These days, nearly everything is a trend, and every industry has its share. The food industry is no exception. Some trends have somehow kept their grip on the Lasallian market–pastry shops, 24-hour convenience stores, kiosks along Agno, and cafés. Of course, at first mention of the word “café,” the average Lasallian has one word ringing through his or her mind: Starbucks (sorry about that, CBTL, but keep trying). It’s not always the surrounding hype that makes this association automatic–it could just be the simple fact that we have a Starbucks… and a Starbucks… and a Starbucks nearby.
Fulfilling its dream of customers finding a branch at every turn, Starbucks Coffee has outdone itself along Taft Avenue, where the distance between branches is shorter than the distance between some students’ classes. Because of this, we decided to finally create the head-to-head-to-head that every project-making, thesis-taking, coffee-craving Lasallian wants to know: which is the best Starbucks?
Arguably the most noticeable benefit each Starbucks possesses over its competitors is its highly strategic, clearly very thought-out location. It’s after a specific target – naturally, it wants to be where it can cater to the most. Given that it caters to students, what better location than right inside school? The point goes to Starbucks Agno. In addition to its location by Andrew building where the frosh and their–ahem–pockets are always eager for some coffee splurging, it’s also conveniently next-door to the hot houses that are Agno and Castro.
Timing is essential
Let’s not forget, however, that location is nothing without timing. In this, we’d have to credit the point to Starbucks Torre Lorenzo. It’s got a pretty guaranteed market of condominium residents from every apartment along Vito Cruz, but the time for coffee to appeal to these residents isn’t always within the day. It’s at night when you desperately have to stay awake for that project or need a calm place to meet with somebody. Props, then, to Starbucks Torre Lorenzo for being the café for late-nighters and studious Lasallians.
Hello, welcome to Starbucks
Like many cafés, Starbucks prides itself on friendly staff. From the guard that opens the door for you down to that moment that your name gets called for your order, Starbucks surely knows how to make the customer its friend. And the most customer friendly award goes to Starbucks Torre Lorenzo. The regular customers have become close friends with the baristas and the newcomers are welcomed with a greeting that will brighten up anyone’s day.
A side order of ambience
This is another trait that every café-goer pays strong attention to: the feel of the place. Too warm, too cold, too noisy? Yes, these details count, but the main point is how comfortable you feel in the café. Starbucks Torre Lorenzo has always undergone renovations but if you haven’t seen it, among all the Starbucks branches in Taft, they have the best interior design. But the point for ventilation goes to Starbucks Taft Avenue because it’s always a refreshing feeling to enter after being exposed to the hot scorching sun. For this aspect, it’s a tie for Starbucks Taft Avenue and Torre Lorenzo.
The coffee crowd
You have nothing against people from outside Taft, but sometimes being around people who are all from DLSU makes the very atmosphere in the café change … kind of like the café is just another part of the school. Starbucks Agno has already become an extension of DLSU to the point that it has become the students’ very own place to study and hang out. Hands down, the point for this goes to Starbucks Agno, for the obvious reason that it’s practically inside the school.
A matter of availability
“How can the food possibly be any better for one than for the other?” Yes, we’re not going to compare the taste of the frappe or the moistness of the cakes, but we are going to take a different approach – not quality, but quantity. There are times when class has ended and you’re just craving for some cheesecake or banoffee pie. You hurry to the branch closest to you… only to find that they’re all out. As far as we know, all three branches don’t run out of coffee, but which branch always almost never runs out of food? The point for this one goes to Starbucks Taft Avenue.
Garnering a point for timing, ambience and food and beverage availability, Starbucks Taft Avenue ranks as the best among the Taft branches. To tally the results, Starbucks Taft Avenue received two points, Starbucks Agno also received two points and Starbucks Torre Lorenzo received three points. With all these said, Starbucks remains to be a brand favored by customers. Truly, Starbucks is more than just coffee.