You're right: it doesn't really seem like a "yes or no" situation. Hear me out, though. When I worked at Starbucks, every now and then we'd have district-wide meetings to discuss seasonal changes, company updates and the 200th or so reminder that we were not competing with Dunkin' Donuts. This is always something that has baffled me to a degree: for instance, in spring 2008, the company launched Pike Place Roast (after we were reminded that Dunks was not a competitor). My first thought? "This is the closest thing we have to Dunkin' Donuts."
Over time, I've come to the conclusion that while Starbucks may have claimed that it wasn't competing with Dunky D, it ultimately comes to how it's perceived by the consumers. And for the most part, consumers place the two brands in competition with one another. Although, now I think I also see where the 'Bucks is coming from. The two brands are so distinctly different when it comes to coffee: a Starbucks drinker thinks Dunks is too weak, and a Dunkin' Donuts drinker considers the 'Bucks too strong. Sure, Starbucks is pricier, but I'll cough up the cash for my iced coffee given the option between the two because I just prefer a stronger coffee.
Now, that all said, I don't know what's going on behind the corporate doors of the mighty Dunkin' Donuts. Given their latest branding campaign in Mass., I would guess that they're pitting themselves against Starbucks, but given that I never worked there, I wouldn't know.
What do you think? Is Dunkin' Donuts turning up the heat on Starbucks? If so, what are they accomplishing by appearing as the Starbucks doppelganger?
This totally goes against what I said last night to someone about making quantifiable, easily measurable resolutions (for instance, I also plan on squeezing back into my college jeans this year). I'm also not much of a "New Years Resolutions" gal, so it looks like 2011 is going to be a wild and wacky one for me. Moving on . . .
WordPress Emailed me my "2010 Year in Blogging," and considering that at the height of my blogging I was posting at least four times a week, it was pretty disappointing to have not even blogged once per week this year. In my defense, 2010 was pretty hectic for me, but I still should have been able to make time to at least get 52 posts taking up space on the Interwebs. I'll target doing that this year (Hey, wait: that's easily measurable! Hypocrisy averted!).
While I'm thinking about it, let's back-track a smidgen. I think I promised an update on my progress at Racepoint a few posts ago, and of course, that never happened. It's been just over three months - I'm up for my quarterly review this month . . . already? - and I'm still honeymooning. This is a particularly good thing because otherwise I would be much crankier when my alarm starts harassing me at 5.00 AM every day.
My clients are pretty nifty: I've two in tech and one in healthcare, and while your eyes may begin to glaze over if I begin to discuss them in detail, I love learning about their industries and working with them, especially having known absolutely nothing about any of their products prior to starting at RPG. Try asking me about personalised knee replacements, now! Wait, where are you going?
"Blankest Year," Nada Surf
"Consolation Prizes," Phoenix
"Lake Michigan," Rogue Wave
Happy Thanksgiving! On to something much more important: my hit-and-miss sense of humour.
While I'm home for the holiday, Mom was great enough to save some Starbucks coffee for me. What I didn't realise was that this actually an accomplishment for her: the Colombian coffee, a medium roast, was too strong for her. For her to palate the stuff, she had to cut it with Maxwell House. I know, I shed a tear when I heard it, too. My response?
"Mom, be happy you didn't get Kenya [a bold coffee]: that stuff so strong it can wake up the elephant on the bag!"
Per usual, I thought it was a hit, but everyone else seemed to miss it.
At this point I would like to point out that Jacob Wirth features a stunning beer selection, tasty rosemary chicken burgers and a nifty interior. And that is every nice thing I have to say about it. Too bad my one negative thing - in my opinion - far outweighs those three nice things:
The service sucks. So much.
As a former Starbucks barista, I know that everyone in customer service has their bad days, and as a result, it takes a lot to irritate me as a customer. That said, Jacob Wirth has succeeded not once, but thrice in getting under my skin, and not in that enjoyable Frank Sinatra way.
A friend and fellow beer-drinker didn't have to try very hard to convince me to check out a German beer house boasting countless brews that I couldn't pronounce properly if you held a gun to my head. We got there and at first glance, I thought I had found my metaphorical Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory, only better because, well, beer.
After sitting down at a bar table, it took a solid 15 minutes for a server to show up. If only we had a menu to figure out what we wanted to drink first while we were waiting for her: once our server left to "give us a minute" to decide, we had another 10 minutes to pore over our options, and it really only took us two. This process of our server being MIA for unreasonably extended periods of time repeated itself over the course of the evening. My buddy was visibly irritated, but I withheld judgment. As I mentioned earlier, I'm all for second chances.
But the service didn't improve the second time. Or even the third time. In fact, I'm pretty sure the quality deteriorated with each visit. Even when we got the "good" server - or so I was told (my fellow beer enthusiast has spent more time there than I) - I was amazed by not only the poor service, but how unapologetic it was. The only time we saw our server more than once in a ten-minute window was when they were rushing us away from the table to another party could suffer.
It's a shame because Jacob Wirth does have one of the most impressive beer lists I've ever seen in my short lifetime, but for me, it's just not worth the frustration. If you have loads of time and patience, do stop in for a weisbier. Otherwise, venture elsewhere.