Defending Starbucks

By Peter Laundy / November / December 2007
December 5th, 2007
StarbuckSpread.jpgAlex Frankel ’93 describes Starbucks as an intense, protocol-driven place, focused on quotidian customer experience, with impressive vestiges of coffee consciousness mixed with a dollop of corporate propaganda (“Confessions of Starbucks Barista,” September/October). His experience stressed him out, and he decided that working at Starbucks wasn’t right for him, but the first ninety-nine-one-hundreths of the article still doesn’t justify the name-calling in the last paragraph. Starbucks may be a faux version of his naïve expectations for it, but from his description it seems like an authentic version of a real-world, scaled-up business that still makes buying coffee, sweet drinks, and snacks as convenient and pleasurable as can be expected for its customers, and makes working there more interesting and involving than I had ever imagined.
Peter Laundy
Evanston, Ill.

The writer is a Brown parent.
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November / December 2007