Why UA’s Starbucks aren’t worth your buck

By Jesse Harper, [email protected]

The Starbucks that litter The University of Akron’s campus are, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the most unorganized, ill-managed, and poorly-functioning Starbucks that I have ever seen. The beverage quality is appalling, with the appalling beverage quality comes drinks that are far from worth the price you pay and you seem to wait a great deal of time for a drink that only leads to anguish and disappointment.

Suppose this: You’ve had a long day in a class or a lab and you decide to reward making it through your daily struggles with some Starbucks. After waiting in a line that seemed to stretch for miles, you finally get to order your Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, your Skinny Vanilla Latte or whatever it is you like to get. You are overjoyed and filled with anticipation; you cannot wait for them to call your name. The waiting is over; the barista finally calls out your name. You approach the counter, but something is wrong… They gave you the wrong drink. All of that waiting and anticipation were for naught because you are left with nothing but disappointment and a drink that you barely even like or one that you can’t stomach at all.

Many patrons of the on-campus stores seem to have stories like this happen to them all too frequently. The reason there seems to be such a disconnect between the quality of an off-campus Starbucks and our on-campus stores is because our campus stores are licensed stores. This means that they are coffee houses that are licensed by the Starbucks Corporation to use the Starbucks brand and their logo, and they use the same products and ingredients as a corporate Starbucks to create the same beverage you would receive there. A licensed store barista is expected to receive the same training on beverage quality and is expected to create the same Starbucks experience as a corporate store barista is, but the baristas on UA’s campus seem to fall supremely short of these expectations. There may be a miscommunication somewhere between our on-campus stores and the Starbucks Corporation. There may be a lack of communication or education between the on-campus barista trainers and their trainees.

This all becomes pure speculation. When you’ve had a long day of classes, tests and homework assignments, the last thing you need is a beverage that doesn’t hold up to the expectation you have as a consumer. You need to be able to go to one of The University of Akron’s three Starbucks locations and trust that the barista behind that bar has got your back.