Tuesday, November 03, 2015

A Matter Of Life And Coffee

You know how much coffee you need to shake the cobwebs out of your head in the morning. You know the quantity of caffeine that is required to set your heart back to beating in mid-afternoon when sleep tugs at your eyes.

When you buy a particular amount of coffee, then, you expect to get that much coffee. You are meeting your body's need, and a lesser amount isn't going to work.
32 oz may not be 32 oz

It turns out that Peet's Coffee in Winnetka, Illinois, the one that's cozying up to The Bookstall at Chestnut Court, has been misleading their caffeine-dependent clientele. Proving that a lack of the stimulant can make a person cranky, a client who was shorted on his order is taking the company to court.

Robert Garrett could just feel that smaller jolt after he consumed the contents of a French press carafe. He thought he was getting 32 oz, but when he took the time to measure the volume, it not only varied but it came in below 32 oz. He sampled the smaller size carafe and found the same results. He was ordering one thing and getting less. 25% less, according to his lawsuit

The coffee shop in question is somewhat new to the area, replacing a Caribou Coffee site following the recent buy-out. People tend to be loyal to their coffee purveyors and would naturally be skeptical of the newcomer. As it turned out, Mr. Garrett had good reason to be skeptical. The menu board he ordered from said one thing but what he got was less, which sounds like a dishonest way to do business.

And there's the question of getting enough coffee as well. Mr. Garrett's needs were not being met, unless he bought two carafes, in which case he'd have too much coffee which isn't what he was going after either.

Peet's is on top of it, as Chief Marketing Officer Tyler Ricks learns how people in the Midwest view upstart companies out of the West Coast. Mr. Ricks has explained that the carafe size is what is meant on the menu, not the volume of coffee the consumer will get to consume. You need room for the plunger in the French press, and the grounds take up volume but you're not drinking those either.

Mr. Garrett will probably get some kind of cash settlement for being misled by Peet's marketing style. If it says 32 oz,. you should get that much in your cup. If it's the pot that's 32 oz., then state specifically that the customer is buying the contents of a 32 oz pot and it isn't going to be 32 oz. after the brewing and straining is done.

Peet's may try to play clever with the sizes, and that may fly in Berkeley, California, but in a tony North Shore suburb, you may fool some of the people some of the time, but sooner or later you'll run up against an attorney who looks for loopholes and isn't about to be taken in by marketing spiel.

Welcome to the Chicago area, Peet's. Don't try to get cute.

No comments: