Taking it To Starbucks

Here’s the thing, Starbucks coffee doesn’t taste proper. It’s a sugared-up confection designed by experts to addict you, served in recyclable cups that never get recycled.

Same for all the other big chains.

That’s why I keep hearing from small people who reckon they’re going to beat up Starbucks by opening up an independent shop that sells proper coffee. Or tea. In no time they’ll have a worldwide chain. They don’t have any money this time round, they’ll pay me next time instead, when they’ll be billionaires, obviously.

I get this most weeks. I think it’s naive. If customers wanted proper coffee, then Starbucks would make it that way. It’s not hard and they can afford it. If you prove them wrong and open a successful shop, they’ll open up next door and beat you up instead.

What customers want is a nice place to sit and meet friends socially. Or surf the social web. The coffee’s a sideshow. None of the novices who contact me have the money to create better spaces than Starbucks.

So I reckon that if you want to take on Starbucks (Or Costa, McCafe, Nero, whatever) you need a better idea to start with.

My suggestion is that you consider something with better ethics as well as being a nice place to sit. I reckon the big chains are vulnerable to opinion swinging against them as we become more educated about good nutrition and sustainability. They’re in danger of dinosaur behavior, unable to adapt fast due to their size.

It’s a long game though and not one for Mom and Pop operators. Better for someone with deep pockets and sincerity.

I’m on board if you want. Please send feedback. Thanks