Saturday, February 03, 2007

But what did the anarchists prefer?

People like McDonalds coffee better than Starbucks. The only surprise here is that Consumer Reports had to do a test to find this out. The puddle of water/gas/oil in my driveway is preferable to Starbucks coffee and this is, I think, the secret of their success. It's the latte, stupid. And the way everyone who works there seems genuinely nice. I mean, it's like they've internalized the six rules. Every day in every way.

Which brings me to this. It's difficult but I feel like we've known each other long enough that I can finally -- finally -- admit it freely and honestly: I love Starbucks. Don't judge me! I especially love their drive-thru locations. Don't judge me! That one in Grand Prairie? Down the road from the horse track? It's the only thing that can make driving I-30 bearable. The one on Cockrell Hill Road is nice too, particularly when you're getting your tires worked on at that Wal-Mart across the street. Don't you dare judge me!


HighJive said...

You inspire some additional thinking.

First, are you really in love with Starbucks, or are you physically addicted to its offerings, like a heroin addict needing a fix?

In some ways, Starbucks has hooked you with original McDonald’s tactics. Starbucks offers a consistent experience, from product to atmosphere. McDonald’s used to do that, and its problems in the 80s and 90s were rooted in the corporation’s inability to deliver on its core strengths. In other words, people suddenly found themselves entering filthy and unfriendly restaurants.

Starbucks employees probably treat customers nicely because Starbucks treats its employees nicely. They get paid well (for essentially fast-food-style work) and even get benefits, I think. McDonald’s, on the other hand, treats the help like slaves and trains them like robots (e.g., smile and say, “Would you like a McFlurry with that Extra Value Meal?”). It all translates to bad service and bad experiences. It’s still hard to believe McDonald’s sales continue to rise. It’s probably a result of the economy, where people actively seek cheap food. Plus, McDonald’s food is as physically addictive as crack. Or Starbucks’ coffee.

Mr. Middlebrow said...

The funny (ironic, not ha-ha) thing about this: McDonald's is starting to offer Wi-Fi. Somehow I just don't see myself nursing a double cheese and fries through the afternoon while I surf the web in some hard-assed plastic booth.

For the record, I love Starbucks, shamelessly and unabashedly. In part because of the experience, but also because they serve coffee that's made to taste like--wait for it--coffee. Go figure.

So, no judgments from this quarter.

Make the logo bigger said...

Here in Minneapolis, it's a celebrity coffee death match between Starbucks and Caribou coffee. (For those who don’t know Caribou, management said “we like what Starbucks did with their space, but let’s throw in some of that Panera funk so people will be fooled – a little.“)

Irene Done said...

Excellent point about the "hard-assed plastic booth." I always go to Starbucks to work/meet but I think the only people who linger in a McDonalds are people with kids.

While I AM addicted to caffeine, that's not why I love -- lurve -- Starbucks. I don't go there everyday but it's always a pleasant experience whether I drive through or walk in and stay.

You know, last time I was in a Panera's THEY were touting their new free wi-fi. Maybe they were throwing in some of that Caribou junk to fool people.