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How the BIGGBY® COFFEE Franchise Leverages R&D and Franchisee Input To Create Seasonal Offerings

From in-house coffee specialists to franchisee feedback, the coffee brand’s ever-evolving menu is truly a team effort.

By Cassidy McAloonSenior Writer
SPONSOREDUpdated 8:08AM 11/01/21

The BIGGBY® COFFEE franchise, with over 260-plus operating locations, takes its coffee seriously. And what’s on its menu is the culmination of months of research and testing — examining industry trends, customer preferences and franchisee feedback — to find the next hot trends and classic brews. 

According to BIGGBY® COFFEE Innovation Specialist Andrea Kirk, who turns all of that R&D and feedback into the products on the menu, it’s often a balancing act to find something that will appeal to coffee enthusiasts of all types, from trendsetters to traditionalists. 

“We have five coffee seasons throughout the year, and every season we try to feature a product that is new and fresh with upcoming flavors,” she said. “I dig into in-house ingredients, and I work with Amy [Soltis, BIGGBY® COFFEE Insights & Profitability Analyst] to determine what flavors to target over the seasons and identify what demographic we want to hit with something new. But we always try to pair something new and exciting with a product that’s comforting and familiar.”

Currently finalizing coffee season No. 1 for 2022, Kirk and Soltis recently wrapped season No. 4, which begins in September. “You’ll see a lot of fall flavors on the menu,” Kirk said. “Of course, pumpkin spice will be one, and we’ll have a caramel apple flavor as well. But we also have some new fall flavors we’re excited to introduce to our customers.”

Using an approach called BLAST — brainstorming ideas, leveraging those ideas, coming together as a team to decide if it should be a permanent menu item or just a limited time offer and then testing —  the BIGGBY® COFFEE brand works with its franchisees, who taste the products and provide feedback. 

A reflection of the brand’s commitment to making decisions as a team, BIGGBY® COFFEE franchise system also holds a weekly town hall meeting with its franchise partners, and it’s become a key component of its testing process.

“This is an avenue where franchisees can provide feedback and comments,” Soltis said. “We send out a survey with the coffee season lineup, and we ask about every product. They tend to not be shy with their thoughts and feelings, which is great.”

From its Orange Dream Creme Freeze to its Dragon Berry Red Bull Mocktail, the BIGGBY® COFFEE franchise looks for trends but never forgets the power of nostalgia. 

“Red Bull is a partner, and so we were given an exclusive on that product for the summer edition,” Soltis said. “It’s delicious, beautiful and Dragon Fruit is really hot in the market right now. With Orange Dream, we did that purely for nostalgia. All of the people who were testing it thought of ice cream trucks from the ’90s.”

Tying in nicely with the coffee brand’s commitment to helping franchisees, employees and customers build better, happier, more joyful lives, the coffee brand’s ever-evolving menu is a group effort that gives everyone a voice, including its customers.

“It’s really exciting when a product rolls out and we see it on the trends charts,” Soltis said. “It’s a really great ‘yes!’ moment for everyone.”

The investment range for a BIGGBY® COFFEE franchise is $202,450 to $418,700. To learn more about franchising with BIGGBY® COFFEE, visit