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How to survive the tea bubble

Julianne Leybag
18 January 2018 3 minute readShare

The bubble tea business is one of the most lucrative areas in the food and beverage industry, proven by the sheer quantity of bubble tea stores opening up shop. My Business discusses how business owners can make their business stands out and survive the tea bubble.

The bubble tea craze hit the global market in the early 2000s, with several bubble tea ventures setting up shop from Asia to North America. Considering how profitable the food and drink industry is, the appeal of the bubble tea franchise does not come as a surprise.

Fast forward to 2018: the bubble tea industry has become wildly popular with new businesses popping up here and there hoping to burst the bubble of other franchises. Despite a highly competitive market, how will business owners ensure that their business maintains an advantage over other competitors?

The following points must be considered when it comes to surviving the bubble tea industry:

  • Consider the shop location and store design
  • Focus on product development and innovation
  • Invest in machines and equipment
  • Ensure proper staff training
  • Map out marketing plan

Consider the shop location and store design

Business owners must always consider their shop’s potential location and its general aesthetic first: these factors can determine if the business will become a hit among customers or not.

If the store’s location is in the middle of a high-density area, customers will most likely flock the place. However, a high-density location can increase the risks of the business facing heightened competition from other businesses that has an already dedicated customer base.

On the other hand, business owners who choose to set up their bubble tea franchise in a low-density area will have to risk having little or no customer base. Although, this gives them the the advantage of having lower competition and the opportunity to establish themselves as pioneers as compared to businesses in high-density areas.

Another important factor that business owners should consider is the store design. Business owners can choose to go for the usual storefront design, or go for non-traditional ones such as kiosks, food carts or food trucks.

Focus on product development and innovation

Although a lot of bubble tea shops and franchises are present in the market, bubble tea is a very versatile product. Business owners can easily experiment with product flavours and additional ingredients.

Business owners can also choose to incorporate various kinds of bubble tea, from milk-based bubble teas to fruit and yogurt teas. Aside from the bubble tea itself, business owners can also develop other food offerings that matches their product, such as main dishes and pastries.

When it comes to developing their menu, focus on innovating and making your products and services stand out: unique food and drink offerings always attract customers., These will allow the business to gain a loyal customer base, over time.

Invest in machines and equipment

Business owners who want to make a dent in the bubble tea industry are encouraged to invest in high-quality equipment to become cost-effective.

A bubble tea sealing machine is usually one of the first equipment procured by bubble tea shops. It is very rare for bubble tea shops to not have a sealing machine as sealing keeps the drink from spilling and prevents contamination. It also can be a way to promote the business, providing unique packaging while keeping the finished product professional-looking.

Other necessary equipment business owners should purchase include shakers, mixers, sugar dispensers and containers for the tea, the flavourings and the add-on ingredients such as tapioca pearls. Moreover, it is also important to invest in other equipment such as a cash register and security cameras for the store.

Ensure proper staff training

Running any kind of business in the food and beverage industry tends to be trickier compared to other business types since the quality of the food and/or drinks will either make or break the business. This is why it is important for business owners to provide proper training and workshops for their employees before setting up their business.

Business owners must make sure that their employees can easily be trained and are capable of learning various food and drink recipes. Business owners are also encouraged to be hands-on when it comes to staff training to ensure that the bubble tea shop’s offerings maintain its quality.

Map out marketing plan

Surviving the tea bubble’ means that business owners must always stay at the top of their game. One of the best ways to achieve this is to invest in a marketing strategy that will highlight the products and services of the bubble tea business while simultaneously bringing the business closer to its intended customer base.

Regardless of whether the business offers good food and drinks or if it is located in a high-density area, the business will not be able to reach its target growth if there is no good marketing strategy in place.

Business owners can create a social media page for their bubble tea business, thru a Facebook or Instagram account. These platforms can be used to advertise promos, freebies, events and other announcements.

Creating and maintaining an online presence is vital if businesses want to reach out to a wider range of customers and therefore achieve business growth.

How to survive the tea bubble
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Julianne Leybag

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