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In search of the 21st Century brewer.

The acceptance of a new technology for the food service preparation of coffee by chefs and foodservice managers will put pressure on coffee distributors to offer and place the technology.

Assuming that the equipment is everything we could hope for in a brewer, the sales and placement effort should be centered upon the end user, the foodservice industry, and aimed over the chef's shoulder to target the coffee distributor. Through judicious placement of equipment on a no-fee basis in high profile restaurants, hotels, culinary schools, etc, placement of articles in trade journals, advertising in trade media, and presence at trade shows, the market for the new technology brewer can be successfully targeted. The paying customer - the coffee distributor - will be into the technology before he has reacted negatively because a broad base of the market demands the technology.

The distributor's own sales staff will aid the brewer manufacturer by putting pressure on their employer to offer the newest technology to help defend existing accounts and win new ones. The salesperson is ever mindful of the mega-distributor's hoards breathing over his shoulder. The coffee distributor indefinitely ignores his salespeople at his peril.

The new technology manufacturer must develop working models for demonstration purposes. A "Foamcore" non-working prototype will due for starters. A video-tape presentation should be prepared for distribution as soon as practicable after a working model is able to be demonstrated. The tape should not exceed 5-8 minutes running time. Product kits and print trade-media ads should be prepared, and product roll-out should be planned for the National Restaurant Show, or the Hotel & Motel Show.

A survey of key national and regional food-service operators need be prepared. Such data as sales, number and location of installations, and key personnel should be included in this listing. Chain stores, industrial feeders, caterers, and independent operators should also be included. This will prove a useful tool. In addition from this compilation, a target placement list can be developed later.

An estimation of the capitalization for the enterprise would be 2-3 million dollars (excluding real estate). The monetary requirements to bring the new technology brewer to market are therefore substantial in a small way. That is to say it can probably be done with a nest egg of 1 million dollars in the first year. Approximately 25% of this will be required to bring the unit through the remainder of the research and development stage to working model. Another 25% will be needed to market the item, and the remainder will be required to make the first saleable units.

It is reasonable to expect that it will take three years for the new technology to make a toe-hold in the industry. Year two and three will also be loss years, and sufficient capital must be available to see the venture through year three. Thereafter, the failure to earn a profit should signal the need for a reevaluation as to whether continuing the venture would be fruitftul.

The new technology venture is speculative. The dollar amount required to bring the product to market is too small for traditional venture capital banking. Logical partners include existing coffee equipment manufacturers, major coffee distributors, national foodservice operators, and individual coffee entrepreneurs. A sophisticated written financial prospectus needs to be created for the purpose of entertaining angels to become involved in the project. A demonstrably successful new technology can be developed as a capital source through licensing agreements with manufacturers of brewing equipment on an on-going fee basis.

The basic equipment developments that had shaped the coffee beverage service of the early 20th century included Harvey Ricker's pot employing a cotton sack with reinforced bottom in 1881 (the forerunner of the urn bag). Cauchois Private Estate coffee maker, the first to employ paper filters (1905), and the Tricolator, also using paper filters, in 1908. The "battery" urn; that complicated arrangement of round boilers, plumbing pipes, and valves, was the brewer described in the Astor Hotel kitchen. Developed by the Duparquet Company, and others, this was the standard unit in diners and dining rooms throughout the land through the 1940's, when the "combination" (all in one square jacket) urn came into vogue.

After World War II, the Cory Model C-500 pressurized automatic brewing system (patented in 1951) marked the beginning of the post war technology that reached its apex in the early 1960's with the introduction of the Cecilware Model FE-100 urn and the Bunn-O-Matic Model RT-35 bottle brewer, and similar equipment of that time under the name plates of American Metalware, Blickman, Continental, Curtis, Topper, and many more.

We have examined the foodservice brewing practices of the century past. and explored the possibilities for the future. We have not answered all the questions that we have posed, but we have defined the terrain that must be crossed by those who venture into the field. For an exploration of the new world order of automated espresso equipment (and some of this stuff is unbelievable) see Tea & Coffee Trade journal, Nov. 1992.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:part 3; includes list and information of equipment makers; coffee brewing equipment marketing
Author:Schoenholt, Donald N.
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Words:831
Previous Article:The espresso market - past, present, and future.
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