Apparently smaller, independent coffee shops actually benefit from nearby Starbucks stores. The theory goes thus:
Starbucks makes people who wouldn’t normally bother, try fancy coffee. These people are turned into caffeine zombies requiring a daily fix. The long waiting times and the exorbitant prices force these consumers to look elsewhere and they discover the little family run place next-door which has been there all along.
I can remember a time when my home city didn’t have any national chain coffee houses. There was just one local place which specialised in coffee and a load of cafes where you could get an bad to average cup dispensed by an old lady who had never even heard of crema.
I don’t often buy take-away coffee as I can make my own at home and at work but when I do I normally get it from one of the three big chains who now dominate the high street here. I find that the staff in this store are actually polite and attentive. The staff in the independent coffee house are often too busy thinking about how cool their dishevelled hair and I’ve-been-to-Thailand-on-my-gap-year jewellery looks (answer: not at all) to actually make my Mocha in under 10 minutes.
Anyway I’m not too bothered where people buy their coffee from, anybody selling something with a 400% markup is probably making more money than me. (Although what the growers are making is probably a different matter altogether).
All this reminds my of a joke by Lee Mack (and probably a hundred people before him) “I like my coffee how I like my women: hot, dark, from a street corner and for not more than £2.50.”
Filed under: business, coffee, shopping | 2 Comments
Tags: business, coffee, economics, rant, shopping, starbucks