It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic upended every aspect of daily life. Health, travel, work, family celebrations and more look completely different than they did just over 14 months ago. But it wasn’t just the big things in life that were disrupted; it was the little things, too. Like daily routines and rituals, including grabbing a morning coffee on the way to work.
Like many others during these changing times, David Leong’s daily life was turned upside down due to the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, Leong was the CEO of Oren’s Daily Roast in NYC and was accustomed to offering a high-quality coffee experience for his customers at its stores. He experienced firsthand the joy that coffee brought to their daily lives. When the pandemic hit and in-person offerings were suspended, Leong was inspired to find a way to bring joy through coffee with a new and innovative offering: BaristaValet.
Leong founded BaristaValet, the amenity that delivers coffee drinks directly to the doors of tenants in eco-friendly insulated containers, to reinvent the morning coffee ritual for a post-Covid world. A “modern milkman for coffee,” BaristaValet helps landlords offer joy to their tenants by making their lives easier with something they do every day. Through BaristaValet’s service, landlords help tenants both avoid high delivery fees (often for off-temperature or spilled drinks) and save time that would otherwise be spent in line at peak morning café hours.
As landlords know, the amenity arms race is on. Now that the Covid-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available, and an influx of tenants is returning to the NYC area as a result, both residential and office buildings are looking to differentiate their offerings. Deluxe gyms and conference rooms are no longer cutting it for tenants, and landlords are looking to find ways to make tenants’ lives easier through “Covid-proof” service offerings. BaristaValet solves this need for landlords, and instantly improves the tenant experience.
“BaristaValet’s goal is simple: to bring joy with coffee,” Leong shared. “We know how important great coffee is to people’s lives, and our aim is to make mornings better with ultimate ease, convenience and joy. In the post-pandemic world, the morning rush is over. We’re excited to be at the forefront of businesses improving people’s lives in the new normal.”
In a recent internal customer survey, BaristaValet found that over 61% of respondents said having this amenity would increase their likelihood of renewing their lease in the building, and 98.3% said having this amenity improved their lifestyle experience in the building. Numerous residents couldn’t say enough positive things about the service and their building management, “You guys are doing an amazing job at keeping residents happy — one of the best buildings I’ve lived in in Manhattan. Thumbs up for management” was one comment.
BaristaValet is off to a strong start with service launching this quarter in five NYC buildings. It delivers once in the morning (per building) to individual doors, and returns again at the end of the day to pick up the reusable containers. Building staff are unburdened by the deliveries and do not need to take on notifying or coordinating delivery with tenants, as communication and payment are all done via the BaristaValet app. The app offers tenants a wide variety of drinks to order and different roasts to try based on their preferences, while ensuring delivery before dawn. Its monthly subscription is half the cost of Starbucks for tenants, with no cost to landlords. Offering this service is sure to be one that additional landlords quickly move on, as it seamlessly helps tenants adapt to post-Covid life.
Leong also hopes that by using reusable insulated bottles instead of paper cups, it makes both a superior coffee drinking experience and helps the environment. The sustainable packaging not only makes sure the product quality is “as if you got it handed to you in a café,” but it also preempts the need for another single-use plastic-lined paper cup, lid, sleeve, bag, receipt, etc. from going to the landfill or ocean.
Landlords wholeheartedly agree. “The innovation in sustainable packing was big for us,” said Bob Jones of Brodsky Neighbors. “We are thrilled to be an early launch partner with BaristaValet and look forward to offering their service in more of our buildings. We’ve received a lot of great feedback from tenants and have seen a very high adoption rate.”
An Allegra Project Café USA survey this year noted 45% of consumers saying they would regularly order coffee if delivery was offered, estimating the out-of-home branded coffee market at $36 billion — numbers that support Leong’s plans to expand BaristaValet’s offerings in 2021 and beyond. “We look forward to growing our offerings to include provisions from local, small businesses and joyously deliver neighborhoods to doorsteps. Coffee is just the beginning.”
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