Robot barista company Briggo announced today it has entered into an exclusive agreement with SSP America to open automated Coffee Hauses at an additional 25 airport locations over the next two years in the U.S. and Canada.
SSP America is a division of SSP Group, which operates roughly 2,600 restaurants, bars, cafés and marches in across 500 locations representing more than 500 of its own and licensed brands. The SSP America website says the company is “passionate about bringing cool, authentic restaurants to airports that reflect a taste of place.”
Briggo’s robotic Coffee Haus is definitely cool. It’s a self-contained automated coffee shop in a box that offers a variety of hot and iced coffee and teas that can be ordered via the Briggo app or through a tablet built into the machine. Meant for high-traffic areas (like airports!), Briggo says its Coffee Haus can make 100 cups off coffee an hour.
Details were pretty light in the press release emailed to us announcing the deal with SSP America, but the partnership should result in robot coffee experiences similar to the three Coffee Hauses Briggo has opened in the Austin and San Francisco International airports. As with its SFO location, Briggo said that in addition to its own coffee roast, it will “also work with airport teams to select local brands to showcase in their Coffee Hauses.”
When we first covered Briggo last year, the company was building up to be a full-stack coffee company. It selects and roasts its own beans, and would own and operate its machines. Briggo declined to answer questions about the business arrangement between it and SSP, so we don’t know what the financial or operational terms of this deal were.
Having said that, if Briggo is looking to scale quickly, partnering up with companies like SSP might be the most expeditious way. It can leverage their existing operational chains and relationships to more easily break into new markets.
The robo-barista game is not zero sum one. There are plenty of high-traffic locations for all the coffee robots. Having said that, our eyes now turn to the other barista-in-a-box, Cafe X, to see when it will start announcing more of its expansion plans.