In five countries, the coffee bar brand of Swedish origin is launching a flat rate. For a monthly fee, guests receive a filter coffee or a cup of organic tea every hour. The subscription is concluded in the Espresso House app.
"The agile customer uses subscriptions when it comes to films, music or food," says Nikolas Niebuhr, Managing Director of Balzac Coffee and Espresso House Germany. "It is therefore only logical for us to make our speciality coffee even easier and cheaper to access as a flat rate. This makes us pioneers in Germany and Scandinavia".
For €14.90 euros, guests throughout Germany can order a filter coffee or one of the organic teas every hour for one month in the 21 Espresso House locations. Guests can do this by purchasing the flat rate for 30 days via the Espresso House App. They then receive a coupon that can be redeemed at the cash desk. After 60 minutes, a new coupon is automatically available. The flat rate is automatically renewed after 30 days, but can be cancelled monthly. Excluded from the promotion are the 16 Balzac units still belonging to the company.
Espresso House was founded in Sweden in 1996. The premium coffee shop brand is represented in the Nordic countries with 6,000 baristas and more than 460 coffee shops in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Since autumn 2018 Espresso House is also available in Germany with coffee shops in Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen and Göttingen. Espresso House is part of the JAB Holding Company. In the ranking of the Top 80 coffee bar brands 2019 in Europe Espresso House ranks seventh.
"Consumer behaviour and innovation have always gone hand in hand at Espresso House. As a result of the pandemic, we see that the'traditional Fika' behaviour, where our guests take a seat in our coffee shops, has changed. We are now introducing a mobile coffee subscription service for our filter coffee, making it even easier to enjoy a cup of quality coffee at a really good price," says John Nylén, CEO of Espresso House Group .
Espresso House roasts in its own roasting plant and offers specialty coffees, which means that according to the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), unroasted coffee always achieves more than 80 quality points on a scale of 0-100 points.
How has the Corona pandemic affected Espresso House so far?
The "traditional Fika" behaviour, where guests sit in our coffee shops, has obviously changed. In this situation we have to be innovative to meet the needs of our guests. This is why, in response to the pandemic, we have introduced the pre-order option (fully available on the German market until the first quarter of 2021) and the digital coffee subscription service in our five markets.
What influence does Covid-19 have on the 2020 sales figures of the individual countries?
All countries have had an enormous impact on their revenues compared to last year, at our lowest point we lost 80 percent of our revenues as a group. We had some recovery over the summer, but now with the second wave we are back to a sharp decline. Denmark and Norway were at times completely closed down, so they were of course severely affected. After opening they have slowly recovered, but like all the other countries they are far from the numbers we had last year. In Finland and Sweden, we opened most of our stores during the crisis, although we are still lagging behind last year. In Finland we had the most stable income during the crisis. Sweden recovered somewhat in the summer after the first wave, but suffered another huge setback in the second wave. Our business in Germany did its best to deal with the restrictions. Nevertheless, we believe that we will remain strong after the crisis, and the coffee subscription is one of many innovations that Espresso House will bring to consumers in the future.
What impact do you expect the coffee flat rate to have on sales?
We believe that the subscription services will last. Today's consumers are looking for simple, agile and unlimited services that are more personal and completely flexible. Our tests show very positive results, but it is too early to say how this will affect sales.