It may be just a local phenomena. Mormon’s don’t drink coffee. The story for years was that it was because of the caffeine. I understand that recently the reason has been reestablished as no “hot drinks”, which was how it was originally written. Although for years folk in Utah eschewed the Cola’s and other caffeine laden drinks despite them not being hot. Not because of the sugar content but, specifically, due to their caffeine. Whatever…this is not a theological discussion but maybe a reason for fewer customers in Starbucks.
About two years ago, a new Starbucks was built, opening near me. That was good because the one I had been going to kept weird hours. For awhile, they used to close randomly (maybe they were told they could close up if it was slow). I went there many evenings only to find they had closed earlier than the hour posted. Later they just admitted defeat and started posting their close as an hour before all the other Starbucks in the area. Frustrating.
So, cool, a new Starbucks and even closer. Except that many times I would go in and ask for a Venti coffee and they would not have any made. Typically this meant I’d have to wait while they brewed some. Sometimes this was cool. Sometimes they would forget all about me after starting the brew and so I’d have to go chase down the elusive coffee, asking if it was done brewing yet? I chalked this up as a new store getting their act together. Annoying but not fatal since the wait is not usually a big deal.
Finally, the woman that I take to be the Manager, announced as she was getting my Venti, that going forward they would no longer brew coffee in the evenings. If I came in the evening they would make me a pour-over, which I can do at home just fine. Or they could make me an Americano, which always tastes watery to me and I have never liked.So i it is evening in Salt Lake and you want a coffee, you can save time by just going elsewhere.
I do like espresso and could probably do that once in awhile but I prefer brewed coffee. I don’t like any of the flavor additives that Starbucks adds. They taste chemically to me. I don’t want all the calories from the other stuff they add, skim milk or sugar free caramel, etc.. I think people ask for them because they do not really like coffee, they just want the caffeine. I like the coffee just fine, black.
So I started going back to the store I previously visited. They were seldom out of coffee but I’d have to arrive by 7pm, since they close at 8pm (on Sundays they close at 7pm), if I want to drink my cup and read a bit before feeling like I am getting chased out because they want to close. Sundays are usually Starbucks free since I have a hard time getting there before 7pm.
My preference is to have a cup or two after dinner. It is additional after-dinner relaxation. Sometimes I have time during the day to drink coffee, I am typically busy, so having more than a cuppa at breakfast just ain’t gonna happen, except rarely. If Starbucks were always open, I’d probably average 7 days a week. As it is, I can only get there four or five days per week or less.
At this point, I think I will just switch to 7-11. They have decent coffee and its cheaper, although they have nowhere to sit and read. At least I never have to worry about showing up and finding out they have closed early (all of my nearby 7-11’s are 24 hours a day).
It’s funny, when I was living in California, I lived a block away from Starbucks. I used to go in every morning and get a tray of four Venti’s. I would take them back home and nuke one every couple or three hours, so I could have coffee all day long. I am old fashioned and like my coffee black. I guess I am just not able to change with the times. Although calling Starbucks a coffee store is probably a bit behind the times anyway. They seem to have updated into a Frappuccino store. Nothing lasts forever.