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April 30, 2009

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Justin

Will this be part of the summer promo? I am sitting in Starbucks now and just saw Fed Ex drop off supplies for summer set up.

Mrs. Tillinghamshackles

Summer Promo will focus in on Iced Coffee with Milk, Iced Mocha, and Caramel Frappuccino for drinks, Arabian Mocha Sanani for whole bean coffee, and our new pastry model with a continued emphasis on pairings (with a fancy new button on the POS for pairings with Iced Coffee, woo).

Em

I'm willing to pay more for good coffee. I like a lot of Starbucks blends but Pike Place is certainly not one of them. That means that if there is a bold coffee worth having, I'm good. Of course that only leaves the before noon timeframe. If I go out for coffee in the evening, it's never Starbucks. And if the bold coffee is not one that I like, I'm stuck. Whole Foods has good coffee. Bring your own mug and it's .81 including tax. Panera's new blends beat Pike Place. Bring you own mug and it's $1 including tax. Starbucks costs $1.75 with my own mug. Explain to me again why they are better? Surly service and Pike Place? Not so much.

Melody

Em, I would totally pay more for real coffee. Heck I would be willing to see this on the menu (it would NEVER happen though because I think I'm part of a small minority of customers who would react favorably to it):

Core Coffee Choice: Select any coffee from our 6 core coffees* and the barista will brew a quarter batch through the drip brewers for you. Select the size you want. Surcharge of 75 cents applies in addition to your size of cup choice.

Thus, I could walk in and say, "I'll have a tall Verona drip-brewed, not a french press" and the barista would say "yes, of course, that would be $2.30" ($1.55 + .75 - of course it would be more than $2.30 with tax, and after personal cup discount.)


* Verona, Sumatra, Estima, Gold Coast Blend, Sidamo, Komodo Dragon (at least I think those are the 6 rotated line up coffees, but I could be mistaken).

STARBUCKS GOSSIP WEBMASTER

There's a separate thread for yesterday's earnings report. Post your related items there, PAPI.

pApI

ok thanks WEBMASTER

margomai

It would seem that this MAY be a good move. Alot of people may think to themselves "Wait, they're lowering prices for some drinks AND raising them for others?! They should be lowering prices for ALL drinks!" Not necessarily.

I think this...

(1) To those who get the White Mochas, Espresso Truffles, etc. Money is (to an extent) no number to them. They know they pay well for a (supposedly consistent) great beverage, and don't mind paying an extra 10 or 20 cents. I mean, c'mon... people who order $4+ plus drinks routinely cannot be very price conscious... (See point 3)

(2) Then you've got the people who like simple drinks, or people that used to order more complicated drinks and don't have the means to do so routinely; they will benefit greatly because they are the ones who keep their eye on the price and will notice the change (unless it's an insignificant 5 or 10 cents BULL***T kind of deal) and may begin to come more often.

(3) But this move will hurt people who buy expensive drinks AND are prices conscious. (But I honestly think that's a vast minority of the customer base.)

I would love to see how this plays out... (more importantly, how broadly will this be advertised and how many will notice... everyone knows the news will be jumping on it ;D)

@ Melody...
It really seems that having a good cup of bold is a day-to-day battle for you... (I can imagine some baristas are being pressured by shifts and management to not brew new batches for people... I know I have. You can come to my store anytime and have a hot cup of Verona... too bad it's in Miami...

LEGENDARY OR BUST

I am seeing this in my near future:

"Oh, I didn't want whip on my Iced Mocha.."

"Oh, sure, let me fix this for you!!

I really think that the more pictures we have on the menu next to each item, the easier it is to order. I think we are no longer an exclusive brand for aficionados but for common folk as well.

The menu may look "classic, "simple," "unobtrusive" but the days of early 80s Il Giornale are over. If we are going to lure McDonald's customers, the menu should reflect that effort.

Stephen Pendleton

As a result of "all Pike Place all the time," I abandoned Starbucks in favor or Peets. This is after 10 years at $5/day. At BUX, I had to wait in line too much only find out they were fresh out of bold, how 'about Pike, would I mind waiting four more minutes while they brewed a fresh batch of bold? Now I walk a bit farther and pay a bit more but get fast service and real coffee. I assume Pike Place is about economy of scale, cheap beans, and the perception that brewing 1960's-style high-acid, low-extract, percolator coffee might open new mainstream markets. I gave up and voted with my feet.

LEGENDARY OR BUST

Stephen, you are comparing Starbucks with 10,000+stores to Peets with 200 stores in like 2-3 states (mostly California)

Not an apt comparison. (Regardless of my take on bold/no bold).

LEGENDARY OR BUST

Can you order a French press at Starbucks with ANY coffee they have on the shelves?

Yes!

Will you have to wait 4-5 minutes?

Yes! (They won't do it if you're in the drive-thru obviously).

Can they say "No!"

No!

Will they give you a dirty look? Maybe. Maybe at 8 am on Monday. Or Friday. Especially in a drive-thru store if you come inside. Can you deal with it? I do.

Is dealing with it THAT difficult?

No (Especially since they can't technically say no to a French Press at any time).

There's your solution at Starbucks.

LMD

Melody--

If you come to Omaha, Nebraska, I'll grind up some Sumatra or Komodo Dragon and brew a batch for you! I'm sorry you have such trouble getting your bold coffee (agreed, PPR is not so great). I don't know who's been serving you, but here, my manager always encourages us to mark out a pastry and doing a coffee tasting if the customer is interested. :-)

--LMD

LEGENDARY OR BUST

LMD -- are you a cafe-only store?

Melody

I appreciate the many bold coffee thoughts. As a general rule, to avoid coffee hassles, I order bold drip in the morning, and Clover in the afternoon, Monday through Friday. Weekends are always unpredictable because I'm not near a Clover store often. So, in short, a lot of my strife (though not all) is solved by the switch to drip bold brew mornings, and Clovers in the afternoon. I appreciate your thoughts Legendary or Bust, but I really don't want a french press. I want drip-brewed coffee. But I really do appreciate your reaching out to help!

On the topic of price adjustments: I'm a little confused about the upcoming Iced Coffee Promotion of an Iced Coffee for $1.95. Is that right? So how does that work with refills? I almost never get a refill on iced coffee because it is a sweet treat, but does that mean others will be able to buy one for $1.95 and come back shortly thereafter wanting a 50 cent refill? Just curious.

STARBUCKS GOSSIP WEBMASTER

Once again, readers, please don't use tags if you're not going to close them. Ahem, Margomai.

Not Bitter, Just Sad

@ LEGENDARY OF BUST

Customers shouldnt have to DEAL with it! Customers shouldnt have to get a dirty look for ordering a french press of their perferred coffee. As you said, "Can they say no?" "No" So why should the customers have to deal with it and their dirty looks because theyre too lazy to do their job? That is not Legendary Service. I know stores are short staffed because of the labor cuts and its a pain to have to stop and brew a qtr batch for a paying customer. Parnters know their stores. If you know you have demand of any king for bold in your store, weigh out 1 or 2 batches of Bold and have it ready to pop in the brewer. Its not like if you dont need it and have to throw it away its going to effect your bottom line. You throw away enough already, a qtr batch or 2 wont even be noticed and at least youll have happy customers who can get what they want. Customers like Melody shouldnt have to beg, especially in the am or any other time, for bold coffee nor should they have to deal with attitudes.

spence

Melody,
I think it's so unfair for you. I'm in the Southeast and in our area, we brew whatever we feel like. I feel that our store sells mostly bold all day so that's what I do. I do 1/4 batches of Pike for those that want milder. I add a splash of hot water for those that want mild. (It's Pike; it can't get worse.) Honestly, I think the milder coffee drinkers have switched shops or getting it at gas stations. It's sad when gas station coffee is better than our all day serve coffee.
I'm lucky to have a wonderful SM who trusts our judgement. If she is taking flak for it, she isn't passing it on.

Stephen Pendleton

>you are comparing Starbucks with 10,000+ stores to Peets with 200 stores

I work in a big-city, West-coast downtown law firm. I can walk to 10 coffee shops. OF COURSE I'm comparing BUX with Peets. Are you suggesting that I should seek out Pike Place (pee-pee)simply to reinforce market dominance? It took about nine months of bad service and bad product for BUX to lose me as a customer. I became gradually dissatisfied, shopped around, and found a competitor with better service and better coffee. Many of the other office workers in line with me at Peets were also long-term BUX customers who quit BUX recently. We tend to buy straight coffee, not frou-frou liquid desserts. If enough of us change our spending habits, that 10,000:200 ratio won't stay that way.

--Steve Pendleton

margomai

My apologies, Jim; won't happen again. (I'm rather new here, sorry.)

Sedg

French press and drip brew are two vastly different brewing methods, that taste different. Do a tasting sometime. Added to that there's the health benefits of paper-filtered drip vs french press.

Personally I'm a press all the way kinda guy, can't get on with that 'light' taste you get with a lot of drip brews. But if you want one, and get offered the other, it's basically saying you can't tell the difference. And you'd be surprised how many people can. I'm betting Melody could.

LEGENDARY OR BUST

Stephen, I was suggesting that your desired level of service is better sought at Peet's or elsewhere than Starbucks...

LEGENDARY OR BUST

(continued) which you apparently discovered on your own. I envy you. I get tired of Starbucks myself but that's all we have out here.

David

I got my manager to change our store to brew bold until 5pm istead of noon. You wouldn't believe how happy it's made customers,to the point where we're selling much more drop. I'll have to check reports to get real numbers.

wow gold

It's about time to lower the prices of their basic drinks. I usually order iced coffee on my way home after work and gulp it while playing World of Warcraft. If I can only use wow gold to purchase, I would have gotten myself a frappuccino. :)

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