Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All in the Family

Internecine coffee war!  The industry that was launched in the mind of Howard Schultz while on a business trip to Italy. now goes boldly where cafe society once refused tread, the drive-thru.

According to a Seattle Times article by reporter Melissa Allison, Seattle Best Coffee (a subsidiary of Starbucks since 2003 when the foundering smaller company was purchased by its now parent) is about to open its first drive-thru-only the parking lot of Starbuck's corporate offices on 4th Avenue So. in Seattle.

Though the real target market may not be the traditional latte loving professionals patronizing Starbucks stores.  It's probably the McDonalds and Burger King customers who now buy their versions of gourmet coffee.

Seattle’s Best is aiming for busy customers who do not have time to noodle whether they want one shot of espresso or two. They barely have time to swing by a cafe, and often pick up their brew while getting gas or breakfast at a fast-food drive-thru, said Jim McDermet, who runs the chain for Starbucks.
“A lot of people out there don’t have cafe lifestyles,” he said. “There are people working two jobs or going to school at night, and coffee helps get them through the day, but they’ve had to choose coffee that’s not really good.”
SBC certainly wants those customers for itself;
The new Seattle’s Best menu includes food for people who need to grab a meal as well as coffee. It has handheld fruit and savory pies (stuffed, for example, with spicy macaroni and cheese), sandwiches made with pretzel bread, and English muffin and biscuit egg sandwiches. 
Business is business.

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