Starbucks has been around for over 40 years by now and has taken the world by storm in the business of coffee. It’s become a running joke that “There’s a Starbucks on every corner with another located just around the corner,” which, in some cases, is very true. With over 4.9 billion dollars in revenue from last year, it’s obvious enough that some people love it, but who exactly does?
Do I Love it?
Personally, I find Starbucks to be a consistent, solid choice in coffee. The drinks will taste the same from one state to the next so you can always be sure it will be the same every time. It’s the quick, consistent choice that will always meet my standards. The seasonal drinks are usually a hit along with their caramel macchiato (make that a caramel Frappuccino during the summer), or the white chocolate latte will always be a decent choice. That isn’t to say I am absolutely in love with Starbucks, but it has never done me wrong. Starbucks can (somewhat) compete with their quality of coffee but their prices are surely at a premium compared to many other locally owned shops. It’s not hard to spend over 10 dollars there with only two drinks (making me cringe when I go to hand the smiling barista my card).
Along with their good coffee and despite the price, their customer service and ‘ambience” is quite phenomenal. You are always greeted with a smiling face and a calm quiet atmosphere that allows for coffee enjoying ease. Their drive thru is often very efficient and can move through a line very quickly. I’ve seen a long line dreading the wait to be awful, but find my hot fresh drink arriving in just a few moments. The ambience of resting inside is always a pleasure. There is always a choice of bar style stools with tables, comfy oversized chairs, and shaded outdoor seating as well. The music is quiet, not provoking anyone to speak loudly, keeping the entire volume peacefully quaint.
Above all, I elect to go to Starbucks over other places more often than not because I know what I am getting. Starbucks is always around the corner from where I’m located making the choice of here for good coffee or there for slightly better coffee, very easy. I may not love Starbucks, but my credit card statements sure might suggest otherwise!
Do Others Love it?
Just from looking at Starbucks revenue and profit, of course people love it! The Starbucks culture caters to several demographics and panders to America’s love of coffee. Starbucks has become integrated into America’s culture as the go-to coffee place no matter where you are. There is no other nation-wide competitor out there that acts as true competition on the same level.
There are lots of people that just love Starbucks, with that said, there is a counter-culture of Starbucks hate. They claim the coffee is inferior, the prices to high, and most likely get sick of seeing it on every street. Their claims are not invalid either, other coffee shops certainly may have better cups of coffee or espresso. The price is a huge deterrent for many, it’s not cheap and if your eye is on quality, it might not be worth it. Some people just detest franchises in general, they find the same shop on every corner annoying and simply refuse to go because of that. Everyone has their reasons and most of them are valid, especially concerning price.
Most people that love Starbucks make the point that their service and business is smart. They have an effective rewards program that offers great deals and benefits that many Starbucks-goers are going to be all over. Their system for serving coffee is efficient and can spit out coffee and espresso very quickly (for Drive-Thru especially). The other major reasons people cite are that it is good and the service is consistent. People expect a certain standard and the fact that Starbucks consistently delivers that standard means it wins over a lot of customers, making them long term Starbucks-goers.
Overall, I think Starbucks has some good and bad qualities. Many people seem to enjoy it, and others find it not worth their time. Each and every coffee stop has its advantages and many of them have benefits that others don’t. Starbucks customers know they are going to get the same quality and experience every time whereas anywhere else could be a shot in the dark. Anything this big is always going to draw a lot of attention from both directions on the spectrum. America’s love-hate relationship with Starbucks will likely never end but it is defiantly ingrained in the American psyche to know about it.