No Cup for You! mia&noa's Smart Take on Robot Coffee Kiosks

Plus, how to save $60,000 a year on cheese!

The whole point of automated robotic coffee kiosks like Cafe X and Crown Digital and Costa Coffee (formerly Briggo) is that they make the process of getting your morning java easy. Punch in your order, the robot precisely crafts your coffee, you grab it and move on, all in a manner of minutes.

But what if a robo-barista was designed to make it harder to get your cup o’ joe on the go? That’s kinda the premise behind Switzerland’s mia&noa, an automated coffee kiosk that requires you to bring your own cup. That’s right, there are no single-serving paper cups available.

As I wrote in the full OttOmate newsletter today:

At first blush, the idea of making people bring their own cup seems like a huge barrier to getting customers. Robot baristas are meant for convenience in high-traffic areas like airports and hospitals. Walk up to the machine, get your cup of coffee, and go. I don’t know about you, but I typically don’t (and don’t want to) bring a mug as a carry-on when I fly.

But there is a method to mia&noa’s “madness.” Instead of setting up at transient high-traffic locations — where people are just passing through to somewhere else — mia&noa is installing machines at locations where the same people return to every day. Think: office buildings, university libraries, and even specific transit hubs like commuter train stations. In these scenarios, it’s totally reasonable to assume people would bring their own mug (or have access to a set of mugs, like in an office).

I actually love this idea so. much. Not only is it good for the environment (yay!), but going cup-free has financial benefits in the way mia&noa designs its machines. I was practically vibrating with excitement after my chat this week with mia&now Co-Founder and CEO Maren Knief Clerc becasue her take on automated food and beverage very smart and there’s a lot the automation industry could learn from her company.

Paid subscribers can read the full story and see how mia&noa is changing the robot barista game, helping save the planet — and tugging at your heart strings with its name.


Podcast: How to Save $60,000 a Year on Cheese

Last week’s podcast is now unlocked for everyone (subscribers get podcasts a week before everyone else). This episode’s guest is the Prince of Pizza, Massimo Noja De Marco, Founder of Piestro!

Piestro is building a robotic vending machine that tops, cooks and boxes up fresh hot pizza in under three minutes. Though it won’t arrive until next year, Piestro has already signed a deal to power 3,600 autonomous pizza machines for 800 Degrees Pizza over the next five years.

In our chat, De Marco discusses:

  • The future of co-branding for automated food startups

  • How automation can save pizzerias $60,000 a year in cheese alone

  • Piestro’s plans to make their machine mobile to create “Pizza as a Service”

Take a listen — just maybe not on an empty stomach.

Listen to the OttOmate Podcast

How Now Green Cow (VC)?

Paid subscribers can check out this week’s show with Maggie Sprenger, Managing Director of Green Cow Venture Capital. She talks about the massive opportunity in ag tech, equity crowdfunding and why the current startup “bloodbath” is a good thing.


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EBar is Here to Save Us From Flat, Pre-Poured Pints at Events - The mobile beer vending service can pump out 300 beers per hour.

Robomart Opens Up its Store-on-Wheels Platform to Other Retailers - Mobile commerce is suddenly more interesting in the age of speedy grocery delivery.

Delivers.AI Rolling Out New and Improved Delivery Robots in Western Europe and Dubai - Labor pressures and lidar-less navigation could give the company a lift.


Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend.

Stay cool. Have a great summer. Class of ‘90 rulez.

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