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Unlimited coffee – the future of coffee retail?

Unlimited coffee – the future of coffee retail?

Cinemas have been doing it for ages and now a New York coffee chain has got in on the act, offering unlimited coffee for a set price. Fair Folk & a Goat shops, which have outlets in New York’s trendy Greenwich Village and East Village neighbourhoods, is offering unlimited coffee for $25 a month.

Added: 13th November 2015

The deal includes espressos and lattes as well as straightforward coffees and also lets you enjoy unlimited tea and lemonade.

Many of us with serious coffee habits, who think nothing of grabbing a cup on the way to work, dropping in at lunchtime and swinging by for a boost in the evening, would spend far more than that in a month and would jump at the chance of membership to get unlimited coffee for $25. Members also earn discounts of 10% on retail items and entrance to performances, tastings, classes and fashion events. A portion of the membership fee is donated to charity. Non-members can still buy drinks at the coffee shop but the generous unlimited coffee offer is already drawing in over 1,000 members every month.

Fair Folk & a Goat does not only sell coffee but mixes design, fashion and art in their stores, which stock a range of apparel, accessories, jewellery and gifts. The unusual name is a reference to the mythical satyr, Pan, and the company likes to host goat-themed events, which have included a Chinese Year of the Goat party. Their chosen charity is Heifer International, which distributes goats and other farm animals around the world to eradicate poverty and hunger.

Fair Folks & A Goat see themselves as a community and a home away from home as much as a company, making the membership system work well for them. It remains to be seen if the success of their unlimited coffee model may possibly inspire bigger chains to try offering similar deals. It would certainly have the effect of making customers loyal to one brand; why go to another coffee shop when you have unlimited free drinks in just one? In the meantime, any coffee addicts residing in New York City are well advised to sign up and enjoy Fair Folk & a Goat’s bottomless beverages.

The on-line world has also got in on the act, with a new iPhone app that offers unlimited coffee and tea for a monthly fee in independent coffee houses around the Nashville area. For $70, customers can enjoy one drink every half an hour for the entire month at any of 10 participating coffee shops. The shops are reimbursed by the app company, who gather valuable sales data in return. A similar scheme, called Cups, is operating in New York City, offering unlimited drinks at 150 participating cafes for $90 a month.

We can’t offer you unlimited coffee at Liquidline, but we can offer you the exquisite Café Bonté range of coffee and espresso beans.

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