Posts tagged ‘Einstein Bagels’

I Wonder if Book Stores Have Tried This?

TJIC points out a dynamic in coffee houses I have also observed at work among restaurants:

"┬ŽStrange as it sounds, the best way to boost sales at your
independently owned coffeehouse may just be to have Starbucks move in
next-door.

That's certainly how it worked out for Hyman. Soon after
declining Starbucks's buyout offer, Hyman received the expected news
that the company was opening up next to one of his stores. But instead
of panicking, he decided to call his friend Jim Stewart, founder of the
Seattle's Best Coffee chain, to find out what really happens when a
Starbucks opens nearby. "You're going to love it," Stewart reported.
"They'll do all of your marketing for you, and your sales will soar."
The prediction came true: Each new Starbucks store created a local
buzz, drawing new converts to the latte-drinking fold. When the lines
at Starbucks grew beyond the point of reason, these converts started
venturing out - and, Look! There was another coffeehouse right
next-door!

One wonders if smaller niche book stores, who complain about Borders and Barnes & Noble, have had any similar experiences.

As to the part about "When the lines
at Starbucks grew beyond the point of reason," I can say from my limited observations as a non-coffee drinker that there are a lot of things wrong with the Starbuck's model, particularly vis a vis lines.  First and foremost seems to be that their production process doesn't make a lick of sense.  I'd have been laughed out of the room in almost any operations course if I had proposed the production process they use to deliver coffees.  At some point, people are going to realize that waiting in lines does not have to be part of the coffee experience, and then Starbucks is in trouble. 

For years, the Einstein's Bagels near me had the worst production process I had ever seen.  People had to criss-cross one another constantly behind the counter just to complete one order, and the assembly line, from ordering through payment, always had a horrible bottleneck somewhere, thought the bottleneck moved around as they played with staffing.  Every Saturday morning the line and wait would be awful.  I pretty much had given up on them when they suddenly closed for three weeks.  When they reopened, they had a new layout behind the counter, new electronics, and a whole new process.  Since then, I have never seen a line longer than 2 people even in peak periods.  And look at Southwest Airlines.  They have reinvented their boarding process for about the third time  (and I like the changes).  Is it really possible that no one at Starbucks has thought about re-engineering the coffee delivery process?