I hate loyalty punch cards and discount refills of our mugs


New member
Mar 7, 2003
Rowley said:
For more info... pickup April HBR (Harvard Business Review) They have a really great article regarding this...

Once I have some time i'll come back and divulge the key points I got out of the article for everyone.

I've written up a quick post that summarizes my favorite points from the HBR article. since they were a bit off topic I created a new post about Coffee Shop loyalty programs.
I'd love to hear any feedback or your experiences.


New member
Apr 8, 2006
When we opened our shop almost a year ago we also decided to include a loyality program. However rather that the usual buy 6,8 or 10 we use buy 12 (Bakers dozen) and there have been no adverse comments at all. We also use Coffee Shop Manager POS to track our program and again to be different there is no card of any type just customer names which are logged into the database. Customers like that there is no card to lose and we learn lots of names. Right now there are 1,950 names in our database and lookup is very quick, as fast as punching a card I'd say.


New member
Mar 10, 2006
Coffee Guy said:
Hey Jeff:

Go for it. It is common place for us in Washington to do 10 punches and a free drink. Sure you may get a few raised eye brows at first, but customers will come around. If you need a reason to justify the increase, tell them the cost of everything is going up to you, and in order for you to keep their drink prices the same, you have to raise the limit of punches on your cards. 8)

I'd like to try this to go from "buy 9 get 1 free" to "buy 10 get 1 free".....but it's already a competitive market on these things.....there is another lady in town who does "buy 5 get 1 one" free....ofcourse, she's always complaining that she's not making enough money too, so..... :lol:

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
Hey M.M.:

Why not go ahead and increase from 9 to 10, I don't see how that can hurt. As for the other person that does 5 punches and then a free drink just painted themselves in a corner which will be hard for them to overcome. Simply because that made them sound like they did not have confidence in either their coffee or their ability. Sometimes it's funny how customers read into things. For example if you are priced just slightly higher than you competitor on coffee drinks, most customers feel that your coffee is of higher quality, and if you offer a special price or offering something different every now and then, they preceive that as an extra benefit. So keep in tune with your customers and ask them a lot of questions, you will find that they will make you successful. :grin:


New member
Mar 29, 2005
DFW, Texas
Re: I hate loyalty punch cards and discount refills of our m

Bean007 said:
I don't feel that it's right to take away the promotions

My two cents: a promotion is usually a temporary thing, to increase sales or at the very least, peak a potential customer's interest. But if you really really don't want to take away the promotion copmletely, limit it. For example, the free drink after so many punches must be a small.

Or maybe, just maybe, do a one or two week special where the freebie is not a drink, but is a morning pastry (a scone, a muffin, etc). Yes, these cost more to give away... but maybe it will help people realize how much they really love having a blueberry scone to go with their triple latte and they'll continue to buy pastries with their drinks in the mornings.