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Essays on Starbucks and Panera - a Comparison of the Two Cafes' Strengths and Weaknesses in Terms of Consumer Preferences, a Taste of Coffee, Quality of Atmosphere and Price Case Study

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Who Said Starbucks Has the Best Coffee: A Comparison of Starbucks and Panera While there are several coffee chains that cater to thousands s each day. Starbucks has been leading the roost by a great margin for a long time now. However, with the rise of other similar cafes, Starbucks has been facing some stiff competition. One such coffee business is “Panera Bread” that is fast eating into Starbucks’ consumer base. This essay provides a comparison of the two cafes revealing the positive and negative aspects of both and their strengths and weaknesses in terms of consumer preferences, taste of coffee, quality of atmosphere and price. As far as positives are concerned, the coffee offered by Starbucks is much stronger and flavorful than that of Panera.

The brew available at Starbucks is neither too sweet nor too bland, having the right amount of aroma and caffeine. Furthermore, the social atmosphere and general crowd that is found at Starbucks is more pleasant and enjoyable, as compared to Panera. A study suggests that while Starbucks received an average of 9 out of 10 for the quality of social atmosphere, Panera received an 8 (Rice, 34).

For the taste and quality of coffee, Starbucks and Panera were awarded an average of 8 and 7 respectively, out of a total of 10. One very important positive aspect of Starbucks is that they provide a variety of sizes and quantities of coffee thereby allowing the customer greater freedom of choice. A customer can select the quantity that he or she is most comfortable with and is not stuck purchasing more or less coffee than he actually wishes to consume.

The service provided by Starbucks is also found to be more efficient and professional. Not only the employees are more understanding, friendly and cooperative, but the procuring and delivery of customer orders are also more efficient and quick. On the other hand, the most significant positives that Panera has to offer include cheaper prices, a more comfortable seating layout, as well as provision of amenities such as free WiFi. The coffee at Panera is relatively cheaper as compared to Starbucks and, therefore, people who buy coffee on daily basis would find it more economical to get their brews from Panera.

Moreover, Panera has been found to be more preferable as a place for people to work or simply spend some time with their friends. The seating conditions and arrangements at Panera are comfortable, and it makes a great place where people can simply sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Furthermore, Panera provides longer hours of free WiFi with superior quality connectivity. “Panera’s wifi is free and most of the time it is more reliable and faster” (Mypaneraofice. com). Though, there are some positive facets of both coffee chains, they also suffer from certain negative features or disadvantages.

Starbucks, though it offers a stronger brew of coffee, fails to cater to those customers that are looking for a milder brew. Moreover, Starbucks is now becoming a more of a fast-food joint than a cafe, where people come in, grab their coffee and leave. The pricing of the coffee is also much higher than its competitors. Panera, too, has its fair share of shortcomings. Its coffee is quite bland and tasteless and is definitely not preferred by those who favor strong brews.

Additionally, the service at Panera is slower and less satisfactory as it takes employees longer to take and deliver the orders. As is abundantly clear from the above mentioned points, both Starbucks and Panera have certain positive and negative aspects. A comparison of the two coffee chains reveals that Starbucks boasts of better quality of coffee, better pricing, better social atmosphere, superior customer service and greater accessibility. On the other hand, Panera has better quality WiFi and is a more suitable place for those looking to work or just relax for some time.

Nonetheless, as customer demands increase and tastes and preferences change every day, it is quite possible for both of these cafes to co-exist amicably. Works Cited Mypaneraoffice. com. “Road Office Comparison: Panera vs. Starbucks. ” 4 March 2010. Web. 20 February 2012. Rice, Doug. “Starbucks and The Battle For Third Place. ” Gatton Student Research Publication 1.1 (2009): 31-41. Print.

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