opening near starbucks


Trends and Tips on developing and operating a tea business.

opening near starbucks

Postby fbi4real » Jul 19th, '07, 21:13

i'm currently looking for a place to open a tea bar that will actually have a good selection of salads, sandwiches, etc...
the space i'm looking at is near starbucks...i'm thinking its a good location b/c of volume and traffic and i figure if there are "starbucks coffee drinkers" in the area, the atmosphere of our place should do well....what do you think? pro's and con's of opening near starbucks?
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Postby Mary R » Jul 19th, '07, 22:19

You know, the economic principles governing my hometown (not Indianapolis proper...an outlying city) are very, very screwed up. However, when the first Starbucks went up, all the charming independent coffee joints disappeared into the ether. This was particularly upsetting for me because the former coffee 'it' place, Bixby's, had just opened a mini-branch in the lobby of the public library. Alas, I think I had about 5 lattes there before Starbucks offed them.

Starbucks was the kiss of death for other places in my hometown, but it might just be situational. The semi-rural Midwest, and my area in particular, have been undergoing this 'chain' mentality. If it isn't something nationally recognizable, you don't get any patronage here.
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Postby Eastree » Jul 19th, '07, 23:11

I've lived in several states over the past six years. It's not a localized phenomenon.
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Postby ABx » Jul 19th, '07, 23:59

I would think that the problem would be to get the Starbucks crowd through your door. You could probably do it, if you're really good at marketing. Figure out what Starbucks offers that makes them go there, and then find a way to convince them that you do it better.

Here's a good book to start with. Old, but still very relevant:
http://scientificadvertising.blogspot.com
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Postby fbi4real » Jul 21st, '07, 08:51

yeah thats what i've been doing....i think we'll win customers over with good service, flat screen tv's, better lounge areas and more food selection!
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Postby Eastree » Jul 21st, '07, 19:58

The Starbucks crowd seems to be in want of a quick "in for a cup of coffee full of as many flavors as it can possibly fit (sometimes at least) and out again, if I even go in at all" experience. Then again, most Starbucks around here are more driven by the drive-through than the walk-in (very small) sitting areas.

Trying to gain their business through tea would probably mean not only catering to this desire for quick and easy, at least for those who want to stop in for 'a tea' on their way to work, but also doing something different or better enough with the quick side of things that they'll come back for more, and eventually explore the interior of your store.

Though the flat screen TVs and the lounge area are great, it kind of defeats the "quick cuppa tea" experience (though that's not what tea is about, I know). However, if you can draw your drive-through morning crowd back for the afternoon, give them the tea experience! Make it their little world of escape and relaxation after a stressful day at work.
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Postby fbi4real » Jul 22nd, '07, 10:15

we will have quick items for those on the go, but we're also creating an environment for those who need to meetup or just hang out while snacking on salads and tea, we def won't be pushing cust out the door, and the space will have alot more seating than the starbucks...
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Postby H.M. Murdock » Aug 21st, '07, 15:11

Eastree wrote:Trying to gain their business through tea would probably mean not only catering to this desire for quick and easy, at least for those who want to stop in for 'a tea' on their way to work, but also doing something different or better enough with the quick side of things that they'll come back for more, and eventually explore the interior of your store.

And when they do explore the store, that can give you a good basis to start pulling away from the quick-fix mentality that is death to so many good indie shops that try to compete with Starbucks- it's tough to rewrite people's expectations when it comes to their caffeine fixes. I know; I do it every day, and I don't even have the added stress of convincing them that there's more to beverages than lattes and frappuccinos (though there's nothing wrong with a good latte at all, in fact there's a lot that's right about a good latte). But once they've ventured outside the Starschmucks pattern of thought, you can reach in and grab that leverage through advertising, word of mouth and consistent hard work.
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McDonalds & Burger King

Postby teajock » Sep 26th, '07, 12:32

When places like McDonald's and Burger King locate near one another, business actually increases for both. This is due to the fact that people start to see the general area as a place to go to grab a quick bite to eat. Since there's more choice, people will come from further away, often times not making up their mind as to where to eat until they get there.

Perhaps the same phenomenon would work in this instance?

Either way, make it rediculously convenient for folks to come in and grab a "to go" cup of whatever the heck they want. It'll be a battle, but you don't need to take them on head to head.

There's a reason Starbucks stocks TAZO tea. People buy it! If you can give them a better quality alternative just a few doors down, why wouldn't they go to you? It'll be easy to sell yourself as the Tea destination simply by explaining that Starbucks makes great coffee, but you are the true tea expert. It's a friendly way to draw in the tea fans, and those who are just curious.

Good Luck!
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