Starting today, you’ll be able to get a healthy dose of tech with your caffeine fix at a relaunched version of a Midtown coffee shop.
Global experience agency Huge partnered with Atlanta-based BRASH Coffee Roasters,on Huge x BRASH Coffee, a public coffee shop and interactive research and development innovation lab now open at 1375 Peachtree St. NE.
Known as Huge Café when it opened in 2015, the new Huge x BRASH Coffee introduces a partnership that combines consumer technology with a coffee shop experience that disrupts the typical retail experience, according to Huge president Dan Hou.
“This new partnership highlights our commitment to the Atlanta community,” said Hou in a prepared statement. “As we look to creating the future of retail through innovation and technology, it’s more important than ever to focus on providing the best service and products to our consumers. We found that partner in BRASH and are excited for this new chapter.”
Hou said Huge has “been pushing hard into retail and ecommerce for awhile” and that “increasingly, companies are doing physical retail as a natural extension of the digital experience.”
BRASH Coffee Roasters founder Chris McLeod said his company has been providing Huge with coffee beans for some time. When the opportunity for a partnership arose, McLeod said it was a natural fit.
“In a world full of clicks and home deliveries and technology, one of the few things that people are still seeking out is going to their local coffee place or restaurant,” McLeod said. “Huge is taking the physical retail experience, and enhancing it through technology. It’s the next generation of user experience in speciality coffee.”
Some of the technologies that will be in testing at Huge X Brash include:
- Full mobile purchase flow, which demos three components of the ordering flow. First, menu items are available for order through the beta mobile application. Next, utilizing in-ear audio headset, baristas will receive order notifications from a custom iPad application. Once the beverage is made, a visual placeholder will be projected on the countertop that shows an empty spot for the customer's drink, closing once the customer picks up the drink.
- AR coffee coasters that showcase the BRASH sourcing process. Users will be able to scan a QR code and see AR visuals about the process from when the coffee is picked to when it is made into coffee drinks for customers.
- Hooha, Huge’s GDPR-compliant tampon vending machine that users can text for a tampon.
“We’re always looking at ways to improve the customer experience, which is why we’re excited to partner with Huge on this new venture,” McLeod said in a prepared statement. “BRASH takes a meticulous approach to our coffee program just as Huge does with design and innovation. Together we plan to create a totally unique experience that elevates how customers enjoy their coffee.”
Hou and McLeod said customer feedback, both on the retail experience end and the product end, will be important in developing new technologies, and potentially expanding innovations to other retail locations.
“Everybody involved is chasing the Holy Grail of a seamless customer experience,” Hou said. “Customers don’t care if that’s done by technology or by a person, as long as it’s a good experience.”
In addition to coffee and tea selections, Huge x BRASH Coffee also offers food options from local Atlanta vendors including Proof Bakeshop, POUCH Pies and Wildleaf Salads. BRASH coffee beans will also be available for purchase at Huge X BRASH.
BRASH, which buys coffee direct from local farmers in Central and South America “with a deliberate mission to improve the lives of coffee farmers, employees and customers through fairly traded and ethically sourced coffee beans,” according to its mission statement, also has locations in Buckhead and West Midtown.
Huge, which has 13 offices across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, works with clients including Google, McDonald’s and Brooks Running to become “a deeper part of people’s lives by creating unified brand experiences that people love.”
Huge X BRASH is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
1375 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. hugexbrash.com/
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