Move over Hooch, the newest drinking club apps help New Yorkers get a buzz with coffee, not booze.
A few entrepreneurs found ways to cash in on the explosive coffee-market growth without having to clean any filters. Similar to drinks apps such as FirstCall and Hooch which provide things like a free alcoholic beverage a day, or discounts with memberships (and now, buy-one-get-one with the FullGlass), the coffee apps provide in-app purchasing and discounting, package deals, free coffee, delivery, and frequent caffeinator points.
CUPS came to New York in 2014. Founding partner Gilad Rotem said they piloted in Tel Aviv but had their sights set on the Big Apple with its 8 million people and above-average coffee consumption.
“The pilot was good on a profit level,” Rotem said. “A little after launching in New York we saw how quickly it was growing and big it was going to be.”
When the startup landed in NYC they had about 30 participating coffeehouses sprinkled around downtown Manhattan and Williamsburg. They’ve grown to include 230-plus partnering cafes — approximately a 30-percent share of the independently owned coffee-serving establishments in New York City.
“We call ourselves the second biggest coffee company in the city,” Rotem joked to Metro. Starbucks is the biggest, with 270 locations in the city. And CUPS expects to have 300 participating coffee-houses by early 2017.
In the past two years CUPS has also launched in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Nashville.
So, if you are a multiple-cup a day coffee lover, CUPS might be for you. Cups works in two ways: You can download the app and present it at its partner cafes for 15 percent off your purchase. Or, you can do one of their many pre-paid plans, with which you can buy a package of 5 ($11), 15 ($30), or unlimited cups of coffee ($90) for set prices that bring your average cup down to $2.
- Pay as you go and get 15 percent off any cafe beverage or food item with the app.
- Packages for as low as $11 a month for coffee at any of more than 230 participating privately-owned cafes in New York City.
Jolt Coffee App is the most like Hooch. It provides the glory of offering coffee completely for free at a café of the day on Wednesdays. But you can use it every day to pay for your cup: for a swifter transaction, enter your card information into the app and then pay directly from your phone, so you don’t have to pull out your wallet while you greedily grab your cup from the barista’s hands. What’s more, earn points with every purchase to a free coffee of your choice at any of its participating coffee houses in the city.
Later this fall, Jolt will roll out its unlimited coffee plan, with which you can commit a certain dollar amount and drink an unlimited amount from participating coffees.
Jolt’s founding partner Aubrey Hodges tells Metro that the free app was intended to help support independently owned coffee shops. “We want to help people drink better coffee. It would bring a better quality of life, so we wanted to provide a tool that allows people to make it easier, faster and cheaper to drink good coffee.”
- Preload your card and pay with your app.
- Drink a free cup every Wednesday at the participating café of the day.
- Every seventh cup is on the house.
- Coming in October: Unlimited coffee with pre-paid subscription
Moffee is a brand-new app that offers good old-fashioned convenience. The app menu allows you to order any coffee, specialty café drink or smoothie your heart desires and have it delivered right to your office, classroom or dorm room still piping hot (or icy cold). The delivery is entirely free, and by paying ahead and saving your card info in the app you can order even when you are low on cash.
Unlike the other startups, Moffee founder Daniel Botero actually does have a retail location, but it’s not street-facing. Custom coffee beverages are made on premises and then delivered to any location. Kind of like Uber for lattes, a driver comes to your location pinpointed on a map.
Botero is busy growing his business, and brewing coffee. Since launching a few months ago, Moffee has expanded their delivery territory to Pace University kids (who often order to their classrooms and dorms) as well as around the financial district for those who can’t stand burnt brew.
- Free delivery of gourmet café beverages and smoothies at the right temperature.
- Select your coffee order from their in-app menu.
- Keep your payment saved and pay without cash.
- Your driver will come to your location on the map.