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January 30, 2013

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A former partner

that's funny, I distinctly remember Howard Schultz saying drive-thrus were going to become _less_ of a focus when he became CEO again.

"It's all about the Benjamins, baby..."

GHE

I'm curious as to how many drive-thrus Starbucks has now. I know of only one anywhere in my area and I don't really recall any in D.C. area where I used to live. I wonder if this means the new stores are going to be more suburban, shopping center type operations, since that is the kind of location that lends itself to a drive-thru, rather than a downtown.

Catherine

My brother's friend who lives in San Francisco was like, "Drive through Starbucks? Do we even have any of those in California?" lol.

I myself almost always use a drive through. Too lazy to get out of my car, especially when it is cold outside since I hate jackets.

STL_Nick

I've worked in both drive through and cafe only stores, and there is definitely a different culture to our customers and atmosphere. In the cafe only store it felt more like a real coffee shop, a destination for people to come to, while the drive through really just feels like a fast food restaurant and a place where people only come on their way to somewhere else. I definitely miss the culture of a cafe only store

BSJ

As someone with two small children often strapped in car seats behind me, I am very grateful for Starbucks drive-thrus.

They provide a thread of connection to my "old" life, which never imagined the hassle of unstrapping kids, hauling them inside, keeping them away from towers of merchandise, trying to hold their hands to cross the parking lot while juggling a cup of hot coffee, wrangling them back into their car seats, hoping I don't forget to grab the cup off my roof before driving away...

I, too, love the Starbucks cafe atmosphere and someday will be able to enjoy it again like I used to. Until then, the drive-thrus make me really happy!

Judy

to GHE: There's at least one drive through in the DC area that I know of - it's in Gaithersburg

Sarah

This seems so funny to me... I know lots of people who use the drive-thrus (there are plenty in my area) but I just don't get it; Starbucks is so much more expensive than, say, McDonald's coffee. I love Starbucks and go there all the time, but for the experience of sitting down inside and hanging out. Don't understand paying that much for coffee I'm taking away with me.

Me

In city we have 13 Drive Thru stores and only 1 cafe only store, and that one is in a mall, so it's not really a cafe store because the seating area is out in the mall.Drive Thru stores are not all that bad, as I actually enjoy working in one, but duringmorning rush it does tend to feel more like fast food than I would like. We still connect with customers by recognizing their voice at the speaker, and a quick greeting, but that's about it

Barista Ben

Drive thru's get more labor. So on the staff it can actually be eaiser.

latteteadah

I have more drive-thrus in my area, but I find myself needing to go in more often to purchase what I want. I don't see anyone ordering pastries and sandwich items through the drive through, and unless I'm at the counter, I don't know what they still have available versus what I want. So we go through this rigamaroll of "do you have any bluberry muffins...yes or no."

Long story short - I purchase less when I go through the drive through. It may get more people who'd otherwise stay away to drive thru, but for their loyal customers, it doesn't make any difference.

northernshift

Drive-through backlash: Over 2/3 of the business flows through that window which translates into 2/3 of the cafe traffic NOT walking past the retail wall, the impulse items, the newspaper, the Naked juice, THE WHOLE BEAN! It's beyond me that they'd depart from their core mission, but accepting that now, why would you spend more labor on making Frappuccino, waste water, etc. when you could just do as your Drive-through competition does?,,,,install computerised, exact-recipe all-day fresh machines while cutting the staff in half and paying less people MORE money who want 40-hour work weeks?

Pj

Drive thru will suck the soul out of you. After doing RMT in a cafe and later moved to oversee a drive thru for over the past 2.5 years I lost all connection and love that first brought me to Starbucks.

Emily Holton

It will take longer. As a barista I am expected to memorize orders( because I am busy making coffee, sandwiches) and then put them in the computer later. F.y.i if the barista says ill have your total at the window, it means they are doing something else. Also if the car infront of you gets a poor over, which is when we have to grind the beans and poor water for that specific cup of coffee, or orders 5 frappichinos (we only have 2 blenders) you are going to have to wait. Whereas, if your in the lobbey we can just call your name as soon as your drink is ready instead of it just sitting there. Also, drive thru does not take priority so if the lobbey if full guess what. You are waiting longer.

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