In an interview with Katie Couric on CBS Sunday Morning, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was asked if he thought Starbucks had a “tin ear” when it came to coffee prices in the midst of a struggling economy. This is what he had to say:
Couric: “Do you think that the company, and you, had a tin ear about what people were experiencing during the height of the recession?”
Couric: “You know, that maybe they couldn’t spend $5 on their coffee every day?”
Schultz (interrupting, laughing): “Katie! It’s not five bucks! It’s not five bucks, let’s get that right! It’s $1.50!”
Couric: “No, for these fancy coffee drinks, that people are addicted to! It’s a lot more than $1.50, Howard.”
Schultz (laughing in disbelief): “Ok, Ok. We did not have a tin ear.”
Couric: “Little bit?”
Of course, Schultz knows damn well that Starbucks spends most of its time pushing the specialty coffees and those can often get in the $4-$5 range for larger sizes. Then again, Couric did say “coffee” and not some special Venti drink, so he wasn’t technically wrong.
At any rate, we’re putting the question to you in the poll below. Is Starbucks overpriced? Multiple answers are acceptable.