Starbucks to Close Stores/End Sandwich Sales

In an effort to right his ailing baby, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) honcho Howard Schultz said “…the scent of the warm sandwiches interferes with the coffee aroma in our stores.” I thought they’d do something more material – like start serving better coffee.

But no, Howie’s still not getting it. It’s not the sandwiches nor the breakfast deallies he’s begun to serve. It’s the horrible coffee and the bitter aftertaste. Peet’s makes good coffee, Starbucks makes good lattes. Starbucks is a coffee store, start with serving better coffee.

I’ve always thought that Starbucks served horrible, acidic coffee so that consumers would almost be forced to buy higher profit margin beverages, such as lattes and the frozen drinks. And don’t tell me about having “a Starbucks experience” either please – it’s not sex.

Like a GARP Value Investor, I want to buy my coffee in a CARP manner – Coffee At a Reasonable Price. Cutting coffee prices at the register to $1 is still too expensive for the coffee Starbucks serves. I’d bid $0.70 for a cup of coffee there. No, wait, I couldn’t even do that until they change the coffee. It just tastes too damn burnt.

And since I’m on a roll, when the Barista asks, “Leave room for milk?” that says to me “how much do you need to dilute this crap before you jam in your favorite sweetener, whatever the color of the packet is.”

After changing the coffee, Starbucks could give us incentives to drink the coffee too, like the MTA does in New York City when you buy a Transit Card. If we put $20 on the damn card, give us $22 worth of coffee. That’s the type of experience I’d like to have at a Starbucks.


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