What drives people to overpay for previously frozen baked goods and obscenely priced coffee?
I asked a friend of mine what the big attraction is and he couldn’t explain it – even though he’s one of these men who slither into a pair of skinny jeans, tops himself off with a sweater vest, throws on a pair of penny loafers, coiffs his hair, sprinkles himself with cologne/perfume and wastes the entire day sucking down coffee and free WiFi.
He hinted that his local Starbucks is more like a pick-up joint than a coffee shop, and that it’s usually the place soon-to-be friends with benefits go for their first in-person meeting before the matinee.
So much for the cofee and scones.
Places like Starbucks and Panera Bread attract a unique crowd. Like retirees who hang out at the donut shop, these hipper venues attract people who apparently don’t work, but can afford a $4 cup o’joe.
Many spend the day camped out with their netbook on the table and their cell phone dingie hanging off their ear waiting for their recruiter to call. While others make a quick stop to order a double-chi-extra-latee-super-cocoa-antioxidant-triple-espresso-honey-lemongrass tea.
With four sugars and easy on the ice.
To be honest, I’ve had only one Starbucks experience. I was in dire need of a cold soft drink and the coffee joint was the only place around. I swung the car into the drive-thru, ordered a large Coke and the voice in the speaker shouted back at me, “we don’t serve soda here.” I ended up with some sort of iced tea that reminded me of what it tasted like the time my mother washed my mouth out with soap for saying “shit.”
Despite my lack of “experience,” I am one of these voyers who looks at Starbucks from the outside and tries to piece together what makes them so successful and what attracts the individuals who make up this unique social menagerie.
I’m convinced it’s not the coffee, but rather the feel-good, social, don’t need a membership card to get in atmosphere that’s provided for free.
At least once a week I get an email or a call from someone asking me to meet them at Starbucks.
I decline every time, so please don’t ask anymore as I’d much rather go to McDonalds.
At least I can get a Coke.