There are no White Castles in my neighborhood – in fact, there aren’t any on my whole coast – but I am well aware that the fast food chain has some extremely loyal fans out there and the chain tries to do everything they can to satisfy their White Castle cravings. White Castle is known for their burgers, but one of the four original items on the menu when the first White Castle opened was coffee, and they have a loyal following for that among WC fans, as well. White Castle has been selling their ground coffee for a while now, but they just rolled out their own signature White Castle K-Cups so that fans can easily brew their own restaurant blend without having to leave the comfort of their own home – and with very little effort or cleanup. The only difference between using these and hitting the drive through is that you won’t have the opportunity to add burgers or other snacks to your order to go with your coffe.
The cups are being sold online and should also be available in grocery stores in areas where you’ll find White Castle locations.
Starbuck is usually perceived as the biggest threat to the “local coffee shop,” though there is plenty of competition out there that aims to capture your business for that first, morning cup of coffee. One company bas designed an app called CUPS that is designed to encourage local coffee shops to work together and offer consumers unlimited coffee for choosing them over one of the “big guys.” CUPS works by selling $45 monthly subscriptions that give consumers free, unlimited regular coffee (drip, pour-over or otherwise filtered) at one of their participating stores. It sounds like a good deal for consumers, since the only restriction is that you wait 30 minutes between cups, but it’s a little less clear as to whether it is a good deal for coffee shop operators.
The app pays the coffee shops for the coffee and keeps the change, if the total dollar amount is not used at the end of the month. It’s not clear how much the app pays the coffee shop per cup until that amount is used up, however, nor is it clear what happens after that price point is hit. The app offers or will offer other options for latte-type drinks and also pre-paid drink amounts.
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It can be tempting to take the easy way out when faced with a difficult problem or task. Sometimes this equates to a simple shortcut that really does help you do a job more efficiently. Other times, this equates to just doing a half-assed job, bypassing important procedural steps or, progressing further down the poor-ethics road, to lying and stealing. A new study that was published in the March issue of Journal of Applied Psychology found that at least two cups of caffeinated coffee could improve the ethical response of tired employees.
The study presented sleep-deprived volunteers with a choice to cheat by going along with a lie on a task with the promise of extra money or to resist cheating. Caffeinated employees were more likely to resist the temptation to cheat. This study also simply shows that tired people may be more likely to take the “easy way out” even if it is unethical.
The solution is for employers to encourage employees to stay bright and alert by suppling them with coffee as needed and by making it possible for them to get adequate rest at the end of a work day. Since you can’t control whether your employees are staying up all night watching marathons of low-budget-yet-addictive SyFy channel movies, stocking the break room with good coffee is the most reliable option.
One of the biggest complaints about K-cups is that they create a lot of waste. Coffee itself is compostable, and is actually great for enriching a garden, but the little plastic cup that makes the k-cup so useful when it comes to making a quick cup of coffee isn’t great for the environment. There has long been a call for someone to create a more eco-friendly k-cup and EcoCup is the first one to be widely released.
A Canadian company, Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee, has launched the EcoCup, a clear, recyclable pod that they hope will have appeal to consumers that less environmentally friendly pods don’t. They’re going to launch them in the next couple of weeks, filled with their Higgins & Burke tea, and will increase the tea brands that they use with the pods throughout the remainder of the year. Coffee pods are planned to launch next year. The cups and coffee are recyclable, but the lid and filter materials used in the EcoCups are not, but it is still a big improvement over the less eco-friendly alternative for consumers looking for convenience with a hint of green.