The Starbucks experience16 Oct, 2009 By: Renie Cavallari Hotel and Motel Management
It never amazes me how Starbucks has managed to continue to innovate in the world of coffee, even when discretionary income is at an all time low. They start with 2 cups of happy people, followed by an extra heap of sugar and before you know it you just paid $4.00 for a grande iced mocha no whip latte. Is this insane?
What are you really buying? The Starbucks Experience. It starts and ends with “keep it simple.” Their stores are clean, their people are friendly and competent, and they always seem to have what you want. Rarely have I heard them say they are out of a product they offer.
They have managed to create simple and easy to buy ancillary revenues so they can improve their capture of your wallet share. You can go in for a vente iced tea and out you come with your new, very cool looking iced tea container along with a fruit and cheese plate and small bag of nuts. That’s how you capture customer wallet share. And who in their right mind buys a small bag of nuts for $2.50? You have to be nuts!
And if this isn’t enough, they have created such a strong community you actually like to hang at Starbucks. It’s smart thinking because the longer you are in the store, the more money you inevitably spend. The result is they take individuals who like to “drink special coffee” into a community of people who hang out, work and even catch up with friends.
So what can we learn and apply to our industry?
• Keep training and keep the training simple so you people become competent quickly. They make for happier employees and there aren’t as many mistakes.
• Look at your product and find ways to solve customer problems and make travel easier. For example, sell an easy grab-and-go lunch upon check-out and make it convenient to stick in a briefcase or purse.
• Don’t run out of your specials or guests’ special preferences. Find a way to give customers what they want and how they want it. If you can’t deliver on it, don’t promote it.
• Create a central and interesting meeting place for customers to hang and become a community. How can your lobby or restaurant be a place to work, make friends and buy coffee, iced tea and snacks? Add free Internet and people will work there, drink more coffee and buy more food. Think wallet share.