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Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii offers blueprint for building sales, loyalty through merchandise

CEO Scott Snyder shares how the brand’s merch and retail operation has grown to 10-15% of sales.


By now, most restaurant leaders are well versed in the concept of omnichannel business. Brands have diversified their service across channels such as delivery, drive thru and carryout to build new revenue streams and capture new customers.  

Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii is out to prove that omnichannel success can extend beyond those standard service channels. The 32-unit brand, founded in 1989, has built a successful retail and e-commerce business with its coffee beans, but also has an ace up its sleeve with its highly successful line of merchandise. CEO Scott Snyder, who was part of a group that acquired Bad Ass Coffee in 2019, said the chain’s merch sales are 10-15% of sales — and sometimes higher in its more touristy locations.

Snyder joined the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches to talk about how shirts, hats and mugs adorned with the concept’s winking donkey logo have become as critical to the Bad Ass Coffee experience as its products and its store design.

In this conversation, you’ll learn more about why:

  • The experience your restaurant provides should be authentic to your brand
  • There is value in your brand’s “ownable truths”
  • You should have a consistent interpretation of your brand
  • Merchandise is an underrated way to drive sales without increasing labor
  • Merch can help you link experiences to the brand
  • An e-commerce strategy can help drive customers to stores from day one

Contact Sam Oches at [email protected].

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