Why is Starbucks So Popular When Dunkin’ is the Better Option?

As a huge Dunkin’ fan, I went on a quest to understand what the other side is thinking.

Anneke Wagner, Sports Editor

Okay. If you know me, you know: I love Dunkin’. I always have Dunkin’ with me. I am just a strong Dunkin’ advocate, and I believe Dunkin’ should sponsor me. I love Dunkin’ overall, not just for their coffee. 

As a fan of Dunkin’, I have always wondered why people love Starbucks so much when Dunkin’ is clearly better. Both Dunkin’ and Starbucks are chain coffee shops known around the world. Dunkin’ began as Dunkin’ Donuts, a donut and coffee shop created in Boston, Massachusetts in 1948. Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971. 

Both chains are especially large, but Starbucks became a pinnacle of the teenage white girl community in America around 2014 with the rise of Tumblr. It’s as if there is an unspoken agreement that people must get Starbucks, and share their purchase with the world. Throughout social media, there are pictures of white teen girls and their Starbucks drinks flooding your feed. 

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, a survey conducted in 2021 of average American teenage girls showed that Starbucks was ranked in the top three for most preferred fast-food restaurants, as it has been ranking for multiple years. 

Out of curiosity, I asked my sister, an 8th grader who loves Starbucks, why she likes it so much. 

“I don’t know, I just like it,” she responded. “All my friends like it more, too.” 

Unsatisfied with her answer, I kept digging. I found that in the LHSToday student newspaper, they interviewed American teens about why they prefer Starbucks over other brands. Responses showed it was because of convenience, variety, and aesthetic.   

Again, I was not satisfied with this conclusion. I don’t believe that aesthetic for pictures should be a reason one would choose where to get food. I was also not fond of the other reasons. 

“There is more to offer than just coffee at Starbucks. They have a variety of teas, lemonades, matcha, and foods,” an interviewee remarked. 

While the variety at Starbucks is impressive, the reality is you can get that kind of selection at many different coffee shops – including Dunkin’. 

As far as convenience and quickness go, I have never experienced a quick trip to Starbucks. I often find that when I walk into Starbucks, even when there is no line, it takes quite a while for me to get my coffee. I have gone into a Starbucks before and been the only one there, and it has taken me about 10 minutes to receive my order. 

The store is not understaffed, but they focus on other tasks like completing online orders rather than taking care of the customers in the store. However, my experience at Dunkin’ has been that in situations when I am the only one in line, or there is a small line, I walk in and out in less than five minutes . Dunkin’ workers also have to work on online orders, but they are very efficient and work to serve customers in the store as well.

Dunkin’ is also the better economic choice. A Starbucks medium iced coffee, which is 16 fluid ounces, costs $3.95 before tax in Baltimore. But a Dunkin’ Medium iced coffee, which is 24 fluid ounces, costs $2.99 before tax. It does not make sense to me why people would choose Starbucks over Dunkin’. 

Remarking on my research and the answers people have given on why they love Starbucks over other places, I created a conclusion. I believe people will go along with what others say. It is not about personal preference or personal taste; it is about popularity and peer pressure.

Because looking at it rationally, Dunkin’ is better in every sense. You get so much more for much less money. People say Starbucks is better because that is what they have been conditioned to believe. But Dunkin’ is clearly much better. So everyone should make the switch; end of discussion.