Why I do not like to drink coffee at Costa, why I like Starbucks even more and why I might reconsider the Missing Bean
When it comes to choosing between Costa and Starbucks it's not much of a question to me. Why? Well, just look at the photo below - a typical view of a table at Costa in our small town. The tables are so sticky that I am afraid to touch them or anything else for that matter. I had to go in today while waiting for the bus (the place happens to be the best one when you want to spot the arriving buses) and had a quick peak at the state of the counter - well, I did not know you can make much mess with cocoa powder when decorating cappuccinos, but as I learned - yes, you can!;) On the top of that I have learned today about a law suit against the company initiated by a friend of a friend after her observation that only non-British employees happen to wear name tags with a flag representing the country of their origin. Well, if that's true it's a pretty stupid and unfair policy! (Is that really the case? I would appreciate feedback on this as in our local Costa I think I only spotted one person who seems to be non-British, so I find it hard to tell).
I increasingly like Starbucks though. I have always been a keen visitor simply because I like the coffee and I am a huge fan of ever smiling staff. Now that I have finished "Pour Your Heart Into It" I am truly fascinated by their business model, history and growth. I feel strongly and completely agree with the priorities Howard Schultz presents in his final chapter and I am looking forward to reading more books on Starbuck's which by now pile up on my new #coffee shelf;) Whether one likes the taste of their coffee or not I think most of us had rather pleasant experiences in their stores. It FEELS like the company cares for their employees and this is exactly why I am willing to support them by purchasing their products and spending time in their shops.
I also like the Missing Bean in Oxford but today I was a little bit disappointed in their staff. I met a friend who was up for a truly good cuppa so we headed off to their shop but it happened to fall into the current filming of "Lewis", a British TV series I watch occasionally. It was quite fun to watch the crew finally working in sunny weather and promising us coffee after "just 10 more minutes". It was not fun at all to see them packing up (in less than 10 minutes actually) but the staff of the place closing it down for an hour and a half. I really do not understand why such a well prepared and logistically almost completely non-intrusive team of filmmakers could cause a havoc demanding 90 minutes of clearing up. Please do not get me wrong, it's not a ramble and we did not really care much having plenty of other choices around but it was a bit strange.
So for now, if I am in Oxford, Starbucks or AMT it is. But AMT deserves a separate post, I think;)
Update: I take it back - the part on the Missing Bean! It looks like the staff warned customers via their Facebook page! There, learned my lesson and will follow them there!;)