A silent 'I' and a mysteriously pronounced 'm'

Why I’ve Gone Back to Starbucks

They may only get my name right one in five times. They may have massively messed up by not paying enough tax in the UK. Hell, they may not even make the best coffee.

Still, I’ve decided my high street coffee chain of choice is Starbucks. Awesome independent coffee shops are my preference, but sometimes a corporate coffee conglomerate has the convenient cappuccino I crave.

But they’re tax evaders

Yes, managing to pay minuscule corporate tax over the last 14 years was a terrible greedy miscalculation. But they put their hands up, apologised and have agreed to pay £10 million for the next two years voluntarily. They didn’t even break UK law, but they still paid up.

They also employ a hefty 15,000 people in this country, and I’m always impressed with their customer service, friendliness and team spirit. Ethical tax structures have nothing to do with them.

Why not Nero or Costa?

I’ll be frank – I don’t have much time to faff in the morning. I used to go to Nero, but you end up queueing far too long to get a burnt espresso. Why don’t they employ more people in their cafes so people get their drinks faster in rush hour? Maybe it’s the stress from dealing with a dragon’s tail of customers – but they are never very nice in Nero – most of the times I end up repeating my order three times too.

Costa feels too manufactured for me. Everything seems tacky in there. It’s personal I know, but I just feel that in Starbucks the experience is better and therefore I’m getting a superior product. Perhaps the Costa staff don’t smile as much as those in Starbucks.


My name has burdened me with a lifetime of misspelling. Even Rylan’s rise to fame on X-Factor hasn’t helped much. Starbucks get mine wrong all the time. I love them for trying though, especially as they always ask with a smile.

I do think this simple idea should be a lesson for all coffee shops. If you want regulars, get to know your customers. It also makes it less awkward when another person reaches for the same cup at the collection point.

So I’m going to continue going to Starbucks and Independents. Hate me for it, but I can’t stop going now anyway until they spell my name right.