You may have heard rumors of Starbucks’ master plan to offer wine at some of its stores. But did you know that this concept is already being tested at a few of their locations? The reality is that this idea will soon spread, most likely to a store near you. Thoughts?
First, this is a huge opportunity that I’ve been convinced they were missing as far back as college. But I have to say, their planned implementation is not quite right, or at least not quite optimized yet. Below I will express my concerns with their plan and define what I believe would be the winning formula for Starbucks and alcoholic beverages.
Starbucks’ Current Plan: Offer beer and wine.
Concern: Starbucks brand is known as coffee experts, not wine or beer.
Concern: coffee aroma in everything, including Rieslings and Chardonnays?
Concern: where would college kids go to study without being tempted again to party with an abundance of beer on tap?
Concern: could this alter the current coffee shop vibe and upset existing loyal coffee lovers?
My Advice to Starbucks: Stick with coffee!
A better way to be successful is with alcoholic coffee drinks – this makes much more sense as it is keeping with the existing image of coffee experts. Some ideas include:
o Irish Whiskey
o Bailey’s Coffee
o Kahlua Coffee
o Brandy Alexander Coffee (w/ice cream)
Back in college, I was sure that Starbucks could make boatloads more cash if they simply followed this schedule:
- 4am – 4pm: Coffee/espresso drinks only
- 4pm – 6pm: Happy hour begins! Mixed coffee drinks
- 6pm – 2am: Mixed coffee drinks continue
- 2am – 3am: Regular coffee only
- 3am – 4am: Closed for cleanup
Why this would work: staying open until 3am gives drunks time to sober up after bars close – people will swarm in by the dozens…for coffee!
My final thought: If anyone ever catches me drinking a glass of wine (or a pint of beer for that matter) at a Starbucks coffee shop, please just order me a couple espresso shots to SOBER UP!