Why I’ve started going (back) to Starbucks for breakfast.

I was off the Starbucks.

Like super angry, irritated off the Starbucks . . . and I vowed to never return.  I even tweeted at them (in as positive a way as possible – becuz the last thing we need is more nasty tweets), and said if they didn’t make a change, I would take my coffee orders elsewhere.

What was the problem that had me so pi$$ed off?

The damn lines.

I just wanted a coffee.  Quick.

And I’d find myself waiting ten minutes in line and then another ten for them to make the order.  It’s just a Venti Iced Americano, for caffeine’s sake!  AGH.

So I left.

This was months ago.  Maybe even a year.

And now, I’m back.


Two words.

Mobile effin’ ordering.

Obviously, Starbucks realized that the lines and the wait were a “pain point” for a lot of their consumers (I credit my tweet).  But instead of complacently sitting back and saying, “The people that really want it will wait in line.” They put their heads down, and pulled their wallets out to invest in an app and a process that allowed people to order in advance, walk in, scoop up their coffee and walk out . . . and get to their office on time so they can start writing their daily blog.

They removed the pain, AND they made things easier.

The result?

Not only am I back ordering once a day.  I’m ordering twice a day.  And I’ve started getting their egg white breakfast sandwich too.

I’ve easily tripled my Starbucks budget . . . because they made their product easier for me to order.

Starbucks isn’t the only company that understands that greasing the wheels of the purchase path can bring more bucks to their bottom line.

Let’s go old school . . . like to the origin of the “Drive-Thru.”

Yes, all you young-uns.  There was a time when you actually had to get out of your car to grab a McNugget or a Whopper.  Can you imagine how much in new revenue the Drive-Thru drove to the fast food industry in those days?

The key to retaining a customer and increasing a customer’s spend is making the purchase process easy.

Theater doesn’t do this well.  And admittedly we’re a higher price item, and people are particular about their seat locations.

But hey – people are particular about their coffee and I’ve seen people buy vacation packages with a few clicks.

One of the simplest ways I see Broadway increasing conversions of ticket sales isn’t just making the ticket cheaper, it’s making them easier to purchase.

Because God knows I can get a cheaper cup of coffee and egg white sandwich elsewhere.

But man does that app make it easy.

What can you do to make your customer’s process easier?  Here’s a two step process to guarantee you sell more tickets:

  1.  First, don’t assume you know what your customer’s pain points are.  ASK THEM (via email or social media).
  2. Attack one pain point at a time.  Start with the easiest.  Simple solutions can often yield huge results.

– – – – –

Interested in learning more about topics like this? CLICK HERE to join The TheaterMakers Studio, an online community, certification training program, and resource for playwrights, producers, directors, actors, and theater makers of all kinds!


Related Posts


Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.