Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blue Collar Coffee

Will one of you imaginary readers please take this can't-miss business idea and implement it so that, in the future, I can get a convenient cup of coffee without going to Starbucks. The idea is simple: open up a chain of coffee shops and call the product "coffee". Not venti or grande or latte or mocha....just coffee.

In terms of delivery, the coffee should be all brewed so when some one orders it, you need only pour it in a cup and hand it over for fifty cents. The only discussion required between the customer and the cashier (that's right, no baristas at Blue Collar Coffee) will be aimed at determining how many cups are to be purchased.

In terms of training and communicating, this approach will be easy on your employees and your customers will appreciate the simplicity as well. Regardless of how they try to obscure the fact, Starbucks just sells coffee. I can't fathom the rational for making it all so complex (a process that leads to me waiting in long lines behind incredibly annoying people). After all, coffee is a "commodity". If you look that up you will learn that, when dealing in commodities, one sample is essentially identical to any other sample. There is no escaping the fact that your business will be selling the same product as Starbucks.

I know that location is everything and that the research for identifying a key retail location is both complex and expensive. I recommend you just open up shop across from Starbucks locations; they've already invested in the traffic flow studies.

Let me know when you are opening in the OC, I will be your best customer.


  1. Sounds a lot like Dunkin Donuts. The average town in New England has 3 of them. My reluctance to move out west is largely attributed to the fact that when I want a coffee, I need not say more than "medium black," whereas I am required to take a 5 months class entitled "Italian Coffee and You: 10 Things You Need to Know If You Ever Want Coffee at Starbucks" in order to successfully place an order at Starbucks.

  2. This gives me hope....maybe all we really need is for Dunkin Donuts to expand west!

  3. Anonymous4/08/2009

    Well I like my starbucks-- having one right now, with a touch of cinnamon sprinkled in..there is no better. You can't get a 50 cent coffee at DD either..
    BUT-- I do think there is a market for your idea. like my local 7-11. JD

  4. Dude....it's a C-O-M-M-O-D-I-T-Y....served amidst annoying people who don't know that.

  5. Jeff Ryer4/08/2009

    I don't drink coffee.

    FWIW DD is expanding. Calol them up and buy the rights to Cali, shouldn't cost more than $10 MM or so....

  6. Anonymous4/08/2009

    No-- starbucks is different. have you tasted it? its the best. they pay the growers more and get the best beans...I know this because its in their commercial. JD..

  7. Anonymous4/08/2009

    Mickey D's (McDonald's) used to sell just coffee and sometimes for under a buck. Now, they're trying to do the whole Starbucks thing, too. Maybe some of the nasty sludge they sell at BK? Just a thought. And FYI to the DD lovers out there... I think they need to change the name of Dunkin' Donuts to Dunkin' Drinks since their donut selection has become so limited.

  8. I'm just glad that anonymous (unknown person) explained what Mickey D's is.

  9. Anonymous4/13/2009

    Buying a coffee at DD isn't quite that simple either. I, an ignorant immigrant, ordered a small coffee (still a size of a flower vase), expecting a cup of black coffee where I could add cream/milk/half-half and sugar as I please. Argh, it came with cream and sugar, and in my mouth, coffee with sugar tastes horrendous. I took it back and was told I should have ASKED for cream only, no sugar, otherwise I get the whole package. How was I supposed to know??? Besides, in my opinion, DD coffee is too weak, only a notch above brown water. I wish too, that a "small coffee" would mean just that, a small cup of black coffee and if you wanted anything in it, then say so.