Tag: Starbucks

Local Starbucks Fights the Ghetto Latte

Now that it’s getting cold outside hot coffee is starting to sound good to me again.  I usually only drink hot drinks in the winter while preferring cold any other time.  I’ve enjoyed iced coffee all summer since its easy to make using a concentrate I get at the local store.

meh_coffeeRemembering I had some money on my Starbucks account I stopped at the location near my office.  It’s been a while since I’ve been in here because the service is well below average.  They seem to dedicate all of their staff activity to the drive-thru and, even today, they were serving 3-4 people in the drive-thru to every one person in the store.

After I ordered my plain coffee & walked over to the condiment bar for a splash of half-and-half.  Wait a minute, the stainless steel thermos is missing!  The guy standing next to me saw what I was looking for and said “you have to ask them for it”.

So back to the pickup counter I go and I waited to get someone’s attention.  The employees were too busy tripping over each other to get the orders out the little window to notice me standing there.  After a few moments I got one of the worker bees attention.  “Cream?” I asked.  She was already reading my mind and grabbed a little paper cup and proceeded to pour out a couple of ounces of the heavy moo juice.   I asked, “do you have one you’d like me to put out on the station”, thinking I would be a nice guy and do them a favor.  “No” she said.  “We keep it back here now so it doesn’t run out as fast”.

Then it hit me.  The Ghetto Latte has gotten so bad they have to ration out the dairy to keep people from cheating the system.  I assure you this is a real thing.  I’ve seen it time and time again where people turn a couple of shots of espresso over ice into one (or in some cases when they ask for an extra cup) two Lattes saving themselves a few dollars in the process.

cheap_coffeeWay to stick it to the man cheap skate.  I’d be willing to bet that’s your idling car parked crooked in the handicapped spot too.  Bonus points if you’re talking on your speaker phone while oblivious to everyones personal space the entire time you’re in the store.

So once again, those who take advantage of things make it inconvenient for others who go with the flow.  Say what you want about Starbucks.  I know it’s over priced and there are better options out there.  In this case it was a choice between office coffee (usually empty), a small Keurig we have in our area (meh, I don’t get the pod thing), or something slightly better.

I’m curious if this practice of keeping the half-and-half behind the counter is a isolated thing at this particular Starbucks or if this is a common practice at other coffee shops too.  Anyone else witness a Ghetto Latte in the making?  I’d love to hear your stories!

Dear Howard Schultz (Chairman and CEO of Starbucks)…

Dear Mr. Schultz (Chairman and CEO of Starbucks),

First of all I would like to thank you for your company and products. I appreciate the ability to spin around 3 times and  face one of your establishments when I stop.  I also appreciate the ability to use all of those $5 bills I have cluttering my wallet on a Venti Cafè Americano.

What I DON’T appreciate is watching 3 cars in your drive-thru being serviced for every one customer inside.  Look, I actually parked my car (in the designated spot) and walked into your store to make my purchase.  I can tell you’ve spent a lot of money trying to impress me and liberate more $5 bills from my wallet.  You’re a business, I get that.  Sometimes it works!

I find it absolutely infuriating to place my order and watch drink after drink from the “outside” be processed in front of mine.  You always have twice as many Baristas working that tiny little window than you do the big expansive counter.

The little treats you put out for me are a nice touch but the guy in front of me always seems to have taken the last one.  The sole employee manning the inside counter is too busy helping the window to notice.  As a point of reference I actually SAVE you labor costs as I put my own flair in my drink at the little self serve counter!

All I’m asking for is a little respect when I enter your store, after all, I’m taking the time to enjoy the “experience” and I might even stick around and visit for a while.  I assume that was your intention when you started oh so many years ago.

Please Mr. Schultz, please consider the customer who cares.  The customer who sees, and buys, all of those leftover holiday items in January to free up shelf space for the Spring Collection.  The customer who uses your free wireless services you have invested in.  The customer who cares enough to bring this matter to your attention.

Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew

Starbucks VIAIf you are looking for a “quick” cup of coffee throughout your day the new Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is worth trying out.  I’ve been a little critical lately of how my local Starbucks handle drive-thru traffic vs. the customers in their store…  The new offering from Starbucks means I don’t have to go inside the store as often!

Ready Brew is made with Instant & “micro ground” coffee and available in two flavors (Colombian & Italian Roast).  All you need is 8oz of hot (or cold) water & you’re in business.

How does it taste?  Pretty darn good!  I’ve had instant coffee before and it’s always been disappointing, but it was better than nothing.  Now with Ready Brew I can enjoy my favorite caffeinated beverage while traveling and just as easily at home (if I have the time I’ll still grind my own beans and use my french press).  Coffee Beans Close Up

Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is available at all Starbucks store locations now and online at the end of October.  12-8oz servings will cost you $9.95.

Have you tried Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew yet?  Let me know if you liked it or not by clicking on the comments link below.