My Coffee Counts Founders discuss the modern way cafés can reward loyal customers and support local community charities.
Coffee shops are the community hubs of our time: a place to meet, engage, converse, and connect, says Derek Potts, one of three Co-Founders of My Coffee Counts.
“As a coffee shop owner, you want to build a business based on loyalty, service, and a shared goal to make a positive difference in the lives of your patrons and the wider community,” Derek says.
“My Coffee Counts is a free, easy, digital loyalty solution.”
Derek says the phenomenon of the ‘loyalty card free coffee’ often relies on outdated punch cards, which can now be replaced by an app-driven customer experience.
“By rolling out the free My Coffee Counts app in your store, you’ll be providing customers with direct online access to your products and offers. This will enable both digital engagement and the opportunity to integrate a valuable charitable giving program directly supporting community needs,” he says.
According to Co-Founder Ken Johnstone, when it comes time to reward a loyal customer, they have the option to take or donate their free coffee in support of local community-based charities. Donations support projects across a diverse range of services with support mechanisms and opportunities in local communities.
“My Coffee Counts is proud to partner with the Surf Life Saving Foundation to support their vital community service. With over 181,000 surf lifesaver members, they are always there for your community,” Ken says.
“With My Coffee Counts, now is your chance to give back to the selfless volunteers who save thousands of lives every year in your community.”
The company also donates to the Community Living Association (CLA) which has been operating and providing services in Australia since 1987.
“CLA manages a range of programs that provide support, create opportunities, and promote independence for people with disability or the young at risk. They work with families, people with mental health issues and with cognitive disabilities,” Ken says.
“We deliberately selected established charity partners with a network of associated, grass roots community groups to benefit from this endeavour. These are charities focused on local people and local issues, charities who don’t have big marketing budgets and resources, often achieving significant local impact despite limited resources.”
My Coffee Counts was originally intended to launch in March 2020, before COVID-19 and lockdowns resulted in its postponement. The app has been trialled and tested locally in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast with before its official launch at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo.
Ken says the app is unique in that it empowers coffee shops with a fully functioning customer loyalty, ordering and digital payment solution. It’s built on the foundations of charitable giving and the strength of communities.
“We’re trying to help small business as much as we can, as they’ve arguably suffered the most throughout the pandemic. When you’re dealing with a very low volume of staff, the last thing you need is more expense. We’ve provided a solution to both the café industry and charities, as the app is offered at no cost. Therefore, there is a benefit for all participants. We’re rewarding those who reward others,” Ken says.
“My Coffee Counts is all about seamlessly managing your customer experience, updating offers, and notifying customers about the things they want to see. It enables patrons to donate with just one touch from one purpose-built application for free.”
Derek says the three Co-Founders– Ken, Colin Williams, and himself – interviewed about 100 businesses and their staff who used free coffee loyalty programs prior to COVID-19. They found that 60 per cent of café customers were willing to donate a free coffee
to charity instead of keeping it for themselves.
“When we trialled the solution early in 2022, 11 per cent of people were donating their free coffee to charity. That’s grown to 25 per cent and now we’re sitting at 35 per cent on average. We’d love for that number to grow to 60 per cent and are confident we will achieve this,” he says.
The Co-Founders say the My Coffee Counts app, which the customer downloads to use, replaces outdated loyalty cards. It provides online ordering, a self-controlled menu, and daily special offers, all with a secure digital payment gateway.
“Café owners need to print loyalty cards three or four times a year, which can cost $1700 each time. That’s a significant saving if you use our app instead,” says Derek.
“It also facilitates convenience, as customers can pre-order their coffee so it’s ready for them when they arrive. Instead of having a queue of 20 people that want to order, pay, and wait, now half of them are prepaid, so the café can prepare their orders quicker and cut the queue in half.
“The response we’re getting since the initial launch has been fantastic. We’re talking about removing costs, expediting service, giving cafés new facilities to build business, and tapping into new ways of servicing customers.”
The application currently operates out of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, but the Founders are in discussion with Victorian and Sydney roasters to expand its reach and look forward to creating regional hubs around Australia.
Ken says the app is changing the loyalty and rewards order-pay-go game, and that it’s time to make every coffee count.
“For companies looking to grow their business, create and develop customer loyalty, simplify operations, and embrace a more effective digital engagement, it’s called My Coffee Counts. It’s free, it’s easy, and you can get started today,” Ken says.
For more information, visit www.mycoffeecounts.com.au
This article appears in the October 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.