"Suspended Coffee". Do you offer it? Would you offer it? Why or why not?

I didn't see anything on this so I'm sorry if I missed it

By now, many of you have seen the articles about "suspended coffees". I keep getting approached by industry people and customers asking me to offer it and for my advice on how to promote it. I personally like the concept but don't offer it. I prefer the Pay it Forward method since it's slightly different.

I'm curious to know what you think and/or do about it. it seems like it could be a really good thing if done well. Otherwise, I could also see it getting out of hand.

Do you offer suspended coffees? Why or Why not? If so, how have you made it successful?

Cheers!

Jennifer

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No. Never heard of it.

(reading. reading. reading...)

No. Would not consider it.

I've seen some less than brilliant ideas. This is one of the most less than brilliant ideas to come along, and for some key reasons.

First, if your coffee shop has a habit of attracting people who can't afford the coffee, that's some really bad marketing going on. Second, as has been mentioned in quite a number of articles questioning the benefits of this practice - those who can't afford coffee probably don't have a computer or do things like Facebook and will be completely unaware of this concept. Third, it's the lazy person's way for wanting to "feel good" without ever donating any actual time or thing of value. Work in a soup kitchen, donate canned foods, donate clothing and blankets to goodwill or a shelter, or maybe donate supplies to habitat for humanity. Offering a non-nutritious beverage to someone who may come in down the road is honestly such a moronic idea that it's hard to put into words. And for what? It certainly doesn't help the business. It definitely does not help poor people. At best it will end up bringing in a whole host of college age Delta Bravos who just want free stuff. And finally, asking a busy coffee shop to keep track of that is beyond reality. Obviously it's an idea cooked up by someone who has never run a business and gives no thought on how it negatively would impact the business without actually doing anything of lasting value. 

Nonsensical idea. Like I said, if you want to truly help people, there are charities, and activities for that. Have a weekend where you donate all proceeds to your favorite local charity. Or donate to or collect donations for CoffeeKids! (much more relevant to our industry) Something like that would do far, far more good than the ridiculous idea of "suspended coffee". Don't let people con you into believing they actually care when all they care about is how they look to their friends or how it makes them "feel". 

John pin pointed it !

I could not agree more.

I agree. These are the same reasons I've not bothered encouraging it to anyone nor doing it myself. 

Any ideas as to what to tell people who continue to approach me about it? 

"**** off." Politely of course. :)

It depends how much time that conversation is worth, but if they think it's such a great idea then they can start their own coffee shop and run it how they wish. I doubt they believe in it that much. 

They are mainly people who like coffee and the fantasy of the concept more than industry folks. If I say anything negative, they make me the bad person.

John P said:

"**** off." Politely of course. :)

It depends how much time that conversation is worth, but if they think it's such a great idea then they can start their own coffee shop and run it how they wish. I doubt they believe in it that much. 

Have a thicker skin.

It's ok if people "hate" you or think you are bad. This is a good way to weed out people who really don't support what you do. The opinions of people, who aren't supportive customers, are meaningless. Good customers support your business philosophy, just because they buy drinks does not make them good customers. I wouldn't give it any time or effort, you have better things to do.

I suppose that you can always give the generic "Yea, that's an interesting idea, but it's not something that's going to work for us." 

Yes, I'm working on that.

Thanks, I'll use that statement.


John P said:

Have a thicker skin.

It's ok if people "hate" you or think you are bad. This is a good way to weed out people who really don't support what you do. The opinions of people, who aren't supportive customers, are meaningless. Good customers support your business philosophy, just because they buy drinks does not make them good customers. I wouldn't give it any time or effort, you have better things to do.

I suppose that you can always give the generic "Yea, that's an interesting idea, but it's not something that's going to work for us." 

We have a small bowl by the tip jar. I call it the "instant karma" bowl. Folks put change or sometime a 20$ in the bowl to cover the next persons coffee. It is a fun way to follow the same principle without as much complication.

Oh I like that. Separate from tips, I assume.

Jason Campbell said:

We have a small bowl by the tip jar. I call it the "instant karma" bowl. Folks put change or sometime a 20$ in the bowl to cover the next persons coffee. It is a fun way to follow the same principle without as much complication.

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