Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Like the Way this Guy Thinks

I'm not one of those people who hates Starbucks and their seemingly endless encroachment across the American landscape. What I do hate, however, is the fact that if I just want a coffee – no foam, no whipped cream, no caramel, just coffee without room for cream – I still have to wait in a line that's maybe five, sometimes ten people deep.

There has to be a simpler way, right?

Bob Zurek, VP and Chief Technology Officer at EnterpriseDB, may be on to something. Zurek posts in his blog today that Starbucks might want to consider offering a self-serve coffee kiosk in their stores:
Provide a self-service option for regular coffee drinkers and price the coffee at $1.00 for a medium, I mean grande sized coffee. In fact, make it an honor system. You walk up, crab your cup (only one size), put your dollar in the Starbucks box (give 10 cents back to charity for every cup) pour and then drive away. You get a good cup of coffee, you don't have to wait in line like at the competitor(very long line at Dunkin Donuts) and your out of there in a jiffy.
Hey, I like the way this guy thinks. Even if he does work for IBM.

Update 2/28/08: I stand corrected. Bob posted a comment and let me know that he no longer works for IBM but they still let him blog on their site.

5 comments:

Thomas said...

The few times I head in to a Starbucks, it is usually for espresso. But sometimes I just want plain old cafe americano and it makes everyone think I am nuts. It's kinda funny.

Bob Zurek said...

Thanks for your note about my suggestion for having a self service option for customers of Starbucks. One point of clarification, I don't work for IBM anymore, I'm the CTO of EnterpriseDB. IBM still allows me to blog on their website.
Agree that sometimes you just want a cup of great coffee. Having it as a "honor system" works well in a Starbucks as even if someone tries to rip them off for a cup of coffee, so what. Maybe they will eventually pay up.

Dan said...

Bob: Thanks for the note and I stand corrected!

LEHIGH ANNIE said...

The first of several messages from Lehigh:

Some woman in the greater Deptford, NJ area read this article and is commenting to her family that some nutty chick in a Cream at Royal Albert Hall sweatshirt at the Barnes and Noble Starbucks JUST THIS PAST SATURDAY said to her while she was fixing her tea 'Don't you think they should have one line for people who just want a freaking cup of coffee or tea and another for people who basically want MILKSHAKES??? Like, I LIKE coffee...regular coffee, without whipped cream, syrup and miniatured lawn furniture to distract me from what I'm drinking!'

Rose said...

I love Baltimore because of its Starbucks scarcity. I don't like having to speak Italian to order a coffee. Like, I don't even want to know what Venti means, I just want large, comprende mi amigo?