Back when I first moved to New York, an older friend of mine offered a piece of sage advice:
don’t look down your nose at Starbucks.
While the empire that Howard Schultz built isn’t nearly as hip as the thousand independent cafes that dot the city, Starbucks is familiar, dependable, and everywhere — a reliable, boring friend who’s always down to hang.
No one is impressed by Starbucks, and that’s why it’s a brilliant place to meet somebody.
Plus everybody knows Starbucks, making it the most neutral ground possible for meeting some stranger whose face you only know through your smartphone.
Perhaps that’s why, according to a new 200,000 person survey from the dating app Clover, more people choose Starbucks as the site of their first date than any other venue.
Basically, Starbucks is your wingman.
Or, more likely, wingwoman, as Clover’s data reveals that women are more likely to opt for a coffee-date to start out than men.
“Men seem more willing to commit to a first meeting over dinner at a restaurant vs. women who prefer being able to screen dates quickly over coffee,” Clover CEO Isaac Raichyk said in a release.
At Starbucks, you’re already familiar with the menu, so you’ll feel slightly less awkward. At Starbucks, there’s any number of snackable foods, letting you enjoy the social-bond forming benefits of sharing food without getting weighed down by a meal. At Starbucks, you can both make fun of the company’s quizzical campaign asking baristas to talk about race.
Starbucks is so familiar that it’s invisible, so you can focus your attention on this human being that you’re interacting with. And if you’re not feeling it, you can leave as soon as you’re done with your latte.
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