The ACU Dining Services homepage says: “Located in the library, Starbucks is one of the most recognized and respected specialty coffee brands in the world. Starbucks purchases and roasts high-quality, whole bean coffees and sells them along with fresh, rich-brewed Italian-style espresso beverages, a variety of pastries and confections and coffee-related accessories.”
The actual name of the café in the Brown Library is “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee,” not Starbucks.
Starbucks has a strong grip on its franchises. Such a grip does not allow universities, like ACU, to have a Starbucks identical to those found in malls and along shopping strips. Universities have the option to become a licensee to Starbucks or sell a select number of its products under the name “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee,” said Nathan Hamilton, food service manager of Dining Services at ACU.
According to a Starbucks’ case study conducted for a McGraw-Hill university textbook, licensed locations pay a fee and receive coffee for resale directly from Starbucks. Licensed stores also have to follow operating procedures, and employees must receive specific training mandated by Starbucks.
A “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee,” the route ACU has chosen, offers more freedom in regards to specifically which Starbucks products the organization chooses to sell. Employees are not required to receive the same training or follow exact procedures as a licensee does. Choosing to become a “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee” also means the organization avoids the licensee fee, which is undoubtedly another reason the university chose this path.
ACU buys coffee and the rights to use the Starbucks’ logo directly from Starbucks, said Philip Carlton, retail supervisor of Dining Services at ACU. Along with coffee, ACU purchases the rights to use the logo on cups, menus and napkins.
However, Aramark – not Starbucks – provides all the food sold alongside the Starbucks’ coffee.
A fully licensed Starbucks offers oatmeal with dried fruit and brown sugar, fruit and nut bars with baked berries, multigrain rolls with nuts and honey and power protein plates with fresh fruit, a hard-boiled egg, a whole-wheat bagel and peanut butter.
“We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee” offers scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls and a wall of refrigerated goods provided by Aramark.
A fully licensed Starbucks’ menu offers three sizes for drinks: tall, grande and venti. “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee” offers tall, grande and supremo.
A fully licensed Starbucks’ menu offers a variety of Frappuccino. “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee” offers Creamice blends.
The name of this location is slightly misleading. The ACU Web site boasts it hasa Starbucks in the Brown Library. To the prospective student, this means a fully licensed Starbucks, not a “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee.” In addition to this, visitors cannot find a “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee” sign large enough to be understood as the location’s name, as The Den or Java City have elsewhere on campus. Without a sign, customers look at the menu, recognize the logo and assume it is a Starbucks without knowing that the rights to use that logo were purchased at the same time as the coffee beans in the storage room.
The university should not boast that it has a Starbucks when the food products sold in that same location are from a different company. The university should say it “has a ‘We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee’ in the Library that sells Starbucks coffee along with food from ACU’s Dining Services.”
A difference does exist between serving Starbucks’ products and having a Starbucks’ franchise. The name “We Proudly Brew Starbucks Coffee” may be confusing to someone who has never heard it before, but at least we would have an honest claim.