Starbucks. It is a powerful, ubiquitous name that has apparently resonated with the American people. They recently passed Burger King to be number 3 on the U.S. Chains list. Not too long ago, Starbucks was floundering, trying to find their place in the coffee shop world. Consumers were confused about the Starbucks brand, and what going to a Starbucks really meant.
In the beginning, they found their spot in the gourmet coffee world, making the first $4 cup of coffee. Then the chain introduced more food variety; sandwiches, salads, fruit, yogurt. When that didn’t seem to be selling well, and after shutting down hundreds of stores, Starbucks experimented with introducing beer, wine and cheese to some of their shops. So again, consumers found themselves confused. Is Starbucks now a lounge? A bar? A full blown restaurant?
After many challenges, Starbucks seems to have found its’ place once again. The only things stopping them from becoming the number one restaurant chain in the United States are Subway and McDonald’s. It would be incredibly interesting if this coffee shop did end up in the number one spot; I think it would say a lot about what American people value. Caffeine over sandwiches, lattes instead of Big Macs. We are consistently on the go, (I know I’m partial to a Venti Iced Americano when I have a big day ahead of me.) Then again, the McDonald’s “McCafe” concept seems to be successful, and some stores have their own little coffee shops built in.