Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Starbucks' Clover Brewing System

A silver bullet for Starbucks, Inc?

My son spent a few days in Seattle and stayed just a block from the original Starbucks coffee shop. He visited Store 1 and tried a cup of coffee brewed from their new Clover brewing machines. His opinion: excellent and possibly the best cup of coffee he has ever had.

According to the store personnel Starbucks is testing the concept with 75 "Clovers" installed in the USA. I think, Starbucks hopes the "Clover" will help them recover some lost ground. And they need it.

Pikes Place
is a bust, the stores are looking a little tired and out-of-date, McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts are pulling some customers away, and the economy is not helping.

If the Clover brewing system is as good as people say it is, a roll out could help. I say could, because Starbucks has to address this bigger image problem. They have to maintain the "coolness" that comes with drinking the coffee. Try that when you have 10,000 stores all needing to stay up to date.

My suggestions: appeal to your base like Apple did in the 90's. Clean up the menu, simplify ordering, make it a coffee shop again, not a JC Penney's that sells coffee, cut the daily cost of wi-fi, get rid of Pike's Place, improve and simplify the food, and rollout Clover.

Piece o' (coffee) cake . . .

So the question is: do we have one of the 75 in the area?

Here's a video of the new Clover machine in operation.


Rambler, coffee plebian said...

A blind taste test shown on a Nightline (I think it was) segment last night had Dunkin Donuts blowing Starbucks out of the water.

But, hey, I like 7-11 coffee, so what do I know! I don't know where a DD is in Fort Worth anymore. I grew up with the one on W. Berry at McCart. It's gone, as is the one at the point of Camp Bowie, Horne, and that other street.

Francis Shivone said...

I love Dunkin Donuts and they are working their way back to a Fort Worth presence. Hurst has a new one. Not a big fan of 7-11 coffee, but it is probably a store by store thing. McDonalds can be good as well. Starbucks raised the bar and now has to fight the competition.