Thursday, April 30, 2009


I wrote this on Wednesday:

So, after my praise of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, it's interesting that I read this story afterwards:

Starbucks Corporation said net income fell 77 percent in its second quarter offering further proof that consumers are continuing to cut back on everyday luxuries.

The Seattle-based coffee company reported net income of $25 million, or 3 cents a share, compared to $108.7 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-ago second quarter. Revenue declined 7.6 percent to $ 2.33 billion in the second quarter ended March 29.

Back on January 30, I wrote a post entitled Why Harlan Koch needs to run Starbucks. The thesis of the post is that Starbucks needs someone who is fanatical about coffee, like Colonel Harlan Sanders and Jim Koch were/are fanatical about chicken and beer.

But heck, you might not even need a fanatic. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf didn't bowl me over with their superior dedication to coffee.

But they did have free wi-fi, with no hassle. I just wrote down the five-digit code that was on their TV display board, and I was off and running. Compare that with what Starbucks puts you through to get a free wi-fi connection:

Complimentary Wi-Fi for Starbucks customers When you register your Starbucks Card and use it at least once a month, you'll receive two consecutive hours a day of complimentary Wi-Fi, courtesy of AT&T.

Complimentary Wi-Fi for AT&T DSL customers AT&Ts more than 12 million DSL customers already qualify for free Wi-Fi at their neighborhood Starbucks.

OK, there's a Starbucks on one corner, a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on the other, you're not an AT&T DSL subscriber (most of us aren't), and you don't have a registered Starbucks card that you've used in the past month (most of us don't). Where are you going to go?
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