Unlimited Coffee

Unlimited Coffee
Wikimedia Commons

One of the noticeable things about walking through Manhattan is the high percentage of people sipping from large cups of coffee in paper cups. While it’s true that most of them have a green label with a mermaid printed on the side, there are numerous smaller and independent coffee shops in the city. The Israeli app Cups is counting on those smaller shops to make its coffee subscription service pay off. With the app, customers can pay a monthly fee of $45 for all the regular coffee and tea they want. Then they can walk into any participating member, flash their Smartphone at them and get unlimited beverage. This is a good deal for most coffee enthusiasts, who depend on their regular shots of caffeine to keep them going in a city that never sleeps. For the picky coffee enthusiast, there’s the option of $85 for unlimited cappuccino or espresso drinks.

All You Can Drink in Tel Aviv

The creators of the Cups mobile app, who are all high school friends, tried out the beta version on Tel Aviv. If an all you can drink app will work in a city of Israelis, it will probably work anywhere. And it worked in Tel Aviv, so they took their show to the road and opened in Manhattan, where the local coffee shops include some 200 Starbucks. Heavy drinkers can save a lot of money with the prepaid plan, but there are other options as well for as little as $7.

Footing the Bill

The founders of the Cups app pay the bill to the coffee shops. Yes, they get sizeable discounts but, similar to the risk with life insurance policies, they’re counting on the fact that not everyone will drink their fair share. So who wins here? Seems like everyone does. The local coffee shop enjoys increased business from those customers who will buy a croissant with their coffee. Customers not only save money on their habit, but they get to try out different boutique coffee shops, and Cups wins from prepaid subscriptions.

Sounds like a win/win to me!