Value menu at Starbucks: A boon for consumers?
Feb 3rd 2009 4:00PM
Updated Feb 3rd 2009 5:00PM
"How about the Perfect Oatmeal meal deal?"
"If you upgrade to a Grande Latte, and get the Pianini basket, you'll save 20 cents!"
Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz told investors last week that he was about to unveil "several breakfast pairings" at "attractive" prices, which everyone picked up on right away was simply fancy-schmancy-coffeeshop speak for "value menu." He'll be giving more details sometime in the next week, leaving us to wonder if it will be existing menu items, or new ones, that qualify for the, umm, "attractive pairings."
Will your budget make out well from this news?
Probably not. Now is a good time to remind you that corporations aren't giving away the store when they set pricing for meal deals. They're usually adding on undersold menu items to combinations that customers enjoy, but don't buy together often enough; in other words, they're just trying to get you to get comfortable with an order of several items, so you'll spend more of your food & beverage dollar at their establishment.
If Starbucks should happen to combine two or three items you already were buying together for a bargain price: great, go for it. (Though we should talk about how often you're going to Starbucks. Chat later?) Otherwise, avoid the "bargain," as your wallet won't be feeling very attractive, after all.