General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Why do women in the line at my Starbucks outnumber men six to one?

Asked by wundayatta (58321 points ) April 22nd, 2009

Does this happen in anybody else’s coffee shop? Mine is on a university campus, so there may be something about students that makes this happen, if it is different from the rest of the world of coffee shops. It’s just weird. Don’t men, or young men like coffee just as much? Or do they think coffee drinks are frou-frou? Anyone have a theory?

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26 Answers

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I prefer coffee black.. strong.. no crazy flavors.. too sweet for me. Maybe women have an affinity for the sweets? xD

kevbo's avatar

God is giving you some female appreciation time.

casheroo's avatar

Most college guys I know view it as a waste of money. I don’t go to a Starbucks near a college, so it’s pretty even with gender.

My husband loves the “frou frou” drinks, he’s not ashamed of that. :-p

Likeradar's avatar

Maybe women care more about the trendy Starbucks cup? (is Starbucks even trendy anymore?) Just a guess.

Crusader's avatar

Women in general, contrary to popular propaganda,
are more affluent than men in the US.
50 years of preferencial government hiring
will accomplish this,
Starbucks is a luxury for men, they
are less likely to be able to afford it
generally, unless they are wealthy going
in, and/or have a date…

Zaku's avatar

Not so in general. I can only guess about your shop.

cookieman's avatar

They are all hoping to catch a glimpse of you.

at least that’s what I would tell myself

gambitking's avatar

Men are using the drive thru, wondering why all those women are actually standing in line

eponymoushipster's avatar

I’m a man, and i drink Starbucks all the time. I don’t view it as a “luxury item”, i view it as a small something i enjoy.

as regards women in line, perhaps women are less prone to use the drive-thru.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@eponymoushipster: Starbucks is usually considered an “affordable luxury” which is exactly as you describe—something small and somewhat unnecessary that most people can afford and will enjoy.

@Crusader: That is simply not true. If you wish to continue to spew misinformation, please cite your source.

On my campus more ladies visited the Starbucks than men. We had “dining dollars” in in our meal plan that let you eat anywhere on campus (beyond meal swipes that were for the Dining Hall only). The guys needed that money for extra meals at D-hall. The girls tended to eat in D-hall less and accordingly didn’t run out of meals. Thus, they could spend that money at Starbucks.

I don’t know if the ladies were dieting or the guys were just food crazy (I suspect the latter—we had enough meal swipes to eat at pretty much every meal D-Hall offered).

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Location is my guess. In my local suburbs there are mostly single men on laptops, couples and groups of teens but not so many single women.

dynamicduo's avatar

In my experiences I would say that on average there are slightly more women than men in the lines and hanging out at Starbucks. My theories as to why include:

- Women value trendiness more than men, Starbucks is seen as trendy, same concept as with Louis Vuitton purses.
– Women enjoy delicious treats more than men, Starbucks provides many delicious treats, therefore they patronize the store more.
– Starbucks is a good location to socialize and hang out/study/etc, in my experiences guys are less likely to go out in public on a ‘man-outing’ versus women getting together for a ‘girlfriend outing’.
– Men may not enjoy Starbucks’ offerings as much as other coffee places (perhaps due to the price, or Starbucks’ image, or the image of the other coffee place).
– Men may use the drive through more.
– If men purchase the straight coffee more often, their transaction would be completed much faster, thus they leave the store quicker than the woman who is waiting for her blended drink.

tinyfaery's avatar

Lots of assumptions about women being made here. I notice no gender discrepancy at my few local Starbucks, but I am not on a college campus. I’d say the Starbucks closest to my work has more men than women, usually. This is probably due to being in a business district

More women, especially minority women (as opposed to men of the same group), are going to college than men these days. That might have something to do with it.

dynamicduo's avatar

Yes, @tinyfaery, there are also lots of assumptions about men being made here too.

tinyfaery's avatar

@dynamicduo Yeah. But I don’t care about that. ;)

eponymoushipster's avatar

I’m going to make an assumption here: who cares? I’m just glad they’re not out of business. What does it matter what gender a patron is, unless they’re gonna be offering caffeine infused maxi pads, its a non-issue. :)

wundayatta's avatar

It’s not an issue; just a curiosity.

eponymoushipster's avatar

No @daloon, I’m not pissed or anything. Ppl are just being weird.

Maree's avatar

It could be like the coffee shop I worked in, at the CBD in Melbourne, one woman in particular would come in 4 days a week and buy 6 coffees and a variety of pastries. On the 5th day she didn’t work and one of the 5 guys in the office would come and get 5 coffees and no pastries (they said it was too hard to work out the change to go with all the pastries, I did not give that answer, the guys themselves did altho I did ask the question LOL) Possibly the men just get their girlfriends/classmates/partners to get their coffee for them??

3or4monsters's avatar

When I worked at a Starbucks, most of our customers were male, in the mornings (5am to about 9). This may be in part because there is a fire station and police station nearby, as well as a few construction companies home bases, and while there were women from those workplaces, there were still more men. As the day wore on, more of the customers would be female (mommies and students almost exclusively, and more female students than male). After 5pm, the distribution of men and women would equalize or be slightly more in favor of men again (the 9–5er’s who would hit up our SBUX on the way home).

I’d be willing to bet if we took a better headcount, it would break out to about even.

wundayatta's avatar

The manager of my store confirmed to me that it was about five to one in favor of females. I asked him about it when I first noticed it. Campus may have more women than men, but it is not nearly that lopsided. The pattern is the same throughout the day, he said.

After hearing your stories, I think it has to be something to do with local conditions. I’ll have to think on it.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

seems like a lot of complicated explinations for something really simple… every thought of “Maybe Butch from the construction site down the street just isn’t a big fan of Mint Mocha Latte lite with a splash of classic syrup…”
starbucks has a lot of sweet and pretty drinks, a lot of guys just aren’t into it.
and @daloon Most colleges are about 60–40 women to men, so that coupled with the nature of the store is most likely the reason for such a large disparity.

3or4monsters's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 You know, now that I think of it… the store I worked in, which appears to have slightly more male customers than female, was also leading the district in drip coffee sales. So we were making more money on black or simple coffees (or unsweetened bar drinks like regular lattes or americanos), and not as much of the fru-fru drinks as other stores were making.

Though to be fair, some of the biggest burliest construction workers would come in and order 4-shot venti peppermint white mochas with whipped cream and sprinkles. :)

Amoebic's avatar

The coffee shop I went into every morning before work was on the main drag in downtown seattle (very high population density). I’d say that the customer base was pretty 50–50 male-female.

Having worked at starbucks, restaurants that served espresso, etc for many years…I find many of the assumptions people are making here about gender and how that relates to coffee preferences to be pretty unfounded.

Most people who go to starbucks seem to go there because they apparently don’t actually like the taste of coffee, but want to spend a lot of money on it.

MadParty's avatar

Perhaps these women want to meet you, perhaps you are the reason they are in line

wundayatta's avatar

@MadParty Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?

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