I drink a lot of coffee. I mean, I have to drink a lot of coffee. OK, I don’t have to, but working in the industry that I do there are a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of early mornings. So coffee is a great way to keep me awake through the day and through the night. I drink a lot of coffee at work, mainly because it is free and there is a lot of variety (we have a Keurig machine). But when I am not at work I usually tend to drink Starbucks coffee. And I know what you are saying but I drink it because it is good. It is not cheap, no, but it is good and they are everywhere. You cannot go very far without seeing one. They are like Chinese buffets; every strip mall has one. You can find them inside Target and malls, and even attached to gas stations. There is even a Starbucks on the moon.
But Starbucks is having some troubles. With this wonderful Obama forced recession that we are in, people are spending less money. People are not going out to eat as much. They are not spending as much money on clothes, or going to as many movies. People are saving anywhere they can. And that is becoming evident with companies, sometimes HUGE companies, filing for bankruptcy all over the place. Even Walmart, one of the biggest and most powerful companies on the planet, is making cutbacks. (And I hate it by the way. They are changing the hours of the Super Centers and removing a lot of the groceries from said Super Centers.)
With this recession and the cutbacks from all these big companies they are all trying to figure out ways of how to increase revenue and how to get more people in their doors. A lot, like Pepsi, Walmart, and Citizens Gas, are rebranding themselves. Some are offering insane discounts on their products. And some are simply sending out free coupons for their products to just get people to hopefully come back. Starbucks, after closing 600 stores all over the country, are also changing their business plan a little. Outside of the collection of world wide coffees and delicious calorie packed snacks, they are going to start offering alcohol as well.
With the introduction of alcohol, it will not come to all Starbucks immediately. It is actually only going to hit a couple of Starbucks in Seattle. The stores, as a matter of fact, are not even official Starbucks establishments. (Did you know that Seattle’s Best coffee shops are actually Starbucks?) These two stores that will begin carrying beer alongside their coffee are not even built yet so do not get excited that you can get your morning latte tomorrow and add a shot of Bailey’s to it.
The reason behind the introduction of alcohol is a European influenced one. The former CEO of Starbucks, Scott Bedbury, said that alcohol in coffee shops is a common occurrence in Europe. (That makes me want to live in Europe more and more every day. They have better nightclubs, they play better music, they have alcohol in their coffee shops, you do not have to tip at restaurants; they are just better than us in a lot of ways.)
But with the new style of coffee house that Starbucks is going to do not get excited quite yet. The price of coffee is quite high, so image what the alcohol will cost. They are saying now it will cost anywhere from $4 to $7 for a single glass of beer or wine (I enjoy wine) and might not be at every location. So I will not be able to plug in my laptop and have a drink while working. Oh well, I guess I will just have to go to Scotty’s Brewhouse. They have free wifi you know.