The coffee industry has grown dramatically in the past decades with the Starbucks Coffee Company dominating this emerging market. Coffee is both rich in history and in cultural meaning throughout the world. As an industry, consumers often embrace socially progressive movements, and therefore encourage stock holders and executives to adopt more socially responsible practices.
- United States of America
The Boston Tea Party in 1773 marked an important moment in US history. Angry colonial protesters boarded a boat in Boston Harbor and threw the tea overboard because of recent tariffs that Great Britain had started to enforce. Supporters of this action proudly drank coffee as a sign of opposition against the British and turned coffee into a patriotic icon.
- Philosophy and Art
- Political Movements
More at Wikipedia.org w:Coffeehouse
Get to love the competition First, don't be afraid of Starbucks. In fact, make her your best friend. As Chinese general Sun-tsu from 400BC said, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." Here is a list of reasons why this is true in starting your own coffee shop.
- Many of your potential customers like coffee, but hate Starbucks
- Starbucks has made a point of moving in near local coffee shops, do the same so that people will start to come to that part of town where all the coffee shops are.
- Hire disgruntled or even part time Starbucks barristas to cut down on training costs.
- Have friendly competition fundraisers for local schools and causes to bring awareness of your shop, its a fun and uplifting way of stealing Starbucks customers.
- The general public thinks Starbucks is overpriced, you will be the affordable competitor.
- Right now McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts are launching campaigns to compete with Starbucks, join them
Location Location Location The best general advice for a start up coffee shop is to follow the pack. Find a Starbucks and move in across the street. It is vital for long term success to move with the market and not against it in these early stages of your shop. There are certain businesses that thrive off of each other, for instance a 24/7 diner across from a bar. In fact, in every town you will find that successful bars clump together and thrive. One big reason for this is that every time your potential customer goes to your competitor they will see your business, and become comfortable with your location. The one day that your competitor gets too crowded, gives bad service, or isn't open then they will come to you. It is also good to make your sign visible and appealing to the type of customer you are looking for. Think about a sign of a big steaming mug in fluorescent lights vs a sculpture of a coffee farmer filling a burlap bag with beans. They send different signals and will attract different kinds of coffee drinkers.
Purist vs Poly-product Some shops exclusively cater to the gourmet coffee drinker, while others diversify with similar products, services, and gimmicks. Be careful when adding anything other foods and drinks into your shop. If you want to attract the high end crowd of coffee connoisseurs then you must not have competing fragrances in your shop from candles, food, incense, a fireplace, or tobacco. Now if you don't have a comfortable place for people to smoke and socialize, then you lose out on a huge market of coffee addicts who religiously smoke when they drink. Every new thing that you introduce to your shop has risks that will potentially lose a segment of the market. A coffee shop with a cigar cellar can be a great mix, but a large selection of fruit smoothies might spoil that environment. It will be difficult to balance the noises of the blender screaming in the background over Blue Like Jazz; as a teenage girl is talking on her cell phone while a retired business man sips his coffee puffs his cigar. As a rule, if your shop is going to be a hip teenage lounge, expect a demand for blended drinks, sugary stuff, and soft drinks. Your business will be at the whim of whether it is trendy to go to a coffee shop; live music will help attract this crowd of young hipsters. On the other hand, if you are aiming for business people, then be prepared for the morning rush with grumbles coming from behind newspapers and Blackberries. Many of them will never sit down or get a drink in a "for here" mug. They will expect the barista to memorize their drink, and will often tip well for quality service.
Coffee contains caffeine which is an addictive drug. There are even psychiatric diagnoses related to caffeine intoxication, caffeine induced anxiety disorders, caffeine induced sleep disorders, and of course, "not otherwise specified".