Was Starbucks on Campus Worth the Investment?


The campus Starbucks sales were only 34% of what Einstein’s sold from August 22, 2022 to September 20, 2022, according to a product movement spread sheet prepared by general manager of Spring Hill dining, Alex Tholl.

The spreadsheet calculated how many coffee drink sales were made for the two on-campus businesses. Einstein’s sold 306 coffee cold brew classics in the last month and Starbucks sold 46 iced coffees, based on the spreadsheet. From the start of the semester to September 20, Einstein’s sold 345 medium caramel macchiatos. Starbucks fell behind and sold only 32 medium caramel macchiatos. “We [Starbucks] did start with a limited menu,” Tholl reminded. “We wanted to make sure that it can be successful with limited items before expanding to other menu items such as refreshers and teas.”

Since the renovations in the winter of 2020 concluded, the talks of adding a Starbucks swarmed around campus. Espresso machines and other equipment were purchased to help this dream become a reality.

Einstein’s is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. while Starbucks is open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m, giving students an opportunity for more drink options. “After Einstein’s and Carpe Diem close, there’s a void of coffees. Opening a Starbucks at three fills that void,” Tholl said.

In my opinion, opening the Starbucks was a neat idea. Students who wish to fuel up with caffeine later in the day can now do this without driving elsewhere or making coffee in their dorms. However, Einstein’s is tough to beat and the information that was found proved this.As I see it, Starbucks might have filled a void, but it is not getting the same business as Einstein’s. 

Based on the spreadsheet of product movement, Einstein’s stayed dominant throughout the one-month period. I believe that adding this popular coffee chain to our campus was ineffective. The number of sales at Starbucks does not compare to the sales at Einstein’s. I think the money that was spent towards acquiring a Starbucks could have been spent on something more useful for all students.

To view the product movement spreadsheet, visit https://bit.ly/StarbucksvEinsteinsSpreadSheets.

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