EspressGo is the only app that specialises in promoting and rewarding independent coffee shops and their customers through its pre-ordering and rewards service. No more queues or cash just quality coffee, quickly, with your 1st, 5th and every 10th coffee free. Independent coffee shops benefit from customer loyalty and wider discovery. Soft launching in June 2017, they already have 20 coffee shops signed up with many active coffee lovers using the app. They came to LawBite needing a whole host of corporate and commercial contracts to safely launch the business and ensure all their commercial arrangements between the coffee shops and customers were crystal clear and everything was covered.
1) Tell me about yourself and your role in the company?
I am the MD & founder of EspressGo. Day-to-day I could be doing anything from speaking to our development team about new features, visiting one of our café partners, or speaking to the owner of a new potential EspressGo location. I’m lucky to be working with three other brilliant directors so we all pitch in when needed on things like street PR or brainstorming new ideas. However, one thing I can be sure of is that wherever I am I’ll have a great cup of coffee in hand!
2) And what does EspressGo do? Tell me what makes your product great.
EspressGo is an app that allows coffee lovers to order and pay for their coffee via their phone, skip the queue and get rewarded by their favourite independent coffee shops. It’s a pre-odering app where customers can collect digital ‘stamps’ that rewards users with their 1st, 5th and every 10th coffee for free. For our partners, the coffee shops themselves, that means getting discovered by more people and fostering greater loyalty from their customers. It really is a win-win! For coffee-lovers, that means they have better access to quality coffee in the UK whilst supporting independent coffee shops and benefitting from cross-store loyalty. That’s our unique selling point. There are other rewards-based apps, but none that exclusively deals with independent coffee shops, offering the same benefits and helping them compete with the big chains.
3) How long have you been trading and where are you based?
We started the business in October 2016 and we had our soft launch of June this year (2017). We started with 10 partners (coffee shops) and have already over doubled that in a month to 20. We initially launched on iOS but will be aiming to launch on Android later in the year. We expect to have at least 50 coffee shops signed up by then and many more users.
We are based all over London at the moment, and a surprising amount of work gets done at (Marketing Director) Avi’s kitchen table! We’re currently looking at co-working spaces so we hope to all be working together from the same place in the near future.
4) What are your goals as an organisation?
In the short term, we plan on growing our team, starting with hiring our first employee. As mentioned, we also want to get our own offices in time for our hard launch later in the year.
Ultimately we want EspressGo to become the ‘go-to’ online community for independent cafés and coffee lovers around the world. We can’t wait until we have EspressGo locations in Paris, Milan, and New York, for example!
5) What challenges have you experienced in the Food & Beverage industry?
I think our biggest challenge has been educating coffee shops on how to attract new customers using non-traditional methods like apps. One thing that has come out of speaking to them is that they are unaware of how much potential business is lost to bigger chains like Starbucks simply because they aren’t being discovered, despite having better and more competitively priced coffee. We want to help them get their coffee and brands out there!
6) When it comes to dealing with the law and lawyers, what is most important?
When dealing with lawyers in the past we received quotes that were just far too expensive. That has definitely been the main issue… as a business founder, you don’t want astronomical outgoings before you have even started making money so cost is definitely very important.
7) What has LawBite done to help your business?
I can’t speak highly enough of Annelie our LawBrief. She went above and beyond her call of duty. For start-ups, not having the right legal cover could be detrimental but you don’t want the high cost either. She helped us sort out a whole range of documentation to get going on the right foot so we know we’re protected when trading as an organisation. It’s very important to get these things right from the beginning. Annelie was also great at referring us to other specialist lawyers within the LawBite team to assist with our enquiries so we had the benefit of their knowledge. LawBite has overall been very commercially beneficial.
8) Overall why did you enjoy working with LawBite?
Annelie was amazing – she was always there at any time. She worked around the clock for me and not just within ‘business hours’, which for me being the owner of a start-up is very important. She was very quick to respond, made life a lot easier and always delivered. Overall it was an easy, cost-effective and fast process.
Thank you Edo!
Lizzie Knight, Head of Marketing, LawBite
EspressGo – http://www.espressgo.co.uk