Three guys tell Starbucks what to fix

New York Magazine got together Corby Kummer (Author of The Joy of Coffee), Danny Meyer (A restaurateur in New York who has written several books on the business of restaurants), and Jonathan Rubinstein (Owner of Joe the Art of Coffee) to talk about what Starbucks needs to fix.

Kummer has, in the past, been pretty positive about Starbucks. In his book he talks about how Starbucks enabled people to find good coffee wherever they are. One of his fixes that I really like is making more Starbucks feel like home. Specifically he calls out the terrific managers who hire the staffs that create these home-like environments. Without a doubt it is the quality of the manager that makes a store great.

Danny Meyer comes in with what I think is the worst idea. He wants to see Starbucks launch a brand called STARbeans. STARbeans would be the “ultimate coffee connoisseur bar.” He believes that this concept would confer a halo effect on the rest of the Starbucks brand.

Lastly, Jonathan Rubinstein wants Starbucks to shift back to machines that will allow baristas to control the grind and timing of the shots. I guess Jonathan hasn’t read up on the new Mastrena espresso machine, which allows the barista to do exactly what he wants.

The article is worth reading but don’t expect to be blown away by any of these ideas. While the contributors are successful and impressive, they mainly capture changes that are already in the pipeline.