You don’t want what you think you do

I don’t know if this is happening in your corner of the world too, but I’m noticing that more and more of the Starbucks are remodeling themselves to be just mobile order pick up stores. The tables are gone. The chance to really socialize is gone.

Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks wanted the cafes to be a “third place,” a place that wasn’t work and wasn’t home, where people could go and socialize over coffee. My understanding is that he was resistant to drive throughs.

I wonder what he thinks of stores like the one in the pictures. Up until recently, this was a real cafe where you could go, sit, and interact. It even had bathrooms.

Now the most prominent feature is the stair step mobile pick up station.

I get it. It’s convenient. Efficient. And talking to people to order your Frappuccino requires social interaction, and we’re all getting really bad at it. I’ve seen people sit down in the stores that still do have tables, and place a mobile order. Depressing.

I know you’re going try to tell me you want all those things, like the efficiency. You’re probably not going to admit you also like the ability to avoid awkward social interactions.

I think we are making a massive mistake doing this, and it’s not just Starbucks (think, Door Dash, Uber Eats, etc). I get that it’s a side effect of Covid and iPhones generally, but it’s not good.

Humans weren’t built for this.






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