As a business owner serving coffee at your cafe, restaurant, or office, one of the biggest costs you face is likely your coffee supply. Between pleasing customers’ tastes and keeping up with demand, buying enough quality coffee at an affordable price point is essential yet challenging.

An increasingly popular option for business owners is to buy coffee in bulk directly from wholesale coffee suppliers. But is bulk buying actually cheaper when all costs are factored in? Let’s weigh the pros and cons.

Why Bulk Buy Coffee?

There are some clear potential savings associated with buying higher coffee bean volumes at once:

  1. Bulk pricing discounts - Wholesalers usually offer sliding price discounts based on order quantities. Buying large volumes can lead to substantially lower per unit costs.

  2. Fewer deliveries - Making one bulk coffee order reduces delivery and shipping fees you'd otherwise incur when ordering more frequently.

  3. Longer shelf life - With proper storage, wholesale coffee beans keep fresh for many months. Bulk buying means less worry about running out.

Bulk coffee buying promises tangible financial benefits and gives peace of mind against stockouts during busy periods.

Potential Downsides of Bulk Buying Coffee

However, some hidden costs mean that bulk buying coffee has its risks too:

  1. Cash flow challenges - Paying a large one-time wholesale coffee order could lead to cash flow issues for the business.

  2. Risk of waste - Quality factors mean wholesale coffee beans still have a finite shelf life, even if stored correctly. Excess stock could mean more wastage over time.

  3. Storage Considerations -Coffee bean storage requires space, climate control, and other logistics. The cost of storage can add up.

So while big bulk orders offer per unit savings, managing a larger coffee stock can counterbalance that to some extent.

Tips for Cost Effective Bulk Coffee Buying

Here are some suggestions to get the most value when buying coffee in bulk:

Build Relationships with Coffee Suppliers

Take advantage of loyalty discounts from trusted coffee bean suppliers, but build relationships with more than one provider. Having multiple suppliers ensures you get competitive pricing and avoids over-reliance on one supplier. Negotiate contracts that reward you for consistent bulk order volumes without demanding lock-in.

Analyse your supply chain costs in detail

Don't just look at the advertised bulk coffee price. Do an in-depth cost analysis that accurately factors in expenses like inventory carrying, storage, wastage, training, old bean write-offs, etc. Understanding your true overhead helps determine optimal order sizes.

Selecting and Storing Coffee Beans

Opt for coffee beans that come in superior packaging, which plays a pivotal role in preserving their quality and freshness. After purchase, store them in a controlled climate with the right light and humidity. Enhance their longevity by choosing suppliers who offer advanced packaging solutions, like vacuum sealing or nitrogen-infused packaging.

Consider Order Frequency

Place bulk orders less frequently by buying larger volumes, but not necessarily 6-12 months worth of supply in one go. Strike a balance between taking advantage of bulk discounts while not over-committing working capital or risking waste with very aged products. Analyse historical sales data to determine the ideal order frequency and size combinations for your business.

Implement a FIFO System

Sell older stock first using first-in-first-out (FIFO) principles to reduce the chances of expired beans. Rotating varieties keeps customers interested while ensuring turnover of inventory. Track batch ages closely, and remove old beans from displays promptly.

Can Bulk Coffee Buying Save You Money?

So when all costs and factors are considered, is buying coffee in bulk actually more cost effective for your business? Moderate bulk coffee purchases can generate excellent value, but the key is to never buy more than you can potentially sell while adequately fresh.

Carefully evaluate your specific operational needs, sales levels, and capabilities first. This helps determine the ideal wholesale bean order sizes and frequencies to lower total coffee costs in the long term.

Buy Wholesale Coffee UK from Rave

Here at Rave Coffee, we offer exceptional specialty coffee beans at hugely competitive prices. Our beans are roasted in small batches daily for absolute freshness and dispatched promptly for fast UK delivery.

Our team happily advises on cost effective bulk and wholesale coffee buying tailored to your business needs. Contact us today to discuss how we can deliver great wholesale coffee UK value to you!