I was feeling a bit “lagged” this morning and made my usual pass by the local Starbucks. I’m standing in line yearning the smell of freshly ground coffee, but the barista odor de jour is of burning egg/cheese as the line barely moves. Finally I ordered my mundane Sumatra grande coffee with a little room (no fancy Carmel macchiato-non-fat-extra-whip for me) and I was on my way. I put the coffee cup in the Toyota cup holder and drove a half mile down the road. On the free way ramp waiting for the stop-n-go congestion light to turn green I reached for the coffee, as I normally would. As I lifted the cup it happened again…the ever annoying large single drip of coffee on my shirt.
It’s a conspiracy. I believe Starbuck’s personnel are trained to use the vertical cup “line” as a navigational aid for lid alignment. As if they are blind-folded in the training basement they use the ridge in cover of darkness and coordinate where to align the lid with the sipping hole. And this area will not SEAL. So, I’m paying nearly $2 for a cup of java and I get the added bonus of having to dry clean my shirt. Do they know Mr. Kim at my dry cleaner?!
With more than 4 million customers a week, what are the odds that your coffee cup lid will leak? If only a .5% – that’s a lot of cleaning fees. Sure these cups/lids keep beverages at their correct serving temperature, and keep your hands comfortable on the outside, but with a significant portion of Starbucks’ beverage business as take-out, and the majority of those drinks being sold in disposable cups….can’t the barista gals put the lid on the cup in a way so it won’t drip?!
And now I’m reading in the Wall Street Journal about how Mr. Schulz wants to have 3X the growth and still maintain that “small store” experience and focus on coffee. What?
Dude, drop the Mr. and get a first name. It’s not your 1990’s Starbucks. First there is the aroma loss. Prices are up. Service like a fast-food chain. Job boards annunciating careers at every entrance intermixed with CDs and Cinema discounts. Dumbed down cookie cutter espresso machines that dilute and automate the barista experience reducing it all to a near clinical robot visit. Egg muffin ovens that waft burnt cheese and 6-pack scone containers making you ask just who are they imitating? McDonalds or Safeway? iTunes or the local Cinema-plex? They are about as far away from coffee as you can get in terms of brand extension.
My suggestion on your “theater of romance” is either train your staff different and/or find a lid that doesn’t spill coffee on my shirt?! And oh yeah, while I’m at it, how about making coffee with out grounds in my cup. At least 10% of the time I’m choking on them. And no I didn’t pay extra for them!