Coffee is About to Slay the Burger

People seem to have a love-hate relationship with Starbucks. I get the detractors, but at the end of the day its a coffee company. It’s also one that started out and blew up around the world using innovative Marketing ideas, and integrating technology. It’s been pretty incredible.

I for one am a fan. I got into the coffee game late in life, probably around 26. However, I am a big fan of Starbucks for a number of reasons, and it’s those reasons why I believe they are about to overtake McDonald’s as the number one fast-food chain. Again, my opinion, but it’s based on why I like Starbucks.

 Source: The Atlas

ALWAYS THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM

When I got into Outside Sales my territory was Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and northern Wisconsin. Lots of windshield time, and a lot of time needing to stay awake. Target is headquartered in Minneapolis, so there’s one in just about every town in the region, and in those Targets is a Starbucks. When you’ve been driving down I-35 for five hours and need a break, it’s a sight for sore eyes.

The other great thing about a Starbucks everywhere in corn-country was the WiFi. I’m driving but I’m still on the clock. I was also in the expedited shipping business, so time-sensitive, high-security stuff, emergencies were rampant. I was constantly stopping to answer emails and put out fires. It was nice to know I had a place I could get WiFi and get some work done.

TECHNOLOGY

Everyone has an app these days. I am waiting for the day when my mom announces her app. The Starbucks app is amazing. You can pay, order ahead, and even buy people gift cards and coffees at other locations. If there’s another fast-food chain with an app as comprehensive as Starbucks I haven’t seen anything on it.

They also expand out and try new things, which is rare in that industry. They now have an extension for Outlook, so you can send people meeting invites and include the closest Starbucks as a meeting venue. How genius is that? It all pushes people to the same thing: getting them in a store to make a purchase. And it’s working, amazingly.

REWARDS PROGRAM

Now they’ve taken some heat for their most recent change to the rewards program. When I saw the article on the change, and the backlash, I chuckled, mainly because I was the biggest snake on those. I would buy 12 tall Pike’s Peak coffees, then when the free one kicked in: “Yes a Vente Mocha with an extra shot please. Oh I have a free drink.” That’s all done now. However, at the end of the day you’re still getting something for free. You also get a free one on your birthday if you have the gold card (not to brag, but I did drive 40,000+ miles a year).

THE STAFF

I have yet to run into a rude Starbucks employee, across three continents in seven countries. They may not always be cheery (everyone has bad days), but never once have I been treated poorly. If anything they’ve been too nice! I was once profusely apologized to for getting whip cream on my mocha when I asked for none. She insisted she make me a new one. If anything, I was the one who got a bit rude, as I insisted it was fine and she shouldn’t worry about it.

It’s no shock why Starbucks is ascending while most of it’s competition has plateaued or even declined. They’ve been able to get massive, but also maintain the ability to change on the fly and try new things without getting bogged down in bureaucratic processes like other companies of that size. I for one am happy to see this ascension.

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