Isobar Greece Launches ‘The Side Project’ Coffee Shop
Isobar Greece, a digital agency, has launched a specialist Coffee shop called “The Side Project.” With the ambition to offer their own team coffee for free, the agency ran the project as a normal business - from market research, to business planning, to sampling and production, to logistics, to placement, to pricing, to selling in less than six months.
The idea behind it was to create a coffee enterprise where the more the revenue from external orders, the lower the prices for the people, until it can be free. The scheme, which was initiated by the insight that the agency spends almost 50,000€ coffee annually,provides the team with deep insight into the Food & Beverage industry, as well as expands their knowledge on how the booming industry of online delivery works, and enables them to experiment with location based advertising in Athens.
The shop boasts high quality products,include 85% arabica bean coffees, has now more than 50 SKUs and the business has been running for the past 3.5 months.
The founders, Giorgos Vareloglou and Costas Mantziaris explained, “We figured out that more than 40% of our clients somehow use FnB as a distribution channel, so it does makes sense to better understand how this channel works. Actually a few months earlier we’ve been in the process of setting up a virtual burgers & Snacks store for Philadephia Mondelez.”
What differentiates this agency coffee shop, is that it is built, managed and maintained by the people who buy the coffee. It ensures the team benefits, as the cost and profit is spread to lower the price of the brew.
Giorgious continued, “Every 3 months we review the coffee shop's PnL, adjusting the rates to make sure we make invest the profit back into the Side Project. Since the business started running, we got even more creative. We used the side Project to motivate people to start their day earlier. Every day from 09.00 to 09.30 there's free coffee for everyone. That didn't have the results we expected. We should have thought of it: we are in the ad industry.”
So what’s next for the team?
Costas explained, “We’ve been working with Nestle ice cream brands (now Froneri) for the past few years,so we decided to add Nestle ice cream in our menu. Last week we started an internal promo, where if you are the first one buying an ice cream for this day, you get it for free.”
Costas explained that the team are testing to see whether ice cream consumption rises when you seeing at least one individual daily eating an ice cream, but they are keeping an open mind to what else the agency will next experiment with.
“This is all part of a wider effort to continually evolve our offering to ensure we continue to be a valuable business partner for our clients - understanding the challenges they face, being in their shoes, and looking at the big picture with every given opportunity. As part of this process we are changing the way we work, our structure, the people we are getting on board, as well as the very core of our service offering to become a valuable partner for the digital economy.”