Drinkit: our vision for a digital-first coffee shop
07 October 2020
We at Dodo Brands have explained the concept of Drinkit many times. However, judging by the mass media reaction, not a lot of people have really understood it so far. This doesn’t upset us in the least, of course. A similar thing happened with Dodo Pizza. Initially, people couldn’t understand why a pizza shop would need to develop a proprietary digital platform but now this question is being asked less and less frequently.
Drinkit isn’t the first coffee shop with an app. Some experts don’t see anything new in this project. What’s our vision and why do we think that Drinkit can break new ground in the coffee sector?
1. Building a catering system around a mobile app. Seems like it’s more of the same, but the approach is radically different. The goal is to make the ordering UI so simple and convenient that ordering through your phone would be easier than at the counter.
2. Creating a new experience for our guests—ordering on the go, ordering favorites in “two clicks”, easy customization… It’s a full package—an app, a service built around digital ordering, a bar counter “interface,” and so on.
3. Achieving 99% of all orders being made through the mobile app. This will make our guests’ behavior easy to track. We’ll be able to see how many guests have come back and how many have left. That, in turn, will allow us to control the quality of our work (via order rates we will be receiving from our guests via the app), which means we’ll be able to scale the quality. We want to make good coffee and offer our customers a great service. Coffee is a very delicate product, and it is hard to scale. Technology will help us with that!
4. How do you make ordering via an app more convenient than ordering at the counter? Cool UI, quick reorders, and things that are easier to do via an app than offline—customization, for one.
5. How do you accustom guests to a mobile app? We will do club memberships—you pay a few dollars a month to get special prices and access to a secret club menu and other goodies in the app.
6. For now we’re opening coffee shops in office buildings and residential areas where the customer base is stable. When we open more coffee shops, we’ll venture into high foot traffic locations—by that point, a lot of people will already have our app on their phones.
7. The future: our coffee shops will be looked for not on the street but through the phone (I’ve got the app installed, I have a membership, and the coffee is good, too). This means we will be able to open our coffee shops in cheaper places, which will let us offer affordable prices to our guests for a great product and turn a profit at the same time. Win-Win-Win.
8. The app will allow us to use a personalized marketing strategy—tell you about our new features, inform you that you can buy coffee beans, etc.
9. The app doesn’t rule out communication and atmosphere, as many think. The opposite is true. The thought that technology “kills” communication is a strange prejudice. Technology doesn’t stand in the way of taste and atmosphere but helps create them. We are not going to open only small coffee shops to go, but also coffee shops with a kitchen and sitting areas. We’re even going to have waiters. But the ordering process will be different. You will only have to sit at a table, type its number in the app, make an order, and enjoy life. Unusual? But life is changing. What seems weird today might become familiar and commonplace tomorrow.
10. What kind of brand are we creating? We talk a lot about technologies, but technologies aren’t the core of what Drinkit means. Technologies only serve to make our coffee tastier and more predictable, and our guests’ experience easier and more convenient. Good coffee and tea are delicate and fragile products. We brew our coffee in espresso machines, by hand. We test our espresso every day. We brew different kinds of tea with different water temperatures. We pay great attention to the details—beans, the grind, etc.. The product is a personal passion of Anastasia Nikitina, the driving force behind this startup, and her team.
We need technology to scale a difficult and delicate product—tasty drinks and sincere service. You can brew a tasty cup, or you can brew a bland one. A lot depends on baristas and their actions. Through the mobile app, we want to see how our guests behave and immediately derive conclusions about the taste and quality of our products. Technology only serves to brew a tasty cup, made by hand, with care, and also for our guests’ convenience.
How do we see, feel, and think about Drinkit? It’s a smart sustainable house with solar panels in the middle of a forest, where technology doesn’t destroy nature and beauty but makes it better, easier, and fuller. Drinkit is a Tesla, silent and ecological, it’s an ultramodern car, but it exists in harmony with nature. Drinkit is a coffee shop where everyday technology helps make our guests happy with great coffee and tea that’s made with care.
More about our startups: Doner kebab and coffee. New Dodo businesses of 2020