A little caffeinated opinion

This post is more like a comment to poor_planner’s Caffeinexperience. It turned out so long that I decided to post it here.

Together they sum up as a ‘great coffee experience.’ What more can they offer? When everybody starts offering the same ‘great coffee experience,’ will price become a deciding factor. Or will chains re-arrange themselves as premium and value chains.

Yes, although price would become a major deciding factor I think like all other services around us it will be the experience that will count. We humans tend to get ourselves adjusted to certain likes and dislikes. For example my wife always prefers a CCD to a Barista if given an option. Also my ex-colleagues at Think WhyNot would always prefer the next door CCD. For them there was a reason – it was easily accessible, the price was not too steep and besides we were regulars there so the waiters knew us pretty well which guaranteed a prompt and sometimes extra service. The way I see it there will be certain deciding factors:

  1. Service levels: How efficient is the team around the place? Can they make you comfortable in the rush hours too? Are the waiters pushy, wanting you to clear the table for the next guest? Besides let’s not forget that if you’re going to pay 30 bucks for a cup of coffee you surely want service level beyond what you would get at a Udippi restaurant or irani cafe.
  2. Innovation: How often does the chain bring about a change in their offerings? Are there seasonal specials? And all this at the cost making sure that regular favourites remain on the menu.
  3. Value-adds: What more are you offering than just coffee? CCD gives you a juke box, a plasma television and even mobile chargers. Barista offers wireless Internet. These could be sticky points for a regular set of clients walking in for those kind of services.

That’s a caffeinated opinion from me on this late Monday night ….