Are people more loyal to Starbucks or local java joints?
These days, it seems like there’s a Starbucks on every corner. The ubiquity of coffee chains in the U.S. could be chalked up to convenience and smart marketing campaigns like Dunkin’ Donuts’ "America Runs on Dunkin’." But some coffee aficionados avoid chains at all costs, choosing to patronize locally owned establishments. Which begs the question: are people more loyal to coffee chains or their local coffee shops?
To determine whether independent coffee houses or chain stores inspire more allegiance among patrons, we used Bundle’s Merchant Recommender to rank java shops by their customer loyalty scores, which are calculated from unique algorithms that use billions of anonymous, aggregated credit card transactions to rate businesses. We chose six diverse cities and analyzed customer loyalty when it comes to coffee: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
Click here to see the top 100 coffee shops in the U.S. that inspire the most loyalty and popularity.
Among real-life latte lovers in some of America’s largest cities, coffee giants like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts actually inspire more customer loyalty than indie java joints. In six of America’s major cities, java giants make up the majority of the top 15 in customer loyalty rankings.
In each city, our data indicated that coffee chains account for 8 to 13 of the top 15 shops with the highest customer loyalty. Boston is one of the most staggering examples. Of the 93 coffee shops within five miles of the city, a whopping 13 of the top 15 stores with the highest customer loyalty are chains — nine Dunkin' Donuts and four Starbucks. In Dallas, Starbucks crushes the competition: among the 50 coffee shops within five miles of the city center, Starbucks stores account for 11 of the top 15 in customer loyalty.
The picture is more diverse in Chicago, which has 78 coffee shops within a five-mile radius. Ten of the top 15 stores garnering the highest loyalty of Chicagoens are chains, but four different chains are part of the mix: four Caribou Coffees, three Starbucks, two Dunkin' Donuts, and a Seattle's Best (a brand Starbucks acquired nearly a decade ago).
New Yorkers might complain about a Starbucks on nearly every corner, but the coffee giant scores big when it comes to customer loyalty in the Big Apple. Of the 206 coffee shops within five miles of NYC, 10 of the top-ranking 15 in customer loyalty are chains. Seven Starbucks shops top the list, along with three Dunkin' Donuts. Nearby Philly has 78 coffee shops within five miles of downtown, and the City of Brotherly Love residents love their Starbucks and Dunkin’: twelve of the top 15 coffee shops that garner the most loyalty are chains, with Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks splitting the win.
Across the country in San Francisco, the breakdown is similar: among the 145 coffee shops within five miles of San Fran, eight of the top 15 in customer loyalty are chains, including Starbucks and Peet's Coffee & Tea.
Whether it’s the convenient locations or the reliability of beverages, coffee chains from New York to San Francisco know how to lock down customer loyalty. Frappucino, anyone?
Here are the 3 highest rated coffee shops, according to Bundle, in the US:
1. Urth Caffe in LA
3. Starbucks at the Gig Harbor, WA location (several Starbucks made our list)
See the full list here
Let us know your thoughts! Tweet your comments @bundleHQ #Starbucksvslocal