Starbucks promised to give every voter a free cup of coffee today. You didn’t have to bring in any proof you actually voted.
Apparently, some party pooper pointed out this might violate election laws (providing goods in exchange for votes). So now—even better—the Wall Street Journal reports that Starbucks is giving away a tall cup of coffee to ANYONE who asks for it today, whether you voted or not! Yes we can!
So how much coffee might Starbucks have to give away? What is the cost? The company won't say.
A tall cup usually costs $1.80, depending on where you live. Americans reportedly drink a half billion cups of coffee a day. Out of that, let’s just guesstimate that one percent of those cups o’ joe are bought at Starbucks (versus coffee you make at home, or get at work, or buy at McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, etc). Now we’re at 5 million cups. Out of that, let’s say 20 percent are specifically for tall cups (could be more on a day when they’re free!). You’re still talking more than a million cups of coffee worth sales totaling $2.25 million.
Ad Age says the cost may be much lower, less than $1 million, assuming a tall cup of coffee actually costs Starbucks 60 cents to produce. Is it worth it? $1 million to create huge buzz and potentially generate store traffic in an economy that's on decaf?After all, at least some of the people getting the free coffee will decide to buy a breakfast muffin, so it’s not a total loss