…key word being Tea. For some reason that has stuck with me and to this day I don’t think about stopping there anymore for tea or food.
While Hartley’s Tea Sweet® typically costs on average $1 more per 3 gallon brew of tea verses sugar, isn’t it worth less than the cost of one glass of tea to not lose a customer? While most businesses may not think customers are that passionate about their beverage choices, those of us that love our tea will disagree.
According to the U.S. Tea Association, the U.S. tea industry has increased steadily over the last two plus decades from a $1.84 Billion industry to a $10.4 Billion projected industry in 2013. While segments of growth vary, traditional teas as well as specialty teas will continue to play a key role in the tea category.
Today’s consumer is looking for beverage options; however, tea is a staple that appeals to most. For those of us that can’t do without our tea any more than a coffee lover can resist a good cup of coffee, we know what establishments have the best tea.
Shouldn’t that be based on a consistent product that’s associated with your business, not the person “making” the tea?