January 30, 2009

Starbucks Decaf Less Available in Afternoon

A site with the name Musings Cafe has to bring you the latest news from Starbucks:

From Bloomberg: Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee chain, will stop continuously brewing decaffeinated coffee after noon as part of a drive to waste less and save $400 million by September.

The company, which last year started brewing fresh pots of coffee every 30 minutes, will have the caffeine-free version available upon request after 12 p.m., the Seattle-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. It takes about four minutes for a fresh cup to brew, spokeswoman Bridget Baker said.

“For many of our stores, the demand for decaf is greatly reduced in the afternoon,” the company said in the statement. “With our current standard of continually brewing decaf after 12 p.m. regardless of demand, we have seen a high amount of waste.”

So there you are. Apparently decaf coffee is not needed as much after lunch. Who would have thought that?

Actually looking at this from an efficiency point of view (Which is something the sister blog The Process Cafe does) this is a very good move. They are not removing decaf totally, just reducing waste through not brewing and disposing of coffee that isn't being sold.

In today's economic hard times this makes a lot of sense. It reduces waste, decreases cost and doesn't reduce customer satisfaction. Although you do have to ask the question of why they don't brew to demand for everything. I visit Costa coffee and Cafe Nero (both far superior to Starbucks) and when I ask for decaf it get's brewed on the spot instantly - but then again so does the non-decaf stuff. Maybe Starbucks need to look at that model instead?

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