/ Coffee

How Starbucks let me down

I'm Canadian.
I love Tim Horton's. It's the way we're wired. I've been slamming back Tim's for the last 12 years and truthfully, I was starting do doubt why.

I slowly evolved into a little bit of a coffee snob. I like to buy my own beans fresh and play around with creating my own blends. I'll grind them at home and make my espresso or americano or some variance of brewed coffee. I'm not a connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination but I've really developed a taste for a good cup of coffee.

Tim's is the only coffee that I absolutely can not drink black. I firmly believe that you can only really get a true taste for coffee by drinking it freshly brewed and with nothing added in. That is my happy place.

Anyways, with my inability to stomach a Tim's without piling in the cream and sugar, I decided to switch over to Starbucks. I don't drink their 5 dollar latte's nor do I think that that individual who wrote the comment about diabetes on that customers cup deserved the backlash that they received. It was funny joke and getting a Venti White mocha or whatever it was does contain a whole lot of sugar.

I loaded the app on my phone and started collecting stars, quickly getting my 'Gold Membership.' A neat little marketing ploy by the company which I have no qualms with whatsoever. Get people invested in you so they show up every morning... which I was doing. $2.80 (give or take) every morning for my Venti brewed coffee - usually their dark blend but sometimes venturing into the classic Pike or the crisp tasting blonde. I would collect enough stars every 30 bucks or so and get myself a free coffee. I was okay with paying this bloated price because hey! I get a free one every 10.

Now fast forward 6 months. Starbucks releases this new system for earning stars...

Earn 2 stars per dollar spent!

Sounds neat right?

125 Stars to get a Star Reward!

... Huh? You're telling me that to get my free coffee I have to spend $125 / 2 = $62.50. That's literally 100% more than I had to spend previously in order to get my next drip coffee.

I'm no business guru, but I'd like to go on a limb here and assume that when you are selling your 20 oz coffee @ $2.80 and Tim's is selling their 24 oz coffee @ $2.10. That's $0.70 more profit per cup with 4 oz less product. I'm also not totally convinced that your margins are razor thin on you coffee's either. Was it really breaking the bank to give me my free drip coffee every 10 cups?

So previously, I could justify getting a slightly better cup of coffee for an extra $0.70 / cup. 10 * $0.70 = $7 extra dollars per 10 cups of coffee. Give me my free one and we're down to $4.20 every 10 days over my original Tim Horton's habit.

Today, I'll have to buy ~ 23 coffee's to earn a free one. ($16.10 more than my equivalent Tim's difference) To earn a free coffee -- putting me at $13.30 in the hole. Under the previous rewards at this point I'd be only $9.66 down.

I guess the point of my tangent is -- Was it worth losing my daily business to make an extra $0.15 per coffee by tweaking your rewards program? Maybe I'm one of the few in the minority who actually enjoy simply drinking some dripped coffee. Regardless, there's not much else for me to tangent about. I've moved back into my XL Dark Roast Regular from Tim Horton's and I do believe that's where I'll be staying for a while.

//endrant