- In May Kauai restaurants offered regular customers the chance to get perpetual discounts on smoothies by buying special reusable "Kups" for R119 each.
- The plan was to reduce plastic waste as part of a "healthy planet" initiative.
- Now the chain is phoning every one of the thousands of customers who bought the special cups and asking for them back again.
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In late May the health-focussed casual restaurant chain Kauai launched a special offer attractive to any regular buyer of its smoothies – whether or not they cared about single-use plastic waste.
For R119 up front you could buy a "Kauai Kup", a seemingly sturdy reusable smoothie cup. Using Kauai's smartphone app you could then claim five free smoothies – which have a minimum value of R190. From then on out you would save R1 on every smoothie you ordered in store after presenting you cup, as a perpetual discount.
If saving a minimum of R71 wasn't enough, you would also be saving on single-use plastic containers, as part of what Kauai has branded a "healthy planet" initiative.
But this week Kauai confirmed it was asking customers to return the cups, phoning each of the around 2,000 people who took on the offer, after the plan sprung a leak.
"It was discovered shortly after launch of our new reusable smoothie cups that in a small percentage of the cups, water droplets can get in between the two walls of the cup when fully immersed in water (usually during washing)," the company told Business Insider South Africa.
It yanked the cups from sale, but not before selling a couple of thousand.
So far it has contacted about a quarter of those who had taken up the offer, and it hopes to have reached everyone by the end of next week, Kauai said.
The cups, or kups, can be returned at any store for a full refund. While buyers get to keep the vouchers for free smoothies, they will not be getting their R1 discounts – for now. Kauai accepts bring-your-own containers for smoothies, but at its standard price.
However, it hopes to have a new range of smoothie cups available again "in coming months".
The Kauai-branded reusable coffee cups, which also come with R1 off on every use, are not affected by smoothie cup problem, and remain in use.
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