Starbucks is in trouble. You probably don’t realize they’re in trouble because every morning when you go in there the line raps around the inside of the store and you pay $4.79 for a small latte. However, based upon several factors, including increased frugality by Americans (yay!) and an influx of market competition from big names like McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks near global domination is retreating just a few steps.
I try to avoid Starbucks, but I walk by and its hissing espresso machines beckon me. As a Starbucks shopper, I’ve been generally happy, although several things have bothered me about the store, the beverages and the way the business is run.
Ed at Serious Eats has some great recommendations for revitalizing the Starbucks machine. I have a couple of my own, and invite you to share your suggestions in the Comments. After we put together a list of about 100 comments, I’m going to send them to Starbucks and see if we can’t get the readers some free Starbucks gear (Please leave original comments and e-mail me your comments as well, so I can keep in touch with any potential Starbucks response).
1. Turn on the Heat
For stores in the Northeast, the combination of the large windows and poor building insulation makes for a chilly place to study. Starbucks should take a page out of Panera’s book and consider installing electric fireplaces, or changing the heating scheme of their outfits.
2. Include Nutrition Information
I’m on a diet for the upcoming wedding, and as much as I love a Pumpkin Spice Latte I only know how bad it is for me because I researched online. They should provide a pamphlet with nutritional information for all their drinks.
3. Enough With the T-Mobile Hotspot
This is 2008, you need to offer free wi-fi like most other coffee shops.
4. Ditch the Sandwiches and Most of the Unhealthy Snacks
For such a globally and environmentally-conscious company, Starbucks has no problem helping people destroy their bodies. I know they’re delicious, but do you know how many calories are in that cookie you just got with your Chai? Starbucks would be better served offering fresh, healthy snacks and some soups then dishing out the gross breakfast sandwiches and tremendously good, yet tremendously bad-for-you snacks.
5. Lower the Music Volume
I know it serves as dissonance to prevent you from hearing nearby conversations, but the music should not also prevent you from thinking. I’d also like Starbucks to have some bands come and play (softly!) in the evenings and perhaps on weekends.
Let me know what else you think would help resurrect Starbucks.