Indian man’s Starbucks hack: Gets app-delivered coffee at 50% discount, while sitting at the café!

Who doesn’t love discounts? Anyone will take them where they can. For one Indian man, getting a delicious discount of INR210 (about USD2.5) on Starbucks coffee meant ordering the coffee while sitting at the Starbucks café but, instead of picking it up from the counter, getting it through the food delivery app Zomato. By doing this, the customer named Sandeep Mall bagged a 50 per cent discount deal.

The global chain Starbucks has outlets in most major Indian cities. Representative photo courtesy: Instagram/starbucks.dtla

Food delivery apps in India often offer deals and discounts, plus free delivery for loyalty programme members and/or for orders over a certain value. That was the case for Sandeep Mall, whose Twitter profile describes him as a mental health coach and entrepreneur, amongst other things. What he did was a simple but ingenious discount hack: he went to a Starbucks café, checked the price of his preferred coffee, and then checked the price of the same coffee on the Zomato app. He found that paying for the coffee through the app would cost him only half of what he would pay for buying directly from the café.

Since he was already at the café, he placed the order for the Starbucks vanilla sweet cream coffee through Zomato, and put in the address of that café as the customer’s delivery address. Starbucks received the order through Zomato, prepared the order, the Zomato delivery person came after a few minutes, picked up the order from the café counter, and delivered the coffee to Mall at his table inside the same café!

This amazing example of Indian “jugaad (joo-gaarh)” — the word encompasses a range of meanings, from improvisation to innovation to quick-fix solutions, and more — has left the Internet stunned with admiration. There are more than 1.1 million views for the original post, in which Mall said that he managed to get coffee priced at INR400 for INR190 by using this discount hack. (The price of INR400 would include taxes.)

When some netizens expressed their doubts about Mall’s hack, he posted the Zomato bill on Twitter, saying: “Mentos khao dimag ki ghanti bajao (Pop a cool Mentos lozenge and let your brain start working).”

A Twitter user named Tenali Raman pointed out: “The coffee maker still charge the same 400 (sic). Discount is provided by Zomato.” But hey, a discount is still a vanilla sweet cream-flavoured discount. So, who’s complaining?