| US

Blank Street closes $20m to scale beverage subscription service

The premium coffee chain is seeking to increase customer retention and repeat sales by scaling its Regulars beverage subscription service in the US 

Blank Street Regulars adds to a nascent in-store beverage subscription market in the US | Photo credit: Newmark Retail


Blank Street Coffee has closed a $20m investment round to scale its Regulars coffee subscription programme and boost the range of food and beverages across its existing US stores. 

The New York-based premium coffee chain, which operates more than 50 stores across the US and 15 across the UK, received funding from investors including Left Lane Capital, HOF Capital, General Catalyst and Tiger Global. 

Co-founders Vinay Menda and Issam Freiha said that while previous investment rounds have prompted rapid outlet expansion, the premium coffee chain would use its latest funds to scale its weekly Regulars subscription programme and explore food options across its existing stores. 

For $12 a-week, subscribers can order Blank Street’s filter coffee, hot tea and cold brew coffee every two hours, with all other beverages, such as espresso and ‘signature drinks’, available for $1. Regulars subscribers also receive 20% off branded coffee bags and merchandise. 

The coffee chain is planning to take a ‘gamified approach’ to its rewards system, with Freiha citing the coffee chain’s ability to retain customers as key to attracting new investors. 

Blank Street is also seeking to develop an affordable breakfast menu. The New York-based coffee chain currently partners with local bakeries for the majority of its in-store food, which it said limits its ability to provide an ‘exceptional price’ for customers. 

In November 2022 Blank Street Coffee announced plans to launch an e-commerce channel to boost brand awareness and enter the US coffee at-home market. The coffee chain currently sells two branded whole bean packaged coffees from its online store. 

Blank Street Regulars adds to a nascent in-store beverage subscription market in the US. In 2019 Burger King launched a short-lived $5 in-store coffee subscription, a demise that highlighted the challenges of monetising subscription models, even among scaled operators.  

However, coffee and food-to-go chain Panera Bread has found success with subscriptions. First launched in 2020, the Unlimited Sip Club entitles subscribers to order any size drip coffee, tea or soft beverage once every two hours for $11.99 plus tax per month.  

Fellow JAB Holding-backed coffee chain Pret A Manger also offers a beverage subscription service across the US. Its $30-a-month Classic Plan includes filter coffee and tea, while the $40-a-month Premium Plan includes espresso-based and barista prepared beverages. 

In 2021, convenience store giant Circle K launched its monthly $5.99 ‘Sip & Save’ hot and cold beverage subscription. 

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