We've been hearing the rumors for a few weeks. The shipping container was dropped in the parking lot 2 weeks ago. We knew the day was coming, and now its here - soon we go to war against the clown with the big red shoes! That's right, I have a newly renovated McCafe' 50 yards from our front door. I saw the shiny new super-auto this afternoon when I picked up my QP w/Cheese. Hoppers still empty, not a smudge or a loose ground anywhere on it. Strategically located far enough from the fry-o-lator to avoid splatter. Everyone in the store casting a wary eye at it, and keeping a safe distance. I can almost see the beast from my perch atop the anti-fatigue mat behind our trusty Astoria... but not quite.
I know we shouldn't worry. We knew this was coming. We've spent our time since open building a reputation as the place to get a good cup of coffee and relax among friends. We're part of the neighborhood, and have friends here now. We've kept our focus on great ingredients and great preparation. We make good coffee. We're doing ok, and growing every week now. We've had a 9 month head start. Its McDonald's, for heavens sake.
We're not really worried, just a little apprehensive as we wait to find out if we got it right. I do have many questions though. How many of our friends will leave us for "not that bad, and cheaper"? When will the free mocha coupons hit the mailbox? How many days of reduced sales will we ride out as our loyal customers give McDonald's finest a try out of curiosity? How many people will McD's lure down the rabbit hole for us, creating a new generation of coffee customer for us to lure away? Will we get a bump due to increased traffic and awareness? Have we done enough to educate our customers about good coffee? Will they really care when presented with a cheaper option?
I honestly have no idea what to expect here. I'd like to think that we'll see no impact -.the McDonalds customer will continue to be a McDonalds customer, and just start buying fancier stuff there. Our customers will be curious and then come back. Good coffee will win. But who knows...
My friends here on the bX, thank you for the help you've been in raising the level of our techniques and drink recipes, preparing us for battle. I'll post back when the dust settles with an update.