Now that Americans basically use Starbucks as a public restroom where you can also buy burned tasting coffee, it seems the mega chain is trying its best to impress our cool kindred across the pond. They’re spending millions in a new campaign to convince the Europeans that they aren’t just “impersonal,” “mediocre” and “expensive” coffee.
The New York Times got to the heart of this Euro-distaste for the ‘Bucks, speaking to one Parisienne who summed it all up for the entire continent.
“I never go into Starbucks; it’s impersonal, the coffee is mediocre, and it’s expensive,” she said, while sitting at one of those cool cafes you see in the moving pictures. “For us, it’s like another planet.”
Indeed! Which is why Starbucks is making over hundreds of its stores on the Continent to try to woo discerning Europeans over to their side, with different beverages and blends. Europe is particularly hard, because unlike in New York or L.A. where caffeinated hordes troll around clutching venti skim lattes in their hands, coffeehouse across the Atlantic are deeply entrenched in the “sit and sip” culture.
To that end, so far, in the eight years since Starbucks has had 63 French stores, they’ve never turned a profit.
That is what you might call an uphill battle, no?
In Europe, Starbucks Adjusts to a Cafe Culture [New York Times]