Dear Howard Schultz,
Sometimes when I’m feeling classy, I’ll go to Starbucks instead of Dunkin’ for my medium vanilla iced coffee. Starbucks is the bourgeois answer to the chain-breakfast establishment, and sometimes it feels nice to interact with the upper-crust. Starbucks is for people who drive shiny cars and have retirement plans, while Dunkin’ is the standby favorite of blue-collar folks who flip their underwear inside out instead of doing laundry. At any of the 12,000 Starbucks establishments nationwide, you can expect the same thing: a modern greige color pallet, an innocuous adult contemporary soundtrack, Hillary Clinton wannabes who keep their children on leashes, baristas who look like they #StoodWithStandingRock. There is one feature in this progressive young American’s haven, however, that does not belong.
Mr. Schultz, the food at Starbucks is shit. Nothing in the dumpy display case ever looks appetizing, and I’m sure it’s inedible, too. The sandwiches always look flat, like they’ve been crushed by the weight of the national debt; the pastries look glazed over and depressed. And those little round, shriveled things that you’re advertising all of a sudden? I have no clue what they are, but they look like undescended testicles and someone needs to call the censorship bureau on you because they freak me out.
Mr. Schultz, why do you insist on cutting corners in the culinary department? I know you have plenty of funding kicking around, because every Christmas you roll out a new line of mildly festive, non-denominational cups to celebrate a slew of winter holidays. Let me tell you something, Mr. Schultz: these intricately-designed, 100% recycled red paper cups will probably just end up in the blowhole of a whale, so really, you’re wasting your time. And according to capitalist doctrine, time is money. And I want to spend my money on a bacon, egg and cheese that doesn’t look like it’s going to be recalled by the USDA for listeria contamination.
Give me a Starbucks that focuses its efforts on locally sourced, regional favorites. A Starbucks that supports local shops and farms while simultaneously monopolizing the market, putting every family-owned coffee house in a ten-mile radius out of business. When I’m at Starbucks in New York, I want the best goddamn bagel I’ve ever had. When I’m at Starbucks in California, I want some disgusting vegan options. In Minnesota, give me some artery-clogging casserole covered in tater tots, or whatever they eat up there in the land God forgot about. When I’m in your founding state of Washington, Mr. Shultz, give me a Danish so orgasmic it will cure my seasonal depression.
I’ll admit, I’m no economist. I don’t handle large sums of money or study the patterns of people who walk through your contemporary, Plexiglas doors. I am nothing but a lowly bank teller and college student. But I implore you to change your company, Mr. Schultz. The ball is in your court. And according to Title IX, we can both play the game.
One Hangry Customer