Monogram Coffee introduces honour bar payment system

Dec 19 2017, 3:16 am

Downtown dwellers and office folk who are fed up with waiting in line to order a coffee will now be able to pour and pay for their own, thanks to Monogram Coffee’s recently launched honour bar system.

Implemented at Monogram Coffee‘s new Fifth Avenue Place locale, the honour bar encourages customers that are in a hurry to pour their own filtered coffee from the taps provided. Once poured customers swipe their own card to pay.

Calgary Buzz chatted with Jeremy Ho, one of the co-owners of Monogram Coffee, and asked what inspired him and his partners to introduce this honesty system and how Calgarians have taken to the cafe’s new self serve and pay method.

Here’s what Ho had to say.

Could you briefly run through how the honour bar works?

We’ve kegged and tapped all our hot filter coffee. On the honour bar, guests can pour their own coffee on tap, help themselves to pastry, and then checkout and pay by themselves at the end of the bar on separate iPad units with a simple credit card swipe. If all you want is a filter coffee you can skip the line for espresso-based drinks and quickly pour yourself a coffee.

What type of coffee is available from the honour bar?

Currently we have one type of coffee on offer – it’s one of our rotating single origin filter coffees that is as fresh from harvest as possible. The coffee is roasted to bring out the natural flavours of that origin and producer, and not past where it’s burned or bitter. We choose a coffee origin that is super approachable, balanced, yet smooth and flavourful. The tap and keg system keeps the coffee fresh as it removes all oxygen from it, and keeps it hot with special insulation.

Photo courtesy of Monogram Coffee (Skylar Gee)

Photo courtesy of Monogram Coffee (Skylar Gee)

What prompted you to install such a system at your Fifth Avenue Place locale?

Downtown Calgary in the central business district has such a great coffee drinking culture and routine. However, with tight schedules and work, we know that many of our guests cannot wait too long for coffee. We wanted to create a stream for our customers on a tight deadline yet still want fantastic coffee. This is a unique experience to our downtown location and it reflects the community we are in. We also like the idea of really celebrating the coffee itself and the experience of pouring it on tap is really fun, which is totally how we want to approach our coffee experience.


How have people taken to this self serve and pay system?

People have really enjoyed the speed and convenience of the experience, which we are excited about. There is a genuine excitement about the honour bar downtown, not just because it’s fast, but because people feel good about themselves when they are trusted. We trust people to pay and don’t actively police it. We truly appreciate our customers and know that they see the honour bar as a valuable experience, not an opportunity for theft.

People have been bringing groups in just to show others. In fact, we’ve had people come in the next day just to pay for a coffee they forgot to pay for the day before, which highlights the honesty in people. We trust all our guests absolutely!

Monogram Coffee

Address: 420 2nd Street SW

Hours: Monday to Friday 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Twitter: @monogramco

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