As someone native to the Northwestern part of the United States, coffee is nearly as dear to me as a bottle of good Argentine wine and getting to taste a new varietal. I was brought up in a culture where the dinner table discussion could switch between which Malbec is the most exciting and which local micro coffee roaster is your favorite.
Here in Argentina Starbucks, the coffee giant, just opened its first store a few years ago, and now has 25 locations, with more opening seemingly everyday. There are now 2 within a 5 minutes walk of my apartment, but Argentines are shocked when I tell them about intersections in my hometown with a location on every corner! I have very mixed feelings about Starbucks here. I’ve listed in my opinion the positives and negatives of Starbucks in Argentina.
1) Starbucks employees here have an American customer service approach, which I can identify with and appreciate at times
2) They give you change for large bills without interrogating you
3) Your coffee is normally ready very quickly, and prepared using the correct method
4) Large chains entering markets have been shown to have a positive impact on areas such as cleanliness, service, and pricing at local businesses
5) They have blueberry muffins
6) It’s a little bit of home transported to South America
1) Buenos Aires has a deeply rooted café culture, and Starbucks could threaten it
2) There are outrageously long lines at times
3) From observing the customer base, they probably have a negative effect on teenagers study habits
4) They are practically identical to Starbucks everywhere in the world
5) They don’t serve great Argentine Malbec, Bonarda, or Torrontes
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