It Costa a lot for a coffee!!!

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I decided to put a little bit of time (cos it doesn’t deserve too much time!) into finding out how much it costs for a cup of coffee in the morning from two major coffee outlets.

Where I do some work in Central London, there is every kind of coffee shop available within about 50 metres. There is Starbucks, Costas, Cafe Nero and Pret a Manger.

I don’t buy coffee from Pret so I didn’t include them in this very small survey. I don’t even know if they do rewards.
I did generally buy my coffee from Starbucks but I soon realised their coffee is very Americanised, meaning its quite a weak coffee (not that this should really matter to me as I don’t particularly like strong coffee!).
I soon switched to Costas because their coffee is really quite nice and probably more respected by coffee lovers than any other brand. Cafe Nero is also very good coffee but I always find their customer service system very slow. Actually, Starbucks have the best system for taking your order then your money and then moving on to collect your coffee. Nero seem to get a ‘Barista’ to do the whole lot and I don’t know if they are on commission or something, but they tend to try and take on about 3 orders at once and then tend to get it wrong!

Anyway, I digress.
I have only included Costas and Nero in this very small survey, both for the cost of the coffee and their loyalty scheme – how much do you spend before getting a freebie!
My coffee in the morning is a medium Vanilla Latte!

So, Costas charge me £2.45 for my drink and I get 5 points on my loyalty card for every pound spent. But that only includes FULL pounds, so if I spend £2.00 or £2.99, I still get 10 points! And each point equals a penny, so I need at least 245 points for a free coffee. 245 points – £2.45.
As I get 10 points per visit, I need to visit 25 times to get a free coffee. 25 visits at 10 points per visit equals 250 points.
So I need to spend  £61.25 to get a free coffee!! Now that’s a lot of dosh for a freebie, no?!

Cafe Nero on the other hand have a paper loyalty card where you simply need to collect 9 stamps on it for a free drink.
Now a single stamp equals one drink – any drink. I can buy a small coffee for about £1.80 or a large drink for about £3.50 – its just one stamp.
But the beauty of this system is that once you get your card stamps full up, you can have ANY drink for free. So you could buy 9 small coffee’s and then have a mega large one for free!! Good deal, right!
In Nero, my medium Vanilla Latte is £2.60 and I need to visit 9 times to get my card filled up. That’s £23.40 for a free coffee!!!

So my advice to Customers is “do the maths!” and my advice to Costas is, “Buck up!”