Earlier this summer, Starbucks announced that it would start offering almond milk in its stores, noting in the press release that it was one of the most common requests on its "platform for crowdsourcing customer and barista suggestions," called My Starbucks Idea. I had never heard of the site before, but it is a treasure trove of great—and some admittedly not-so-great—ideas from Starbucks customers around the world. The whole goal of My Starbucks Idea, according to the FAQ, is to "shape the future of Starbucks," making it the most perfect customer experience possible. These forums aren't a place to complain about bad service at a single store, though. There are some big picture, pie in the sky kind of ideas here, with hot topics of conversation ranging from how the Starbucks app and the My Starbucks Rewards program could be improved, to what kind of mugs should be used in stores.
And folks from Starbucks HQ are listening, as demonstrated by the addition of almond milk to the menu. So since it's clearly not unprecedented for Starbucks to take customer suggestions into consideration, here are 17 other ideas from intrepid Starbucks customers, pulled from the My Starbucks Idea forums, that I'd like to see implemented next.
If you've ever finished a cup of Starbucks coffee and then immediately wanted another cup, you'll sympathize with brincker's request. Starbucks needs endless cups of coffee, which I think means unlimited refills. The commenter's reasoning? "Why not?"
Starbucks Race Cars
As Starbucks commenter stoufis called his idea, "simple and in my opinion will greatly elevate the image of starbucks [sic]. Starbucks needs to get involved in racing." That means sponsoring a race team, be it NASCAR or something else, and getting the Starbucks logo on race cars.
According to commenter rivya, "Edible containers is the buzzword these days." And so Starbucks should have a "variety of edible containers,"in flavors like butterscotch or hazelnut. But as onecommenter noted,"Shows you how far behind the news I am; I've never heard that 'edible containers' is the buzzword these days."
One good way to enhance the Starbucks experience, according to Natalia1410, would be by hosting a coffeeathalon: "An easy trail (running or walking) with feed station every few miles, stocked with coffee and and other samples of product from Starbucks." But as one commenter wisely asked, "You really think that drinking coffee along a run is the best thing to do?"
If you've ever been embarrassed to meet a blind date at Starbucks, you'd love this idea for private lounges. User AbhiKothari suggested, "Starbucks is also about business dealing or a private date so having a few separate cozy space for such purpose would be a great add in for Starbucks."
App to Find Open Seats
This was a less than popular idea, but it makes sense once you think about. This proposed app would let the user know which Starbucks in the area had the most free seating. "If looking to find a place to have a discussion with a friend [or[ colleague, useful if I can check the app to see which Starbucks closest to me is the least crowded at that time,"explains user cluelesscurios.
Starbucks is not open all-day, everyday, but one regular poster to My Starbucks Idea cupajoe4evamoe thinks it should be a 24/7 endeavor. Cities larger than 100,000 people, "with several Hospitals, Police on Duty, Medical Vans and other Civic Workers working through the night, along with a *Thriving College Base/Demographics could certainly support a 24/7 SBUX."
Did you know that Starbucks coffee is not, in fact, bird-friendly?
Lithuanian Bacon Buns
There are regularly calls for new foods to be added to Starbucks menu, but this suggestion for Lithuanian bacon buns from chicagosbrocks made my mouth water. "Lithuanian bacon buns or Lasineciai is made with a soft roll dough stuffed with chopped cooked onion and bacon," and sound like they'd be a great snack to pair with coffee.
Bean Roastery in Volodymyr-Volynskyi, Ukraine
There are always calls for more Starbucks stores around the world, but My Starbucks Idea user jakemcgrew had a very specific spot in mind for the next bean roastery: "I believe a great location for a local bean roastery would be Volodymyr-Volynskyi in northwest Ukraine." He continues, "In our town there are many hard-working and well-educated people who are available to work, the level of English is pretty high here, and there are a few spaces where plants and factories used to stand which would be perfect places for a coffee roastery."
Double-Barrel Straws in Blue
I'll let el stupido's very specific request stand on its own, with minimal commentary: "*Double Barrel Straw for Bigger Delivery of Liquid...=) in the color blue."
Tic-Tac-Toe on Napkins
"While board games are great for coffee shops, it would be difficult to make sure all pieces of the games are maintained for everyone's enjoyment," writes rathkatie. "What about printing games on napkins and cup sleeves? Tic-Tac-Toe, simple crosswords, and word searches would be fun for people who are just relaxing and don't have a partner to share their time with." Seems like an easy yet very fun, idea to me.
There are over 24,000 stores in 70 countries, so you could totally drink you way around the world in Starbucks. My Starbucks Idea user Sooyoung Park was wondering if there could be a Starbucks passport of sorts, to prove that you're well-traveled: "Make a stamp book to be used in different Starbucks branches around the world,
Stirring coffee with those little wooden sticks can be tricky, so pagula had a challenge for Starbucks. "Get rid of ALL coffee coffee stir sticks wooden or otherwise and invent new technology to magically stir your coffee. I challenge you to design something in store customers can use. A device, a machine, a simple 'thing' that would eliminate the environmentally wasteful stir sticks. They are pointless."
My main main cupajoe4evamore had another banging idea for a Starbucks promotion that's best expressed in his own words: "*Build...seriously...a *STARBUCKS BLIMP*- That can carry up to 20 Passangers and it will have *Scheduled Rides over Brand New Grand Openings of Stores and some Large Remodels...*With On-Board Mini-Barista Counter-*for in-flight Drinks...=)" It would be amazing, as long as it didn't go the way of the Hindenburg.
This is a simple idea from charleyr from 2008, and, to be honest, I'm surprised it's not still available. "I would like to see a t-shirt that says 'Powered by Starbucks,'" they write. "I know that I would wear it." Same, charleyr. Same.
Many of the suggestions on My Starbucks Idea have to do with sustainability, though it could be argued that TasteBudTreat is taking it too far: "How about this idea. Starbucks uses their old tea bags in order to make fire lighter packs. It's a simple recipe of retaining old tea bags and then drying them out & adding some wax."