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‘Uber for coffee’ brings morning drinks into the age of delivery

Goffee tests an earth-friendly subscription service for offices in New York City

In the age of delivery where convenience and efficiency reign supreme, most morning beverage runs are still stuck in the past: with long lines and added confusion from mobile orders being prepared alongside in-person purchases. A new service called Goffee (like “go-coffee”) combines on-demand delivery with third-party curation to create a morning-coffee subscription service for offices in New York City.

Currently launched in beta mode in Manhattan, Goffee allows companies to place daily orders for up to 120 employees from 25 different coffeehouse brands, including Starbucks, Dunkin’ and Blue Bottle. Beverages can include tea or even matcha, according to press materials.

uber-for-coffee-goffee.gifThe service costs about $799 per month per 30 employees or roughly $1.33 per cup.

But instead of having their employees run around to 25 different coffee shops, Goffee actually buys the coffee beans wholesale from each of their partner brands and grinds the coffee and prepares each order off-premises. So technically, you’d be drinking a Starbucks-branded cappuccino instead of the real deal, though founder Vincent Meyer claims that “it will taste exactly the same” as if you’d ordered directly from your preferred coffee retailer.

“Coffee retail has not changed all that much over the years,” Meyer said. “You have to make every cup from scratch and mobile apps are actually creating more difficulty for the average person, which causes long lines and it becomes quite a mess. I soon realized the appeal of a coffee shop was being lost on me […] I just want to go in, get my coffee and leave.”

Seeing this pain point, Meyer started the Goffee brand in September 2018 with the goal of creating a seamless and personalized coffee delivery service. Meyer started his company as a B2B service for offices because it was a lot easier to take and complete orders in bulk than for individuals. Their clients include dozens of offices in Midtown Manhattan that each have a subscription to the Goffee service.

Every morning, office workers place their coffee order when they come in to work and then they receive their personalized coffee drinks by 9:15 a.m. Then, in Goffee’s nearby Manhattan ghost kitchen, employees create drinks on a factory-like production line, with one group of employees grinding coffee beans, while another is heating the milk, and another is putting finishing touches on each drink.

The coffee is transported in cups that are more like tumblers and are made out of sustainable and reusable ceramic and metal instead of paper or plastic, so customers don’t have to worry about creating more waste.

Next, the baristas deliver the beverages on foot to each office using special insulated backpacks that can fit 40 to 60 cups, stacked, without risk of spillage and maintaining temperature (hot stays hot and cold stays cold).

“We can make 1,000 drinks per hour with our setup,” Meyer said. “For an office with 120 employees, that means 120 drinks in less than 15 minutes.”

By the end of the day, the cups are picked up and thrown in the dishwasher for use the next day.

“The primary goal was to make sure we deliver a hot cup of coffee to our clients in a cup that we can reuse instead of throwing away,” Meyer said.

The main challenge Meyer’s team faced when creating their business model was licensing. While smaller coffee shops were just happy to have the publicity, he said Goffee is “still working” on agreements with bigger name brands.

“In any case these brands are making money with us because we are buying the beans wholesale, which becomes a strong part of our revenue strategy,” Meyer said. “They’re getting 22% of revenue from retail sales. We are not telling customers that we are selling them a Starbucks cappuccino — we say we are making a cappuccino with Starbucks beans that tastes very similar.”

Right now, Goffee is still in beta mode and only has one store, but Meyer plans to open two more locations in New York City by the end of the year and expand to other cities during the first half of 2020 using the $100,000 raised in online crowdfunding campaigns.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @joannafantozzi

TAGS: Drink Trends
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