Starbucks reversed engineered


New member
Aug 30, 2004
West Virginia
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Good Morning to all,

I am new to this forum (love it) and I have a research question that I am sure either has already been performed and many of us have wondered ourselves. Let me also say that anything can be found on the internet, you just have to know where. So here goes....

Has anyone tried and reversed engineered the Starbucks cafe's/drive thru's? They are one very good success story that has a lot to research.

I for one don't always need to reinvent the wheel and I thought if anyone had reversed engineered the starbuck stores, it would save alot of valuable time and money. I can guarentee that Starbucks spent considerable time and money researching the numerous equipment, products and procedures to if its good for Starbucks, it's probably a good starting point for most of us on this site, especially those of us thinking about starting a cafe or coffee shop. I am looking for current up to date information. Call it market research.

As a few examples.....

1) What equipment does starbucks use? Start with the makes and models of the espresso machines, grinders/dosers, blenders, roasters, water treatment equipment, etc.

2) Then what accessory equipment do they use? Things like the computer system, cash register or inventory control, whipped cream dispensers, serving cups (ceramic), steaming pitchers, etc.

3) Where do they get their paper products (cups and lids), their non coffee items, etc.

4) What about operations manual, employee handbooks, training manuals, etc.

I know that this is asking for a lot, and may seem a little pushy but I am sure it exist somewhere. I guess I could just spend hours in a starbucks and take notes. If you are bashful you can give me a PM to discuss in further detail.

I just thought I would ask.



I don't mean to sound mean, but most of us have spent years and thousands of dollars researching what you are asking us to give you.

It sounds as though you are in the beginning stages of getting started, a word of advice, don't copy starbucks. They don't make the best coffee, just like McDonalds doesn't make the best hamburger. You need to be original, otherwise, Starbucks will roll right over you, unless you can make a better product, provide better service, and a better atmosphere.

I would suggest you hire a consultant, sometimes advice is worth what you paid for it.

Just my 2 cents.

I have done some work for different clients, if you would like to discuss rates, feel free to PM me.
Here...Here D.R. I agree with you totally...Remember Starbucks didn't do drive thrus in the beginning. It really wasn't until they purchased SBC that they really came out strong with drive thrus. If you are serious about wanting to get into this business, hiring a experienced consultant is the way to go. We have helped many for over 10 years get into this business. In fact that's how we started. Send me a pm if you are ready. We can not only save you a lot of time, but also work with you throughout the life of your business.
It has been done

There have been, and are many places that mirror the starbucks business structure, and many have even expanded upon it, but the fact is, they were one of the first ones to do something like this, to this level, and it's one of those things, where you want to get in first.

Ok, let's say, you were able to duplicate starbucks, down to the very logo itself. You hire employees, gotta pay them, the overhead, that's another big chunk of change. Now, you gotta figure out your the liability. You had might as well save yourself the trouble and go fill out an ap at starbucks and call it good, it would accompolish the same thing.
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Satrbucks reversed engineered

Good Evening,

First , I apoligize to those of you whom I may have offended or may offend with this reply by asking the questions about reverse engineering Starbucks.

Second, I have no intentions of duplicating a Starbucks or anything like it. I was thinking "outside the box" and looking at another angle when I asked these questions.

Let me try and put it another way....Have you seen all the analysis about other past Fortune 500 companies, like IBM, Zerox, Texas Instruments, etc. Where are they now? Or with a few different decisions (years ago), where would they be now? As a result Microsoft and Apple, HP and others have taken advantage of their weak spots and look at where these companies are today. I am sure IBM is kicking them selves in the butt these days for not understanding the software side of things.

I agree Starbucks really grew the industry and has made it what it is today, but just like IBM I was looking at being the next 'Microsoft' of the coffee world.

If this is a commercial site sponsored by a coffee business, ignor the following. If this is truly a 1000 plus members of coffee 'nuts' then read on.

Third, and again this might be a little blunt, I appreciate everyone on this coffee discussion forum, but it really is something I am not familiar with (with the other forums I am on) and understand, but with about every question posted on this forum there are a few posters who always find a way to have you contact them via a private message to discuss the answers in private. How does that help the posters on this forum to learn?

I realize that several of you have businesses that are involved in the subject material on this forum, and as such you provide a consulting service, but (correct me if I am wrong) shouldn't this forum be about the passing of thoughts and ideas and suggestions to make our indivdual 'shops' stronger and thus our industry stronger. Our industry needs to work together as a TEAM, pass on thoughts and ideas, comment and suggestions, so that we can learn from others past experiences. Even newbies can pass on experiences that 10 year experienced shop owners can learn from. I am not asking for trade secrets, just information. There are many books out there about the subjects, there are many newbies and experiences out there from other parts of the country.

As a poster to several forums, I thought that my becoming a member of any forum was for the benefit of the forum and the members on the forum...not to make a buck!!! When I join a forum, I pass on my experiences freely without any consideration for money. If you feel that you don't want to discuss your experiences for free just don't respond.

Again, sorry if I have missunderstood this forum or if I have stepped on any toes.

There is a wealth of experiences out there, and I think our industry will become stronger if we all learn from one another.

Thanks for your time.

Hey RadarRick:

You're right forums are to share thoughts and ideas. I for one believe in sharing information, however, there are certain questions that some ask that do need to be addressed from a fee based consultation. I believe that is one reason that the pm was created, this way some like myself won't use this forum as a commercial or spam infested vehicle. I too follow several coffee related forums and/or news groups, but find that this one and a couple of others to be more helpful and entertaining.

There's nothing wrong with thinking outside of the box, nor reading alot of books to gain knowledge. In fact I would encourage everyone to do that, however, unless you put that knowledge to work for you it's nothing more than just collecting information. Furthermore, lets be realistic, those that own businesses coffee related or not have spent a considerable amount of time and money to get going, and some are not at the point to where they are willing to share certain information.

And to address the following:

As a poster to several forums, I thought that my becoming a member of any forum was for the benefit of the forum and the members on the forum...not to make a buck!!! When I join a forum, I pass on my experiences freely without any consideration for money. If you feel that you don't want to discuss your experiences for free just don't respond.

I do take offense to your comments, but instead of focusing on those respecting this forum and requesting that some send pm's, try observing the good that has been done for the benefit of others here. And if it's necessary that some may need professional fee based assistance then I will direct them to send me a pm.

The problem ridadrick is you are asking for info that you could easily get stop in and ask them...or look for yourself...cups buy one and look on the bottom...I am not trying to play a richard but like drrule said people who have shops have done the leg work...time for you to also...I mean if you have a question that you can not find the answer I am sure plenty here would do all they could to help you..but they are not going to do it all for you...Fortune 500 companies do not get things handed to them....If you want I can send you a training guide I wrote at the casino I was at before here...but you need to pm me so I can get your email address :wink: ( don't worry it is free..I have never pushed biz through forums...actually I do not think I have ever mentioned my company name )