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Thread: Coffee business idea- seeking advice

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Coffee business idea- seeking advice

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    Hey everyone,

    I've had an idea about a possible coffee related business idea and I am looking for some opinions.

    My idea is selling capsule coffee in universities for $1 in an appealing ATM design. I would want the business to be environmentally sustainable and therefore would offer keep cups, recyclable cups and compostable coffee capsules. My questions to you would be:

    1. Would you pay $1 for capsule coffee? Do you think its better quality than 7-eleven?
    2. Do you use keep cups?
    3. Would you pay 50 cents for a paper cup if the coffee was only $1?
    4. Any other feedback on this idea you may have.

    Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arcade's Avatar
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    1. No
    2. No
    3. Yes
    4. I think it's a good idea and people are more and more environmentally responsible. It will all come down to quality/flavour imo. Many people will try it once for convenience, you need them to return indefinitely. Your brand and packaging/livery etc will be important, but taste is key. I only answered no to some here as I don't drink any convenience coffee. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. You are probably talking to the wrong market here (i.e. the name of the site is a bit of a give away). Are you planning to serve milk-based coffee (which is most of the market)? If so, are you using fresh milk in the 'ATM like' machines, or are we talking about Japanese airport style dispensing machines? Most Unis have reasonable coffee options nearby, so you might be best biting the bullet and aiming for the part of the market that is simply looking for caffeine in liquid form. Ultimately you might need to set up a trial site and see how it works...do you have to buy machine? Or can you lease it? On what terms (particularly option to get out)?

  4. #4
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    1. Would you pay $1 for capsule coffee? Do you think its better quality than 7-eleven?
    I've tried a few capsule coffees, for free, and I haven't found any that I've liked.

    2. Do you use keep cups?
    No.

    3. Would you pay 50 cents for a paper cup if the coffee was only $1?
    If the coffee was good, I might. That's an important "if". Can you really give a good coffee so cheaply? Be honest.

    4. Any other feedback on this idea you may have.
    Make a business plan. Would you need to pay a fee to the universities? I'm sure you can't just set up a coffee ATM thing on a campus without talking to the university first.

  5. #5
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    1. No and I haven't tried 7-11 coffee
    2. No, retired so have have no need for a keep cup.
    3. I would even consider $1 to help reduce unrecyclable rubbish.
    4. If you are targetting uni students you will no doubt be surveying them.
    Assuming the cost of a coffee capsule is $0.40+ will the remaining 50c be enough to pay costs like additives, staff, equipment, rent, maintenance as well as turn a profit?
    Australian coffee drinkers are more discerning so the coffee will need to be of very good to excellent quality and users may want non-dairy milk.
    There are probably coffee vending machines and cafes already on campuses so you will be competing with them.
    To add to the 'save the environment' concept that a keepcup provides, you might investigate using refillable capsules but this will add more overhead costs, offset by potential savings in pod costs.

  6. #6
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    1. Would you pay $1 for capsule coffee? Do you think its better quality than 7-eleven?
    Yes i would. 7-11 can be okay or terrible. Depends on usage and if keep them clean/maintained. ie higher usage and cleaned means better result.
    2. Do you use keep cups?
    yes
    3. Would you pay 50 cents for a paper cup if the coffee was only $1?
    Yes i would, still cheap.
    4. Any other feedback on this idea you may have consider option for extra shot (extra capsule needed) for say $0.50 as i find capsules and super autos don't have a big enough dose size for what i'd expect to produce strong enough drink. It may just be the machines i've used / spoken to company using them but seems Super autos and capsule machines only dose at 7/12gm for single/double

    Good luck with the venture.

  7. #7
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    1. Had a capsule machine for several years and they put out okay coffee compared to a vending machine and servo style coffee. Better than even some lower end cafe's (but probably about on par).
    2. Yes - use mine on a daily basis with my own machine to transport coffee but have never taken it to store
    3. I probably would pay 50c extra but I more than likely wouldn't buy $1 coffee. I only buy coffee very rarely these days as my own is superior (in my opinion) to every cafe I have ever had coffee at, but I have enjoyed many coffee's that aren't quite as good as my own. I would question if a $1 coffee would taste any good and therefore I wouldn't likely enjoy it. I would probably skip the coffee and buy a carton milk iced coffee or a soft drink - I think it's about expectations from purchases.
    4. Barry nailed it, you are asking the wrong people. There is probably a market for this sort of thing, particularly at uni's/bus/rail stations and I would consider one if in a pinch and needed some caffiene to get me through an overnight ride or something like that.

  8. #8
    Coffee Nut fg1972's Avatar
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    1. Yes only if there was nothing else around. But I would rather get one from 7 Eleven (prefer real coffee beans and real milk as opposed to capsule coffee and possibly unknown milk)
    2. No
    3. Yes only if I had no other option but again, would rather get one from 7 Eleven for the above reason and also not pay extra for the cup.
    4. Most of us in this forum are maybe just a little fussy when it comes to coffee so the opinions may be somewhat biased.

  9. #9
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    1. No not ever
    2. No. I use a Sol glass
    3. Depends on the coffeesnobbery rating
    4. Is it just another convenience vending machine?, I have no idea how current coffee vending machines perform financially, but I know the snack type vending machines can be very profitable.

  10. #10
    Coffee Nut fg1972's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Sara.
    Youíve asked the question, many have responded. Iím guessing youíve had some time to take in the information by now. Donít know about the others but Iím kind of keen to see a follow up post from you, be it positive, negative, thanks, whatever but even acknowledgment would be good forum etiquette.
    Cheers

  11. #11
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    My major concern from a business owner perspective would be the maintenance/cleaning of the dispenser with respect to hygiene. Milk needs to be kept at low temps, how fast is it being turned over (use by date), pumps, hoses, nozzles need to be cleaned/flushed daily. Not something I would expect "Auto" function to be proficient at.

    Even the service station auto dispensers would be suspect in relation to proper cleaning/servicing, and they have staff on hand 24/7.



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