Thursday, February 22, 2018 | Today's Vending Industry News
Vended Barista-Quality Coffee: Really? Yes, Really!

by Paul Schlossberg
Posted On: 2/8/2018

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If you are in this industry, if you live anywhere close to Austin, TX, you can see for yourself whether or not a vending machine can deliver barista quality coffee. Earlier this week, my plans came together to see and experience the Briggo Coffee Haus.

About three weeks ago the first public Briggo Coffee Haus was placed across from the University of Texas campus at Moojo. They're known for their ice cream sandwiches and are listed on Eater Austin as one of Austin's Essential Ice Cream Shops.

The Briggo website describes the company this way: "We are a specialty coffee brand which empowers people to create their perfect cups of coffee. Because we believe perfect is personal."

Perfect. Personal. Those are the key words. Younger people, especially millennials, have very high expectations. Among their more important things they want (maybe it should be "demand") are:

1. Customization: The ability to have their food and beverages made to the exact "recipe" they prefer. As you will see, the Briggo Coffee Haus delivers on customization.

2. Technology: Those same younger shoppers want to use technology in almost every phase of their lives. That includes ordering their meals, snacks and beverages. Again, Briggo delivers on that with an intuitive and comprehensive ordering process. You can "shop" at the machine or download the app. The app is very important because most shoppers would rather use their own devices.

3. A good shopping experience: That can be defined as "getting something that is good tasting, as it was ordered, in a reasonable time and at a fair value." Yet again, for me, the Briggo Coffee Haus made me a satisfied shopper.

We walked up to Moojo at 2322 Guadalupe Street. My companion that day was a friend with extensive experience as a senior executive running leading companies in our industry and at a number of major restaurant chains. We were both impressed with what we saw that afternoon.

As you enter the Moojo store, the machine is on the left. When you approach the Briggo Coffee Haus, you quickly notice that it is big – probably over 8' tall and covering about 40 sq.ft. There are two interface screens. A card payment slot is located beneath the left-side screen. It was good to see that there were no bill or coin payment slots. Here is a vending machine for the 21st century.

We engaged in conversation with one of Moojo staff. She was very enthusiastic about it, and encouraged us to download the Briggo app and get our first beverage for free. At that point, my thinking was to order and interact using the interface on screen. Even as a first-time user, it was quick, easy and highly intuitive. My favorite specialty coffee is a latte – hot with vanilla syrup and skim milk. This was a simple and fast order process. We'll take you through that process soon.

She told us that Moojo decided to open earlier, at 7:00AM, to accommodate demand for morning coffee. On the Moojo website, they mention that they offer breakfast pastries, an obvious add-on sale opportunity to satisfy early morning patrons looking for something to enjoy with their coffee. Imagine that! A vending machine has created incremental sales for a retail/foodservice shop.

If you've ever ordered from a barista at coffee shop, you're ready to interact with the Briggo Coffee Haus. Let's create an order:

1. Select the beverage of your choice: There were 13 hot and cold beverage options: coffee; specialty coffees; hot chocolate; chai; steamed milk; served hot or cold. Each product shows the approximate wait time for the order to be prepared and ready for you. My selection: latte.

2. Next customize the order. My choices were: 12-ounce size; skim milk; two shots of espresso; vanilla syrup; no sweeteners; temperature – hot.

3. My order was $3.34. Another beverage could be added if desired. A credit card was inserted and payment was collected. There was a code issued to me, to be entered later, to allow me to collect my drink from "behind" the delivery door. When there are a number a people waiting, there is a list of names (or screen names). Highlight your name, enter your code, the machine picks up your order, the door rotates open and your drink is delivered.

When you use the app, it's easy to pre-order as you are getting close to the store. You can save your favorite "recipe" to speed up the process for future orders. Within a few minutes, your order will be available on the Ready screen.

Promotional offers are simple and obvious. To stimulate trial your first drink is free when you download and use the app. Then, to build repeat business, every 11th beverage is free. Since you're registered through the app, it is for Briggo to know when your eligible for your next free purchase.

The Briggo Coffee Haus can serve more than 100 beverages each hour. How many experienced baristas would you need to meet that level of demand? Here is a robotic barista who can offer specialty coffee on a 24/7/365 basis.

You might wonder why the Briggo Coffee Haus is so large. The machine is a fully-stocked barista station capable of making 100 cups an hour. Everything you see on the counter for a barista (to do the magic) is in the machine. There is no one there to go back to the stock room to get more milk, or sugar, etc. Think about how many cups it has hold. Go to the Briggo website or YouTube for videos to see what is going on behind the front panel.

By the way, let me tell you about my latte. It was very good. I would definitely go back. Besides the coffee, it would be great to sample a Moojo ice cream sandwich.

My only critique is a simple one. The machine’s exterior design is not as good as the coffee or the shopping experience or the value (which was a reasonably good deal).

So – as at the top of this report – “If you are in this industry, if you live anywhere close to Austin, Texas, you can see for yourself whether or not a vending machine can deliver barista quality coffee.” Unless you’re planning to take a nap today, get out of your office and get to Austin to experience the Briggo Coffee Haus.

 
 
BRIGGO COFFEE HAUS

INTERACTIVE: Briggo patrons are greeted by a colorful touchscreen display and invited to activate the system. They also may choose to order in advance, using a smartphone app, paying by registering a credit card. They can pay at the machine with a credit card. Briggo does not accept cash.

About The Author


PAUL SCHLOSSBERG is president of D/FW Consulting, working with clients to merchandise and market products in impulse-intense selling environments, such as vending, onsite foodservice and convenience stores. Based in the Austin, TX area, he can be reached by email at Paul@DFWConsulting.net, tel. 972-877- 2972, or visit www.DFWConsulting.net.