Future Restaurants 2020

September 14 - 15, 2020

Austin, TX

Here's How Gregory's Coffee Is Taking the Fight to Starbucks with Mobile Ordering and Pickup

Brought to you by WBR Insights



Starbucks is undoubtedly the undisputed king of the coffee chains. It's the largest company in its space by revenue - unless you consider McDonald's a coffee shop (which Ronald and company would love, but this author isn't buying it).

Making waves in such a crowded market filled with well-established brands is no mean feat. However, this is exactly what Manhattan-based coffee startup Gregory's Coffee has thrust itself into - and it's proving to be a disrupting force.

Since first opening its doors in 2006, Gregory's Coffee has expanded with breathtaking rapidity to cover 30 locations - 24 in New York City, 4 in Washington, D.C. and 2 in Jersey City. And it's not stopping there. The innovative brand has plans in place to add five new shops in 2019, followed by another 15 locations in 2020.

Gregory's Coffee

To further its quest to challenge Starbucks' dominance over the coffee space, Gregory's Coffee wanted to incorporate some of the digital technology which has helped the hot beverage giant better serve its customers.

It's been a few years since Starbucks offered its customers the opportunity to skip the line by preordering their hot drinks with their smartphones, and now Gregory's Coffee is following suit.

"We have become a destination for those seeking quality coffee and innovative products, be it an exotic coffee from Ethiopia, a vegan or gluten-free food product, or CBD oil lattes," said Gregory's Coffee Founder and CEO, Gregory Zamfotis. "Our regular customers are served up by our team of excellent baristas, all of whom have been through an intensive barista training program that focuses on welcoming and efficient service. New York forces you to be on your toes all the time. With all these pressures, if you're not sharp as a tack, you'll be gobbled up. You have to stay on the cutting edge of innovation."

However, for all its ambition, Gregory's Coffee doesn't quite have the same resources as huge brands such as Starbucks and has turned to a turnkey technology provider to help facilitate innovation.

Mobile Ordering

Ritual is a mobile-based order and pickup turnkey platform which facilitates food and drink collection in much the same way as Uber Eats does for home delivery. However, Ritual charges no additional fees to customers - meaning customers pay the same price using the app as they would if they were ordering in-store.

Ritual also has a built-in rewards system which allows users to accrue points, earn discounts, and access special promotions exclusive to the app. However, a crucial differentiator between Ritual and other order and pickup services is its "Piggyback" feature.

Piggyback provides a way for thirsty customers to effectively establish a peer-to-peer delivery network among themselves. Using the feature, workplace teams can collaborate on orders and use existing customers as delivery persons. Piggyback helps everyone access their favorite hot beverages without having to leave their desk, negating third-party delivery costs and boosting individual order sizes.

"At Gregory's Coffee, we establish and cultivate communities of people who see coffee differently by providing them with unforgettable experiences that are uniquely our own. We are constantly looking for ways to provide convenience to our customers without compromising on quality," said Zamfotis. "Ritual's Piggyback feature has provided a way for our guests to get that same unforgettable experience right at their desk."

Auto Place is another great feature which automatically places your coffee order when it detects you're close enough to a Gregory's Coffee location. This means your coffee is made as close to your arrival as possible. You'll never have to worry again about your drink going cold because you've been held up on the way to the shop.

"We often hear from coffee establishments that their customers want the convenience of delivery but have found that delivery fees and product quality have been a major barrier," said Cofounder and CEO of Ritual, Ray Reddy. "Our features have been the perfect solution to this problem. We are productizing the coffee run by offering a service with no delivery fees where the product gets to consumers in minutes while staying fresh."

Final Thoughts

Mobile ordering and pickup are a great way to offer a smoother service to takeout customers. Thanks to turnkey solutions such as Ritual, adding these digital features to the Gregory's Coffee experience is easier and more fruitful than ever.


You can hear Gregory's Coffee's Founder and CEO, Gregory Zamfotis, speak at Future Restaurants 2019, taking place this September in Austin, TX.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.