Sunday, September 24, 2006

Don't steal my idea please!

This is my idea, and it might be a terrible idea, but I think it's a pretty good idea, so I'm sharing my idea with all you, in the hopes that you don't steal it.

The forty-dollar travel mug.

It's one of those inexpensive but sturdy Thermos-oid cups you see at your finer coffee joints, and at the coffee joint I own (which I will, eventually) we will sell them, emblazoned with our logo and some sort of pithy witticism. For forty dollars. Which is to say, about forty times what they are really worth.

"But Ed," you say, "who in their right mind will purchase a forty-dollar travel mug? Especially a cheap plastic (as you'll surely use the cheapest plastic available to you) travel mug which will last maybe a couple months?" To which I respond: oh, I can find cheaper plastic than that. This baby will maybe last a month, which is why on the first of each month I roll out a new set of forty-dollar travel mugs, in a different color, with a new pithy witticism, and retire the previous one to a sensible, $2 price tag. Come to think of it, I may lower the price of the active mug by $9.50 a week, so it's only forty bucks when it's first brought out.

But to answer your question, the reason people will shell out the cash when it first comes out: unlimited free refills. You present the mug of the month, it is filled to the brim and handed back to you, no questions asked (except maybe "room for cream?"). It's as large as the largest size cup we have, and that's, say, two bucks, to select a convenient price point somewhere between Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. Such businessmen who get a large coffee every morning will end up spending [2 bucks/coffee * 1 coffee/workday * 5 workdays/week * 4 weeks/month =] forty dollars a month on their addiction, give or take. And the forty-dollar mug ALSO provides unheard-of convenience: no paying, no need to take out the wallet every day. And maybe the forty-dollar mug has its own special line, one what gets first priority over the plebians asking for cups, and also forces the coffee-jockeys to call you sir or madam or my liege.

Potential problems: abuse of the free coffee, but hopefully the cost-effectiveness of coffee sales will render this moot. Also, there's no patent for business practices that I'm aware of, so this method may be stolen by larger and more unethical roasteries. Eventually I will run out of pithy witticisms (assuming immortality).

Potential awesome: yes. Now, somebody buy me a coffee shop.


Anonymous Tina said...

Just some interesting points about the $40 mug (from experiences in working at a Dunkin Donuts). People will abuse the free coffee..
They will come back multiple times during the day.. We actually had a customer who was addicted to caffeine and came back for 6 refills throughout the day..
Other people will drink as much as they before leaving the store and then ask you to top of their mug again..
Awesome idea, but it might not hurt to be corporate and greedy and ask for a small fee for a refill.. something ridiculous like 37 cents so they won't want to pull out their wallets and deal with change..
Good luck with the business!! :-P

9/25/2006 9:26 AM  
Anonymous dudenon said...

7-11 should do this with big gulps and slurpies.
soda is probably way less expensive than coffee.

9/25/2006 3:01 PM  
Anonymous AAMF said...

So, do you want an airplane or a coffee shop? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

9/26/2006 7:07 PM  

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