Come for an AA Meeting & Stay for Happy Hour

Starbucks. Wow. I wasn’t really a fan to begin with, aside from an annual white chocolate mocha and an occasional iced passion tea when I’m too lazy to brew it at home. But, come on! Adding alcohol to the menu?

Apparently, this is a bit of an old story and I’m late to the party once again (go figure). Some big city U.S. Starbucks locations already have beer and wine on the menu. I’m either oblivious or I’ve never visited a Starbucks that has a liquor license. Regardless, the recent news out of Canada has me a bit steamed, especially because the U.S. is next in line.

Coffee with Friends

From what I’ve read, basically Starbucks Canada got hammered by McDonald’s coffee sales last year. So, rather than continue to compete for market share, Starbucks is tucking tail and going for the easy kill: women who want to enjoy a glass of wine without enduring the bar scene.

That seems uncharacteristically wimpy for Starbucks. Not to mention a sleazy slap in the face to those living in recovery from substance-use disorders — a major slice of the coffee-consuming pie — and many of whom attend AA meetings held at Starbucks!

Since this is new marketing ground for Starbucks, let’s explore a couple of possible campaign ideas:

Starbucks: Where you can come for an AA meeting and stay for Happy Hour.

Coffee? Hair of the Dog? Starbucks has your hangover cure.

With its abandonment of coffee sales objectives in favor of this new booze initiative, perhaps Starbucks will offer free coffee or tea for anyone who shows a sobriety coin. That would be a solid gesture.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am a business owner and I support free enterprise. I acknowledge alcoholism is a disease and no one can battle it for me. There are challenges everywhere. Hell, there’s a magnet on the package store strong enough to rip my car right out of my garage. But, I can fight that. And, I can win.

Wine in a coffee shop? That’s just bass-ackwards. I’m done with this soap box. It’s Dunkin’ Break Time.

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