In this video I was trying to get my wife’s Uncle (who lives in Florence) to explain why there are no Starbucks in Italy. Off camera he mentioned that no Italians would dare go there but “on camera” the story seemed to change a little, all of sudden all “American” companies were good!
What a laugh, anyway, his wife stepped in and tried to clear things up a little. Things don’t always go as planned – it’ll still give you a little tiny taste of Florence.
Here’s how the idea for this little clip started…
We always talk about buying properties “into” demand. So my initial reaction to NOT seeing a Starbucks in Florence (or anywhere in Italy for that matter) was confusion. I mean, Florence is a city that has an espresso bar every 10 steps! Why wouldn’t Starbucks want a piece of this action?
But after spending some time with my in-laws over there I realized that Starbucks has a huge problem. Italians in Florence find it rude to take your espresso out of the coffee bar. They don’t ever consider that. You sit down and enjoy it or if you’re really in a rush you sit at the coffee bar and enjoy your coffee there. But you NEVER take it with you. That’s considered “rude”.
The Starbucks world of paper cups and high volume doesn’t “jive” with the culture. And they would likely look down at an American company trying to “copy” their authentic java bars.
And can you imagine if they did open up in Italy and failed? What a PR nightmare that would be. Sheesh.
For the record, I’m still a Starbucks fan, love those Vivano’s