Last year, I wrote a blog post about how Starbucks was my soulmate. I’d like to do a yearly review of Starbucks, and how somethings have changed, or not changed. Cover photo was taken during my week internship in NYC, and I got the lighting worked out so well in this photo.
Note: If you enjoy Starbucks or not, I’m going to try and make this post for everyone. I’ve got a couple of pet-peeves that I would love to see fixed, but who knows if it’ll ever change.
PRO: Starbucks App
While I do have a physical Gold Member card, its helpful for me to use to Starbucks app for when I can’t remember how much I have left on my account. In 2016, I spent the most at Starbucks almost $60/month. Now, I’ve gone down to around $30/month. The app is also nice, if you have to order on the go. I use to do this all the time, when I needed to be somewhere ASAP. Not so much anymore.
CON: Busy Times
I have worked in the restaurant business before, and I understand when the busy times are: when people head to and from work. I actually don’t go to Starbucks during the busy times in the morning (6 am-9 am) or the evening (4 pm- 6 pm) because I truly try to avoid the crowds inside the store, or if I’m in a to-go line. The Barista’s do a swell job at keeping their cool and making everyone’s drinks, which I’ve always been amazed at!
PRO AND CON: Hours
Initially (when I thought of this pro and con) I was slightly torn. Well, is it a pro or a con? Both. Now, I am not a morning person (as much as I use to believe I was). they open as early 5 AM. If I do go in the morning, then I won’t get there until around 7:30 am. -After most customers have gone to work-
My issue, is actually with the evening hours. There’s one location here in the City, where only on Friday nights do they stay open till 11 P.M. For the past two months, that’s exactly where I’d spend my Friday nights. Trying to accomplish tasks that required internet and to capitalized on my night owl habits. The con in this is that only Friday nights is open until 11; or just one location. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was this business cafe that was open from 6 P.M.-Midnight only? Sign me up!
When I was living in Texas, only one Starbucks existed in the town, and was across town. Ever since I’ve moved back to the City, I have all these different stores I can visit, and change the venue for my writing! I love it especially when I am leaving a friends house on the East side of town, and want to use the internet and relax before going home. Instead of having to travel to the one near my house, there’s one near the East side of town for me to stop in, and visit for the first time!
CON: Picky Customers
This goes for everywhere. I don’t know HOW many times I’ve seen customers go back up to the register or cafe because their drink didn’t turn out 100% like their taste buds expected, or a small mistake caused a storm of issues. I understand on the other hand, the need for having a perfect order. If the drink isn’t correct (let;s say they put in the wrong milk) I’d deal with it.
What bothers me, is when someone goes back up to the register, and says “Hey, you were supposed to put 1% milk in here” when they forgot to tell you about the milk change. And when dealing with customer service, you always have to just accept how the situation is, and make everyone happy.
PRO: Tastes, duh!
A majority of Starbucks drinks have a sweeter kick to it. And no, I did not try the Unicorn Frappuccino. But my go-to drink has gone from White Chocolate Mocha to Iced Caramel Macchiato. Want to add more caramel? GO for it…. ALLLL THE SUGAR.
Also, espresso day is November 23rd, and National Coffee Day is September 29th. Today, is National Tea Day is tomorrow June 10th!
PRO and CON: Seasonal Drinks
You better believe that next March the Unicorn Frappuccino will make a return, and everyone will be waiting in line for twenty minutes to try it for the first time, or see if they changed the flavors from this years trial. Personally, I prefer the Winter and Fall drinks over the Spring and Summer because of the hot drinks. I haven’t tried any of the new Teavana drinks (not a huge fan of Teavana).
My issue with the seasonal drinks actually relates to how long certain seasonal drinks stay. Most Spring and Summer drinks stay three weeks. Winter drinks seem to stay for over three months. Currently, the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino has been in stores since late March, and I’m now just waiting for it to leave. S more’s flavor (my personal summer flavor) will stay till July, I believe.
PRO and CON: WiFi
The library closes at 9 pm and when you are a night owl like me, that means a lot of creative writing is lost because of no internet at home. It wasn’t until last month that WiFi was added to my house (thank goodness). I had started running into a dilemma when I didn’t have WiFi near me; do I go stay out late every Friday night until 11 pm in a crowded Starbucks store for WiFi? Hypothetically, aren’t you paying for WiFi every time you get a drink and stay for three hours to use the WiFi?
I started limiting myself to going to Starbucks on Wednesday or Friday evenings (after the library closed) to accomplish more writing and such. In May alone this year, I only went five times, and I’ve only been twice in June but I haven’t stayed for the WiFi.
What about the food?
Most of the time, I only go to Starbucks for the drinks. Everyone couple of months, I’ll have a Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini, or a S more’s bar (gah, I love those). I don’t have too many comments on the food, except that $8 lunch bag deal is great!
Now, this is the part of the article where I throw some major “shade” at Starbucks. My two biggest issues with Starbucks is about the environment…
Environmental Impact of Those Plastic Cups
You go thru the drive thru, and order a grande drink. In a hurry to get to work, you finish the drink and toss the plastic cup (and extra plastic) in the trash. OR worse, you throw it outside your car window.
Some days, I wish we had similar law structures like Germany does, pertaining to Environmental care and the like. In Germany, everyone recycles (as part of everyday living). If you want to read more about how Germans recycle, this website and article is a good place to start.
Anyways, the point is, those who don’t recycle, tend to throw the plastic cups away. So how does this relate to the company, rather than the customers habits?
- The Plastic Cups, themselves
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the plastic cups were made out of recycled Starbucks cups? Umm, yes please! I’ve already given my example about people not recycling plastic cups, but image if the Company itself took initiative to recycle in more stores, and to have recycled Starbucks cups.
Straws find a way into our oceans, and are known to cause damage to marine life, or (turtles on land for that matter). I just read this article about how to save Turtles on the road. Straws could be made out of recycled plastic, or paper.
I have been told that some stores have recycling bins in the stores, except not in my city. It is difficult to get people to throw recycled items into a recycling only bin. OR, to get those who are working to take the full trash bags of plastic cups and straws to where they need to go to be recycled. A majority of the time, they are taken to the trash. Watch this YouTube video showing that the stores did not recycle.
What is Starbucks doing right?
- Composting Coffee Grounds
During the Spring and Summer months, you can walk into a store and find free bags of used coffee grounds in a bag ready to go home. Compost is good for gardens, flowerbeds, and even a compost bed.
- Reusable Cups
I own three Starbucks designed reusable (grande sized) cups. I have two (one Starbucks one not) Venti sized reusable cups. When I plan on going to Starbucks, I always bring a reusable cup with me. Starbucks offers a 10 cent discount for bringing in your own reusable cup. Talk about a good incentive to save plastic and a little bit of green!On the days I go to Starbucks unexpectedly and I don’t have the reusable cups with me, I then reuse the plastic cups for gardening. The plastic cups make fantastic seed starters, or even just putting seeds in with water to start your seedling process. That picture of plastic cups on my kitchen counter? Those are all the cups not in use right now, about five of them are in use right now. What is your favorite drink at Starbucks? Comment in the (oh so obvious) comment section about favorite Starbucks drinks, merch, etc.
I took this photo back in the winter time, in my Doctor Who sweater with my Winter themed reusable cup. ❤
I hope you enjoyed this article about Starbucks, and you can follow me on a majority of the social media platforms.