With many businesses around Athens fueling the caffeine addiction of thousands of students every day, National Coffee Day being right around the corner means students are excited to give themselves a reason to buy their favorite coffee drinks on Friday.
This month, Starbucks announced a buy one get one free sale on their fall drink collection every Thursday of the month after noon. Students have created chaos in the local Starbucks on West Union Street by ordering their drinks online or braving the long line. Starbucks employees prepared for pumpkin spice–scented war this month every Thursday as they waited for flocks of students to order their favorite delicious fall drinks.
Hannah Downey, a junior studying journalism, has worked at Starbucks for the past three years. She said she loves the environment she works in and being able to interact with a wide variety of people every day.
“It is great to talk to so many different people as customers,” she said. “Not even just the people you work with. Our job is literally to make connections with people, to ask them about their day (and) to talk to them.”
She said the BOGO sale offered by Starbucks this month, along with the record-breaking number of students in the freshman and sophomore classes at Ohio University has made for an exponential number of sales at a Starbucks location that is almost always busy.
“When it starts we will literally walk around saying, ‘We are preparing for war,’” she said. “It’s crazy but the drinks are expensive so, honestly if I were a customer I would be there too. It’s a good thing that they’re doing something to make it worth how much it actually costs to go and get a coffee from Starbucks.”
Downey said last year when Starbucks did their annual “Red Cup Day” and handed out free reusable Starbucks cups with the purchase of certain seasonal drinks, the store was able to serve almost 120 people in 30 minutes. She said this year with the Thursday BOGO deal, the store served 140 people in 30 minutes which showed how popular the deal was and how many people took advantage of it.
Ben Ziff, a manager at Donkey Coffee Shop, said that the Starbucks BOGO Thursday craziness had not affected profit numbers in the slightest and that Donkey continues to be more popular than ever.
“When we first heard there was going to be a Starbucks we all kind of panicked,” he said. “We were all like ‘Oh my gosh. Is this going to be the death knell of Donkey? Will this be the end of it?’ but honestly as soon as they opened, our business went up which was unexpected but cool … It’s never really gone down. We’re busier than we’ve ever been. Every single year, it gets busier. It’s wild.”
Ashlyn Welch, a freshman studying English, said she really enjoys coffee and was a big coffee drinker. She said one of her favorite coffee drinks included the iced caramel coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. While she goes home this weekend, she hopes her sister will be able to take her to get coffee in order to celebrate National Coffee Day.
She said she had gone to Starbucks during BOGO Thursday and had found the experience to be a little crazy.
“It was insane,” she said. “It’s nothing like the Starbucks in my hometown.”