Consistency valued by corporate chain

Starbucks corporate calls its stores the “third place” between work and home where you are able to go as a retreat. Featuring the same roasts you would always expect, and an atmosphere that is the same everywhere, Starbucks exemplifies this idea of a third place, and as such I have made it my go-to place to do work.

The coffee is consistently what you would expect. I have never gone to Starbucks and been blown away by the quality of the coffee, but as a result, I’ve never been upset with my order, and if anything is wrong, they will fix it right there. Starbucks always has three different roasts ready. Usually, most of the coffees feature a “cocoa flavor note” for people who care about coffee tasting. And if you are used to the standard Pike’s Place, I encourage you to switch it up and try a new roast. Starbucks also has all of its standard menu drinks, and they are all made the same at every individual Starbucks. No matter where you order it, every drink will be made consistently; in my opinion, this gives Starbucks extreme value as a place to do work, because you don’t have to worry about what you are going to order, and you can get your “usual” anywhere in the country. Consistency in location harbors productivity, as the time to adjust does not impact your working time.

The atmosphere of nearly every Starbucks is extremely similar, generally featuring earthy colors, lots of table space, and occasionally, a few cushioned chairs. There’s also always a solid wireless network connection. This makes it easy to go, find a place to sit, and get to work. There’s none of the normal uncertainty associated with going to a new place, as you don’t have to worry if the chairs are uncomfortable, if there is Wi-Fi, if the window glare will be too much, or if the coffee will taste bad. It is nice in its consistency, and that is both comforting and useful. In addition to the consistency of environment, the interior is always clean and well maintained, and mobile orders make it so you don’t even have to leave your seat or speak to other people to order—perfect for those of us who like to avoid social interaction. The mobile order system makes Starbucks the perfect utilitarian space if you want it to be, as you don’t have to interact with anything, or anyone—except a computer if you don’t want to.

So, when looking for one of these “hip” new places to go, keep in mind old faithful, the place you can always expect to have everything you need to get through your homework or side project, or just to chill and read: Starbucks.

Editor’s note: the author of this article is employed by Starbucks Corporation.