We now have the coffee wars. Last week, we failed to mention to you that Starbucks was offering free pastry to its customers across America. Last Tuesday, from opening until 10:30 am, if you bought some coffee, you could get a free pastry –croissant, scone, slice of bread, bagel, etc.
The hook of course is to get you in there and enjoy that cup of Joe, and don’t you feel better knowing you can wash it down with a chocolate croissant or a bear claw? Damn –I was actually flying back from Canada on that day, and staring in front of me at the Vancouver Airport was a brilliant ad right there inside the international terminal. It said “We missed you, too”, with a picture of an enormous donut from Tim Horton’s. I succumbed because, unlike Starbucks, both the coffee and the pastries there are decent. “Timmies”, as all Canadians know, are well known across the territory for their donuts too, and now, with the first ones opening in Manhattan, maybe they’ll get roped into the coffee wars in the US someday.
Let me cut to the chase. The coffee wars in the US are between Starbucks and McDonald’s. The Golden Arches, with a budget of $100 million, has been heavily promoting its new line of premium hot or iced coffee drinks. In fact, this has been going on a for a couple of years now precisely because of the ubiquity of Starbucks and all the other premium coffee houses. (Disclosure: I like Starbucks and don’t get into the whole “Starbucks-is-evil-because-they-hate-Mom-Pop-stores” conversation. If anything, they have singlehandedly raised the flavor of coffee –and our discerning tastes—in this country in the last 15 or so years.)
OK, so here’s the freebie, and we’re a bit late on this one too: every Monday, until August 3, from 7am to 7pm, you can get a free hot or iced 8-oz. McCafe Mocha drink. No coupons needed. Just walk in and say you want a free McCafe Mocha and there’s no purchase necessary either. Offer is good at all participating locations —which, as you know, is a lot.
Can’t beat a free drink, right? And I’m sure you’ve seen the ads on TV for these dessert-like drinks. Make mine without the whipped cream and hold the chocolate syrup, please.