Almost everyone I know visits Starbucks on a semi-regular basis. If not for the coffee and tea, then for the community. Starbucks has established a certain feel in their shops that people seem to love. There are currently over 15,000 Starbucks Coffee locations in 42 different countries. You can’t go far without running into a one. Starbucks is quickly becoming the new McDonald’s.
There are several qualities that these two mega-businesses share. Though it has seen an apparent decline with the current generation, McDonald’s is the largest fast food chain in the world. McDonald’s is everywhere. Similarly, Starbucks seems to be everywhere. There are 3 within a few miles in the city I live in, and they are currently building another. There are all sorts of cases in big cities where there is a starbucks on every block, or even more. Starbucks is huge. Up until this past Christmas season, Starbucks has never done advertising of any sort. It hasn’t been necessary. Everyone knows about Starbucks.
Strangely, McDonald’s and Starbucks have both recently taken steps towards each other. McDonald’s now offers a variety of espresso drinks. Starbucks has offered breakfast sandwiches, very similar to the popular Egg McMuffin. For a time it seemed as though the companies were becoming strikingly similar, although due to complaints, Starbucks is now phasing out their breakfast sandwiches. ( I am personally disappointed. I was hoping for a merger. McStarnuck’s anyone?)
Unfortunately, another trait that theses two share is quality, or the lack thereof. While Starbucks’ quality of drinks and food is not nearly as low as that of McDonald’s, any coffee snob will tell you, it’s not the best. The biggest complaint I hear is that the beans are “burnt”. While this may be a matter of personal preference, I don’t think anyone can deny that Starbucks coffee is not the greatest coffee around. So why drink it? Because it’s still pretty good, it’s everywhere, and we’re addicited.
It seems as though Starbucks sees this trend as well. For the first time in it’s history, Starbucks has had to close down several locations. This past Christmas season saw their first ever advertisments. The Breakfast sandwiches are now on their way out, due to complaints. Starbucks made a shocking move when, just tonight, February 26th, from 5:30-8:30, they closed down every one of their 7,000 US locations. Due to increasing complaints regarding the poor quality of drinks, the coffee giant required all of their workers to come in for a training session.
It seems as though Starbucks sees the pattern they are in, and they want out. They are doing everything possible to keep themselves from becoming the new McDonald’s.