Suspended coffee

Cynical move by Starbucks?

1 to 20 of 43 messages
24/04/2013 at 13:15
There's a story on BBC Is Starbucks really that desperate to get people back through its doors?
Pudge    pirate
24/04/2013 at 13:22

This would be a quite a good idea if it was applied to food and water, as surely these will be of more use, and of greater nutritional value, to those in need.

If I was destitute then I'm not sure that my most pressing thought would be "I'm desperate for a brew".

cougie    pirate
24/04/2013 at 13:29
I like my starbucks coffee - but I might not frequent it quite so much if its full of homeless people having their coffees ? Have they thought this through ?

And I could probably live my life without coffee completely - so unless its a cold night - how desperate are people for coffee ?
24/04/2013 at 13:50
There is a coffee shop in Sheffield city centre that has done this for a couple of yeara already. It works really well and the shop is packed. They also offer the option to suspend sandwiches as well. The homeless simply take out or sit away from customers because they know they might be a little 'fresh' smelling and appreciate a warm drink on a cold winters night.

Its a good thing. Please don't knock it
24/04/2013 at 14:18

As runningowl says, a warm drink is always welcome, and I don't think the scheme is restricted only to coffees, so people in need can claim things like sandwiches too.

I've not seen this kind of scheme in the UK as yet, but know there are similar in other countries, so I say good on Starbucks for taking this on.


(There's a regular Big Issue seller in town, who I pass on my way to get my lunch at Pret; on a couple of very cold days this winter I've brought him a cuppa, for which he seemed very grateful).

24/04/2013 at 14:25

Ive heard from some people that Starbucks 'reset' the tab each day so if its not used ...........

also seems a bit rich that Starbucks are charging full price for this scheme. So they get their money and the profit regardless and if not all drinks are claimed, where does the money go? Thats right, right into starbucks bottom line.

Kerching, they win either way.

Personally I thinking buying someone a £2 cup of coffee is ridiculous. If you are homeless you really shouldnt be drinking £2 cups of coffee.


24/04/2013 at 14:31

As DF says it's not costing Starbucks anything; all they have to do is maintain a tally of money in the kitty. They're still making large profits on each cup but now have those on the suspended cups as well.


How many homeless shelters could have been built with the tax they avoided?

24/04/2013 at 14:42
How much has their business dropped off since the tax fiasco?
24/04/2013 at 14:42

Runningowl - it's fine for an independent coffee shop do that but Starbucks can feck right off.

Starbucks can bloody well afford to donate free coffee to the homeless out of it own profits!

And Pret simply give away their leftover food to the homeless at the end of the day, they don't charge me or anyone else to do it.


24/04/2013 at 14:47

Starbucks donates to charity to the value of each suspended product.  There's a financial implication for them to do that.

Edited: 24/04/2013 at 14:48
24/04/2013 at 14:49

Actually, they're also doubling-up the donation.

24/04/2013 at 14:52
But you are paying for the food that Pret gives away. If they didn't over-produce then they wouldn't have to charge so much.
24/04/2013 at 14:54

But surely how much that "matched donation" actually works out at must relate to the mark up of the coffee in the first place though? 



Edited: 24/04/2013 at 14:59
24/04/2013 at 15:01

No. You buy a £2.50 coffee, Oasis gets £5.  FFS - a charity (albeit a bible-thumping one) benefits.

As for the tax thing, Starbucks hasn't broken any laws.

24/04/2013 at 15:02

I agree with David Falconer 3, it's win win for Starbucks, they're getting publicity for putting the onus on their customers to give to the homeless. Perhaps they could throw in a few of the pounds they've saved in corporation tax over the last few years.

I feel the same way about "active kids vouchers" and all that other bullshit that supermarkets do. They offer all their customers vouchers, which they can give to schools to use for PE equipment, etc. Sounds good enough, but many customers don't have kids, or can't be bothered. If Sainsbury's were really interested in social corporate responsibility they would simply donate the money to the schools directly, rather than implement a self-aggrandising, indirect campaign. Who do they think they're fooling? All of their customers, obviously.

The next time i drop a few pence into some hobo's cup, I'll do a little jig, and make a big song and dance about it, get my picture taken, and a tshirt printed up.

Edited: 24/04/2013 at 15:02
24/04/2013 at 15:10

@AgentGinger - Starbucks is - like I said, they're doubling the amount customers "suspend".

24/04/2013 at 15:26
Where have you found the information that Starbucks is doubling the 'suspend'? Not that I don't believe you - I can't find it.
24/04/2013 at 15:33
24/04/2013 at 15:40

It's funny, when this idea went around facebook/twitter some time ago people were saying bad things about Starbucks etc because they weren't adopting the scheme.  Now that they are, it's seen as cynical.  Ho hum.

24/04/2013 at 15:42

Lets face it, You pay over £2 for a cup of coffee. Whats the actual cost to them? Maybe 20 pence all told? Doubling the amount still means they are quids in.

Remember the expense of staff, the place etc is already there anyway. Apart from a small amount of administration, this adds no extra cost apart from the beans, water and a bit of washing up or the cost of the takeaway cup.

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