I thought this was rather funny, but very true.
JACKIE MASON ON STARBUCKS
Starbucks is the best example of a phony status symbol that
means nothing, but people will still pay 10x as much for because
there are French words all over the place. You want coffee in a
coffee shop, that's 60 cents. But at Starbucks, Cafe Latte: $3.50.
Cafe Cremier: $4.50. Cafe Suisse: $9.50.
For each French word, another four dollars.
Why does a little cream in coffee make it worth $3.50? Go into any
coffee shop; they'll give you all the cream you want until you're
blue in the face.
Forty million people are walking around in coffee shops with jars of
cream: "Here's all the cream you want!" And it's still 60 cents. You
know why? Because it's called "coffee."
If it's Cafe Latte - $4.50.
You want cinnamon in your coffee? Ask for cinnamon in a coffee
shop;they'll give you all the cinnamon you want. Do they ask you for
more money because it's cinnamon? It's the same price for cinnamon in
your coffee as for coffee without cinnamon - 60 cents, that's it. But
not in Starbucks. Over there, it's Cinnamonnier -$9.50.
You want a refill in a regular coffee shop, they'll give you all the
refills you want until you drop dead. You can come in when you're 27
and keep drinking coffee until you're 98. And they'll start begging
you: "Here, you want more coffee, you want more, youwant more?"
Do you know that you can't get a refill at Starbucks? A refill is a
dollar fifty. Two refills, $4.50. Three refills, $19.50. So, for
four cups of coffee- $350. And it's burnt coffee.
It's burnt coffee at Starbucks, let's be honest about it. If you get
burnt coffee in a coffee shop, you call a cop. You say, "It's the
bottom of the pot. I don't drink from the bottom of the pot.
But when it's burnt at Starbucks, they say, "Oh, it's a blend. It's
a blend?" It's a special bean from Argentina." The bean is in your
And there're no chairs in those Starbucks. Instead, they have these
high stools. You ever see these stools? You haven't been on a chair
that high since you were two.
Seventy-three year old Jews are climbing and climbing to get to the top
of the chair. And when they get to the top, they can't even drink
the coffee because there's 12 people around one little table, and
everybody's saying, "Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me....."
Then they can't get off the chair. Old Jews are begging Gentiles,
"Mister, could you get me off this?"
Do you remember what a cafeteria was? In poor neighborhoods all over
this country, they went to a cafeteria because there were no waiters
and no service.
And so poor people could save money on a tip. Cafeterias didn't have
regular tables or chairs either. They gave coffee to you in a
cardboard cup. So because of that you paid less for the coffee.
You got less, so you paid less.
It's all the same as Starbucks - no chairs, no service, a cardboard
cup for your coffee - except in Starbucks, the less you get, the more
it costs. By the time they give you nothing, it's worth four times as
much. Am I exaggerating?
Did you ever try to buy a cookie in Starbucks? Buy a cookie in a
regular coffee shop. You can tear down a building with that cookie.
And the whole cookie is 60 cents. At Starbucks, you're going to have
to hire a detective to find that cookie and it's $9.50. And you can't
put butter on it because they want extra.
Do you know that if you buy a bagel, you pay extra for cream cheese
in Starbucks? Cream cheese, another 60 cents. A knife to put it on,
32 cents. If it reaches the bagel, 48 cents. That bagel costs you
And they don't give you the butter or the cream cheese. They don't
give it to you. They tell you where it is. "Oh, you want butter? It's
over there. Cream cheese? Over here. Sugar? Sugar is here."
Now you become your own waiter. You walk around with a tray. "I'll
take the cookie. Where's the butter? The butter's here. Where's the
cream cheese? The cream cheese is there." You walked around for an
hour and a half selecting items, and then the guy at the cash
register has a glass in front of him that says "Tips." You're waiting
on tables for an hour, and you owe him money.
Then there's a sign that says please clean it up when you're
finished. They don't give you a waiter or a busboy. Now you've become
the janitor. Now you have to start cleaning up the place. Old Jews
are walking around cleaning up Starbucks. "Oh, he's got dirt too?
Wait, I'll clean this up." They clean up the place for an hour and a
If I said to you, "I have a great idea for a business. I'll open a
whole new type of a coffee shop. A whole new type. Instead of 60
cents for coffee I'll charge $2.50, $3.50, $4.50, and $5.50.
Not only that, I'll have no tables, no chairs, no waiter, no busboy,
and you'll clean it up for 20 minutes after you're finished."
Would you say to me, "That's the greatest idea for a business I ever
heard! We can open a chain of these all over the world!"
No, you would put me right into a sanitarium.