They're Not Just Ditching Decaf

Starbucks downsizes from Venti to Grande

Sometimes it feels like there's a Starbucks on every other block. In downtown, that's not far from the truth. But that could soon change.

In addition to the 600 stores planned to close in the U.S., Starbucks will close another 200 U.S. stores (and 100 international locations) by the end of the fiscal year. Nearly 7,000 employees, including some in Chicago, will likely lose their jobs.

The Seattle coffee giant declined to reveal which Chicago locations will be closed.

This isn't Starbucks' only effort to cut costs. Employees have also been instructed to stop brewing batches of decaffeinated drip coffee after noon. Instead, baristas will only brew decaf coffee if a customer requests it.

The change doesn't make much sense. It stands to reason that customers are more likely to request a shot of eye-opening caffeine in the morning and then order decaf in the afternoons and evenings.

If decaf is no longer on hand, anyone who requests it will have to wait extra time for a serving to be brewed. Will Starbucks' notoriously on-the-go customers have that kind of patience?

Matt Bartosik, former blogger of The Chicago Traveler and editor of the next edition of Off the Rocks, never orders a coffee drink that requires more than three words.

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