Why Starbucks Doesn’t Have An Express Line For Simple Orders

Why Starbucks Doesn’t Have An Express Line For Simple Orders

ASHLEY LUTZ NOV. 1, 2013, 12:46 PM 3,368 4

Starbucks customers who order black coffee wait in the same line as those who order labor-intensive lattes and Frappuccinos. Some black coffee enthusiasts view this as an injustice. If their order is much simpler, why must they wait? An express line would also free up baristas for complicated orders. We asked Adam Pressman, a principal in A.T. Kearney’s retail practice, why Starbucks doesn’t implement this policy. He provided a few reasons why black coffee customers will keep waiting in line with everyone else. 1. Two lines would be confusing to customers. “There is always the challenge of customers trying to figure out if they got in the ‘right’ line,” Pressman told us.

2. One line is actually more productive. “By having a single line and adding in options for engagement and additional information, retailers can help make the wait times seem less, while still meeting customer needs when they do get to the register,” Pressman said.

3. Customers make impulse buys as they wait. “Impulse buys are impacted by a lot of things, and today’s connected customer likely has more distractions (e.g., on a call, reading email, texting, etc.) that pulls some attention away from locations that have traditionally held impulse buys,” Pressman said.

But things aren’t too hopeless for black coffee drinkers.

Starbucks baristas often get them their coffee more quickly anyway by fulfilling the order immediately at the cash register.

Meanwhile, those who ordered cappuccinos and lattes wait for their drinks on the other end of the bar.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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