Starbucks – “We Love Our Customers A Latte.”

Move over Pumpkin Spice Latte! There is a new drink in town…but wait, where is it? The signature Starbucks red cups are back, which can only mean one thing! The holidays are near. The holiday season for Starbucks is their most profitable  and busiest season. However, there was something missing from this festive time a year. The Eggnog Latte! A staple holiday drink for Starbucks since 1986 was not on the menu for this season. Which left more than just a few customers grumbling Bah Humbug.


After almost 30 years of success, why was Starbucks pulling the hot seller off the menu? Starbucks spokeswoman Linda Mills said, “The chain initially kept the flavored coffee off this year to ‘optimize’ it for new offerings like Chestnut Praline.”

One loyal customer, 35-year-old firefighter, Travis Block just could not get into the holiday spirit without his Eggnog Latte. So he did was any person would do, he took to social media to protest. One tweet to Starbucks turned into to thousands more and plenty of retweets. Calls, emails and letters started overflowing the Starbucks headquarters, and an online petition even gained over 2500 signatures to bring the signature drink back! 

Starbucks clearly received the message and loves its customers “a latte” that it has agreed to bring back the Eggnog Latte this season. Mills has announced that the Eggnog Latte will start appearing in stores by November 17th. Starbucks apologized to its millions of customers saying, “We made a mistake. We are very sorry.” Starbucks learned its lesson, “Many customers have a very emotional connection to the holidays, and Starbucks is part of that tradition.”

However, quick adjustments to menus are not always easy to fix. Starbucks is now struggling to find enough eggnog from suppliers to bring the drink back to every store. With this being their busiest and most profitable time of the year Starbucks understands the urgency to get the drinks back in the hands of their loyal customers.

It seems as if Starbucks got too wrapped up in the excitement of their new holiday drink line, that they forgot what their customers really wanted.  One reason people choose Starbucks over other coffee chains are because they can customize their drink to their exact liking. Starbuck’s customers are not ones for change. Something Starbucks perhaps forgot about.

There is no doubt, Starbucks loves its customers, a latte, but they will need to improve on staying process focused and understanding what products their customers really want moving forward.


How could Starbuck’s have overlooked their customer’s love for the Eggnog Latte? The company has never had a problem like this before, so what do you think happened?

What could Starbucks have done to prevent this nightmare before Christmas from happening?

Crash and Burn – The Great Chicago Fire Festival

An estimated 30,000 people gathered around the Chicago River on Saturday October 4th for the first ever Great Chicago Fire Festival put on by the Redmoon Theater. The festival was supposed to showcase the grit, greatness, resilience and rebirth of Chicago after the historic and unforgettable Chicago fire of 1871. The idea for the event was imagined back in 2009 when Chicago was in the bidding process for the Olympics.

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On Redmoon Theater’s website, the event was advertised to be a “Grand Spectacle,” with floating caldrons of fire and a parade of wooden houses that were to be lit on fire and reveal modern metal structures symbolizing the rebirth of Chicago. In addition there was a street market with community artists, florists and bakers before the evening festivities.

The Redmoon Theater shared on its website that, “The inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival will light up the city with a spectacle of fire celebrating the city’s citizens and neighborhoods on the Chicago River.” However, shortly into the production things went wrong. Two of the three wooden houses failed to catch on fire because of electrical problems that were supposedly due to the rain earlier in the day. Instead of roaring flames shooting high into the sky, the audience watched little sparks of fire float down the river. Some spectators commented to the Chicago Tribune reporter, Gregory Pratt, saying that they had been to better bonfires. (Yikes!) After failing to light the wooden Victorian houses on fire, the Redmoon Theater quickly set off their firework finale to keep the thousands of spectators intrigued.

In the beginning, many people watched in awe as the kayakers and small boats pulled buoys of fire and as the caldrons of fire were lowered down into the river after being lit by Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel. The firework spectacular at the end of the production was worth raving about as well.

Time, cost and performance are the three points of the project management triangle. Redmoon Theater had the cost under control, and plenty of time to prepare for the event, but their performance had no fire (literally).

Obviously, with all major productions something is guaranteed to go wrong, especially with outdoor events. Many are considering this year’s event just a “dress rehearsal” for many more Great Chicago Fire Festivals in the future. Was it the weather or just bad management that caused this 2 million dollar production to crash and burn?

What do you think? Was the weather or the project management team to blame? What could have been done to ensure more success for the festival? Word on the street is that the city of Chicago is giving Redmoon Theater a 2nd chance next year and even increasing their budget. Do you think this event is worth trying to put on again?