New York caffeine junkies, look alive: A new app called CUPS allows subscribers to pay $45 per month for unlimited coffee from almost 40 independent coffee shops around the city.
Designed by a small team from Israel, the app is intended as an alternative to the smartphone loyalty cards offered by the likes of Starbucks. “It’s a similar service,” says Gilad Rotem, a co-founder of the startup, which is also called CUPS. “We’re offering a mobile app, prepaid plan, but it’s for independent, higher-quality coffee.”
New Yorkers will pay $45 a month for brewed, drip, pour-over, or filtered coffee (or tea).
Latte drinkers will pay more: The unlimited espresso subscription costs $85 a month. Rotem says the prices are equivalent to about 22 cups, or roughly one java beverage per workday per month. On average, Americans consume 1.7 cups of coffee a day, according to Studylogic, which means a CUPS subscription may not be a bad deal. For coffee drinkers with a lower caffeine tolerance, CUPS also offers prepaid package deals for 5, 10, or 20 drinks per month.
The startup, which is hosting a free open beta this week, hopes to expand into at least 200 NYC coffee shops within the next months. “It’s not a number we pulled out of a hat,” says Rotem. “It happens to be [about] the number of Starbucks that are in Manhattan.” So far, participating coffee shops include the likes of Madman Espresso, The Bean, Pushcart Coffee, Bleecker Kitchen & Co., and Wild. All but a few are in Manhattan.
SOURCE: Caroline Winter
Bloomberg BusinessWeek via MSN Money