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U.K. self-serve coffee retailer leverages Watson Analytics


London, U.K. — Honest Cafe, an automated coffee house chain inLondon, is usingIBM Watson Analyticsto unearth client insights to help determine everything from coffee products and pricing, to marketing and promotions. Honest Cafe is a new venture from Revive Vending where three cafes currently in operation, and four more planned, are all unmanned.

Instead, the company deploys and positions high-end vending machines at the Honest Cafe locations. The cafes offer a mix of health-conscious snacks, locally sourced and low-calorie organic options, juices, fruit teas, flavored popcorn, baked vegetable snacks, and hot drinks.

Although the absence of wait staffs, cooks, and baristas can mean greater efficiencies and lower overhead costs, it makes understanding customers more challenging.

“Because Honest is unmanned, it's tough going observing what our customers are saying and doing in our cafes,” saidMark Summerill, head of product development at Honest Cafe. “We don't know what our customers are into or what they look like. And as a start-up it's crucial we know what sells and what areas we should push into.”

Honest Café is now analyzing vending machine data, such as product sales and selections and timing of purchases, with IBM Watson Analytics technology. With the help of IBM business partner EBI Solutions, the retailer uploads its transactional information to obtain insights such how the needs of customers seeking a social experience differ from the needs of customers who want to order a beverage and leave.

Based on successful initial results, Honest Café is upgrading to the Watson Analytics personal edition, which offers access to 25,000 tweets per dataset. The retailer will use Twitter data to help predict what customers are likely to buy and obtain insights to what they are discussing.

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