Monday, July 07, 2008

#419 One Down, One to Go

#419 One Down, One to Go

Maybe they should combine operations. The old trying-to-make-a-winner-out-of-two-losers trick. No, it's not Super Airlines and Mega Air Lines we're talking about. You could never combine two companies that can't even agree on the spelling of the business they're in.

No, this is Starbucks and Krispy Kreme. Two totally useless outfits in essentially the same business, both of which are in in Deep Dunkin.

We all know that the object of Starbucks was originally to make sure you see one of their stores by looking out the window of a Starbucks in which you're already standing on the slowest line since Auschwitz. That didn't work out. Why? Because the coffee tastes like it was made by Firestone and everyone knows it. So, with the economy going through what the President of the United States calls a "rough patch," no one wants to pay four bucks for a cup of something that smells and tastes like an auto repair joint with a little whipped cream.

Starbucks recently closed all of its stores, briefly, for "retraining." Another failed strategy. You can't train people to make you like that stuff. Then, they eliminated the only reason to go to the place, the breakfast sandwiches. Kind of upscale Egg McMuffins and three times the price. (You can get the real thing and better free WiFi at any McDonalds, not to mention the coffee is 100% better and one third the price.) Another failed strategy, and good riddance to you.

Then there's Krispy Kreme. You might as well buy a two pound bag of sugar and a loaf of Wonder Bread. Dunkin, which has the slowest lines since CVS and Duane Reade, has the donuts beat six ways from breakfast. (So does Entenmann's, but that's another story.) Krispy also overexpanded its store count as it over expanded its customers' waistlines.

At least the lines at Krispy move fairly well. Why should you not only put on the pounds, but have to wait to do it?

These guys, though, are the GM and Ford of the fast food world. But the car makers have an excuse, sort of. They are huge bureaucracies and it takes forever to bring a model to market.

Hmmm. Come to think of it, it takes almost as long to make a Frappe Latte Deluxe Half Caf with artificial sweetener and organic milk.

So the big question is: Which one is the one that's "down" and which is the "one to go?"

It doesn't matter. They're both gone, but not perceptive enough to know it.


--Less is more, or at least more expensive. They took lead out of gasoline, then raised the price. They took the mixed malts out of scotch and raised the price.

--What'll be next? How about charging more for plain donuts than for glazed? Or maybe more for an ice cream cone without sprinkles?

--Actually, the airlines had this idea down pat years ago. Fly from New York to Zurich on the cheap. But fly from New York to Buffalo, you'd save by going to Zurch first.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(R)
(C)2008 WJR

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