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CUPS is a mobile app that was launched in New York City in April, 2014. It acts as a mobile payment and discovery platform for independent coffee shops. The app is currently active in more than 400 cafes in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Nashville, the Twin Cities, and other US cities. Customers can use the app to find independent coffee shops in their area and save 15% on beverages purchased through the CUPS payment platform.
How it worksEdit
The CUPS app gives the user a list of the nearest participating coffee shops to their current location. The customer then orders a drink as usual, then selects their choice on a screen in the app and gives the cashier their phone rather than cash or a credit card. The cashier enters a code that enters the purchase into the app's system, ensuring that the coffee shop receives payment for the beverage. The app also allows for onboard tipping and food purchases.
The CUPS app is available for the iPhone and Android operating systems. Users download the app from the App Store or Google Play, then sign in using their Facebook or Google+ credentials, or their email (no password required).
In addition to allowing users to discover independent coffee shops, CUPS provides a discount of 15% on coffee and tea beverages.
Benefits for coffee shopsEdit
From the coffee shop owner's perspective, joining CUPS attracts new customers who may not have found the shop otherwise. It is a marketing platform that is simple to set up and doesn't involve any costs aside from a discount on each cup of coffee sold through the app.
In early 2016, the CUPS Cafe Network was launched, using bulk purchasing power to land discounts with service providers which would normally be reserved for larger chains. In this way, the company aims to help their cafe partners compete with the larger coffee chains without sacrificing their independent spirit.
CUPS was founded in Israel in 2012. The company ran a limited beta pilot in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem featuring 80 locations from September 2012 until September 2014. In October 2013, the founders relocated to New York. CUPS participated in the Entrepreneur's Roundtable Accelerator program and went live in New York on April 11, 2014.
In early 2016, the company began expansion around the US, launching in 30 locations in Philadelphia in February, followed by 40 more locations in San Francisco in March. As of June 2016, CUPS has opened their doors, and will consider coffee shops in any US city that are interested in working with them.
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- "CUPS app keeps the coffee flowing with Bay Area expansion". SiliconBeat. 2016-03-30. Retrieved 2016-05-31.
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