Sunday, October 24, 2010

Starbucks vs. Krankies

The widespread network of chain stores and restaurants across the USA  has diminished social capitol. These organizations have large numbers of employees and are very unpersonalized to their large basis of shoppers. The contrast between large corporations such as Starbucks and small locally owned joints such as Krankies is obvious.

Whereas Starbucks is primarily valued as a place to buy coffee and take it on the go, Krankies is a social venue. The seating at Starbucks is suited for an individual or small groups; the tables are small and disconnected. At Krankies, there are many seating options, most of them providing room for many people per table as well as the opportunity to push the tables together. As a result I have seen students come to Krankies for group meetings such as the Wake Forest University's Creative Writing Club.

Krankies also encourages social interaction by hosting battle of the band competitions and an art gallery. People of similar interests flock to these events and make connections that they carry through to other aspects of their life. Local run businesses help to attain greater social capital because their patrons are members of the local community.

Krankies is Personal

Starbucks is Formal


  1. As a fan of Krankies, I enjoyed this lab a lot. Not only does Krankies have locally made food and locally grown produce at their markets, it has a very local atmosphere. I often see the same people at Krankies repeatedly, and I remember the baristas and recognize their faces, which never happens when I go to Starbucks. Though they both have fine coffee, Krankies builds more social capital because it is a gathering place and makes people feel welcome and not like they have to leave as soon as they get their coffee!


  2. I think this is really awesome.
    I love looking at the differences between corporations and local businesses- local ones are usually more personable and bring a better environment.

  3. Krankies can thrive competing against the overpriced Starbucks culture because it encourages social capital. Sometimes I feel like people who say "I CANNOT get through the day without my Starbucks" are just conforming to a lifestlye that makes them feel sophisticated and intelligent. Their mindset is self-absorbed when they enter the store. Getting a drink at Krankies seems less about the image and more about bringing people and local businesses together. I'm not trying to imply that drinking Starbucks makes you a snob. I love their hot chocolate.

  4. I've noticed dramatic differences comparing my experiences in franchise environments v. that of a local establishment such as Krankies. Not only are businesses like Krankies economically beneficial, they also promote community interaction and integrity.

  5. Very unique lab. I never would have noticed the observation about the small tables at starbucks and i think it is very interesting. I usually never hear about people wanting to meet up to go to starbucks, but it is very common to hear people meeting up in krankies.