I dont think the Starbucks situation should change too many serious cafe startups. In recent history coffee has proven to be somewhat recession proof (Mark Pendergast's book Uncommon Grounds has some interesting figures about consumption in the US during the Great Depression). I think Starbucks current situation has a lot to do with the dynamics of that organisation, a little to do with current global economic trends. For instance last week Peets Coffee announced a 62% increase in 2nd 1/4 earnings per share. I think as long as you research soundly- be fine.
Thank you for those that respond to my question. Positive thinking..... I also want to know what about Coffee Bean in the supermarkets. I know that the people that goes to the supermarket love it doing the two in one stop. I realize that that Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is franchising, but give me a break, Oh, and one more thing what about all those powders mix in the coffee. I just realizing that coffee is not just coffee and milk. Can any one recomment a good barista school that is not going to teach you how to make a drink in 4 hours and charge you 2 to 3 thousand dollars. I mean how much can you learn in 5 days of Barista school.
Don't panic! Starbucks has closed their shops in Australia because the Aussies are very territorial. If they know there is another coffee shop owned by an Australian they'll go out of their way to go there instead of one that is owned by someone from another country. They also have a strong tradition of European style hole-in-the-wall coffee bars that they go to. It's not that they aren't drinking coffee. Having a coffee shop that has it's own uniquie energy and ambiance could be an advantage. It seems that all over people are rejecting the homogenized or McDonald's-ized version of things.