Starbucks’ Sandwich Problem

Last night I tweeted to Starbucks that their breakfast sandwiches looked disgusting. They responded (yay!) to ask me what I was talking about. This.

I am a huge Starbucks fan and therefore I would like to give them some practical advice about how to solve their sandwich problem.

I looked around the rest of the coffee shop and saw many appealing clusters of space.

What all of them have in common is that something is crafted right there on the spot.

For example the coffee is ground fresh and customized per order.

On top of that, the customer fixes their drink “their way.”

When the customer is not fixing their drink up, they are working on their computer, or talking with friends, or somehow interacting with the environment in such a way that they create their own experience.

And for those times when you just want a pre-packaged product it is nice to know that Starbucks has high-quality prepackaged nuts, chocolate, yogurt, juice, and other items that are all top of the line.

I am health conscious and will gladly pay 5 dollars for a juice that is really fresh.

The problem however is that the sandwiches inside the sandwich case do not conform to the Starbucks problems at all. In fact I would argue that they detract from it.

The customer wants fresh hot oven fired sandwiches of the kind you might find Panera or Cosi.

What Starbucks does not understand, their fatal mistake, is to treat sandwiches as an afterthought. To take for granted that the customer will somehow “trust” their quality.

When sandwiches are an art form in and of themselves.

This is a good example of why you should use the brand as a shortcut decision filter for your business.

When you think in a way that is consistent, you naturally do the right thing.


All opinions my own. Photos by me.

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