How much do you know about Starbucks?
Have you ever seen a dark-green sign with a mermaid-like figure along the streets? These are signs of the famous coffee brand Starbucks. I enjoy going to Starbucks either with my friends or alone not only for study but also for having fun and relaxing. Since many people enjoy going to Starbucks, I would like to introduce Starbucks and uncover its exceptional phenomenon. What has made Starbucks gain huge success in Korea, with people preferring Starbucks over the other brands?
[Image of Starbucks with my dog, Photo by Sejung Park]
Starbucks started as a roaster and retailer of coffee beans and ground coffee, tea, and spices in Seattle's Pike Place Market. Now, they have over 30,000 stores all around the world [https://stories.starbucks.com/press/2019/company-profile/]. Starbucks, the cafe's name, was chosen after the first mate in Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick," and the mermaid-like character on the logo is the twin-tailed nymph "Siren" from Greek mythology.
Many things make Starbucks special. One of them is that Starbucks takes an active part in reducing disposable waste. Starbucks gives out eco-stars, similar to stamps on coupons or discounts, to people to induce them to use their own bottles. I always take my water bottle or tumbler with me when I go out because if I choose to use my tumbler to get drinks it can reduce waste and keep my drinks fresher longer. Starbucks also started using paper straws to reduce plastic straws that harms the marine environment. Many people complain about paper straws because they break apart easily in liquids. Nevertheless, I think using paper straws and reusable bottles is the best approach to reducing disposable waste.
Another distinguishing feature is Starbucks' coffee flavors. These have prompted a never-ending conversation among people who love coffee. Starbucks uses peculiarly strong roasting methods, which is a double-edged sword. It preserves the beans' taste while exporting them overseas. If not roasted strongly enough, the flavor might change due to moisture exposure. This process makes the coffee taste almost identical, no matter which store in the world you visit, which is a distinct Starbucks advantage. However, people who prefer gently roasted coffee assert that this method is the same as gathering the best coffee beans and turning them into ashes. Starbucks presented "Starbucks Reserve" for people who want coffee flavors suited to their taste based on this palate preference. Starbucks Reserve uses high-level coffee beans and advanced equipment, which lessens the burnt-like flavor and yields good flavor.
Now that I've introduced Starbucks in general, I would like to talk about Starbucks in Korea. The first Starbucks in South Korea opened in front of Ewha Woman's University in July] 1999, and the number has exponentially increased, reaching the 300th shop in 2009. [http://www.cstimes.com/news/articleView.html?mod=news&act=articleView&idxno=266950.]
[Image of myself in Starbucks, Photo by Sejung Park]
Here are some unique traits about Starbucks and my thoughts on them.
In my opinion, one of the things that make Starbucks popular is its drive-through stores. Shops, where “DT” appears right after the name, provide drive-through services. If you look at Starbucks stores that opened after the mid-2010s, it is easy to spot distinct changes. Although it depends on the individual store, I noticed that the DT stores are usually on a bigger scale than normal stores since they need to design the road that goes around the building for DT orders. Because the focus is more on the DT facilities, I think that the DT stores lack facilities inside the store. My friends often commented that some DT stores do not have convenient electrical outlets and comfortable seats because of the limits on the building interior design. Even though DT helps people to access Starbucks on the road, not having these comfortable in-store features makes non-DT customers leave the store earlier. After observing a few stores, I was able to acquire some insight into changes in Starbucks' marketing strategy.
In May 2014, a service that allows customers to order through the Starbucks application was launched. It is called “Siren Order.” This project was launched first in Korea and then spread across the globe. It allows the customer to order without going up to the cashier. When the order is sent, the application notifies the customer how many orders are before them. A few minutes later, when your drink and food are ready, the pop-up alert tells you to come and pick them up. I enjoy using Siren Order to save time when I am in a rush to efficiently pick up my drink and move on to my day’s schedule. Also, when there are too many people at the cashier, I can easily order from my seat without waiting long in a crowded area.
This review of Starbucks' past and present tells me that they will continue to develop more innovative ideas that will contribute to the coffee-drinking enjoyment of its customers.
Sejung Park (박세정)
Daegu Namsan High School
Sejung Park email@example.com
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