Starbucks – Sì or No?

by Silke Kessel
Starbucks – Sì or No?

I wonder if the Italians will stand up to their cultural pride and face down the globalisation of Starbucks when next year the first shops open in Italy.

Having studied in Italy many years ago, in fact, when the Lira was still about, going daily to my barista Giovanni (…sorry, took me some time to finish the sentence as writing about my time in Florence and Giovanni got me day dreaming…). Okay, I am back.

Going daily to my barista Giovanni for my caffè (espresso), after wiggling my way through the cluster of well-dressed Italian business men and women and getting his cheeky wink and smile whilst handing me my order was the perfect start to the day. Standing around in the coffee bar sipping my caffè out of a lovely porcelain mug, inhaling the smell of freshly brewed coffee whilst listening to the lively conversations around me was telling me, I was in Italy.

I was Giovanni’s ‘Bella Tedesca’, his beautiful German. I am still melting, all these years later.

That was then, and now project us into 2018.

My barista Giovanni works now in Starbucks with several other Giovannis and Giovannas.

Will I get a smile? Will he ask for my name? Yes – its policy now. Will he get it? Probably not, as my ‘Italian’ Giovanni didn’t get it, that’s why he gave me the special name back in 19…

The barista in 2018 will try to write my name on his paper mug – obviously that will fail, as he hasn’t got the time to ask me several times for the correct spelling of my name and I would get impatient and would give him a fake name to rush him to hand over my café.

Now I have this hot paper cup, will I stand around and enjoy drinking it there and then? Obviously not, it’s not the place to stand around and chat, you either sit down, occupying with your laptop a four seater table or you run as quickly as you can out of the shop.

It will be interesting to see how successful Starbucks will become in Italy.

Will I visit them on my trip next year? You might guess my answer.

Now, if you think that Starbucks will conquer Italy and will continue to be a successful global brand, why not buy their shares through us? The brand marches on.  The artisan barista shops are fighting back and my hope is they will push back the tide of mega brand conformity.  But I’m tempted to buy a few shares just in case. 

If you’re not a coffee drinker, you might want to talk with our dealers about other share options.

At Reyker, we offer you plenty investment products and you might get a coffee if you visit us. Purely co-incidentally though, we are very close to a Starbucks, but the coffee we serve comes from our own espresso machines!

Carpe diem!