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One More Thing For Apple Stores: Food? 176

Posted by timothy
from the durn-good-idea dept.
mattnyc99 writes "Esquire raises an interesting question on iPhone 5 day: What if Apple stores had cafes? From an analyst cited in the article: 'In line with the Genius Bar concept, I could see them taking a part of the store and making it a café atmosphere where customers could interact with technology in a relaxed environment.'"
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One More Thing For Apple Stores: Food?

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  • I'm sure this would be successful, at least in some markets. It would fit right in with the coffee-shop/bookstore theme that has been popular for quite a while.

    • Sorry about the typo...

    • Yeah. I'm sure a bunch of opinionated nerds hanging around an Apple store telling the ladies why they're wasting their money and trying to push Android on them will get them all sorts of boo-tay.

      • by idontgno (624372)

        Good point.

        If 25 years of marriage have taught me anything, it is this: a woman digs a dude who tells them in exhausting and pedantic detail why they, the woman, are wrong.

        Now, if only my wife would learn that lesson...

      • Chicks who prefer the "Apple Cafe" over Starbucks ought to count as "geekier" than the average... It's not much, I know, but perhaps the best chance an average /.er can hope for.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Yeah. I'm sure a bunch of opinionated nerds hanging around an Apple store telling the ladies why they're wasting their money and trying to push Android on them will get them all sorts of boo-tay.

        Good plan,

        Only one problem though, we wont find any chicks at an Apple store, only gay men.

  • by Barryke (772876) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:16PM (#37600274) Homepage

    Alcohol would help sales as it increases the chance of making impulse decisions.

    • by Monchanger (637670) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:18PM (#37600314) Journal

      I was thinking Apple would be more likely to utilize Kool-aid. *ducks*

      • Apple wishes its brand identity were so strong that some remarkable incident could occur involving someone else's product, but people discussing the incident would substitute an Apple product instead.

      • by dbialac (320955)

        Oh no!

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by elrous0 (869638) *

      As smug and loudmouthed as they are sober, the thought of them drunk scares the shit out of me.

    • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @01:33PM (#37601380) Homepage

      Dude... as a guy who regularly writes code while sitting in a quiet pub, I can tell you first-hand: the last thing you want to see is a drunken Apple fanboi.

      I have the unfortunate distinction of owning a 17" MBP. Wasn't my idea, but part of my job is mobile app dev, and I needed a new laptop anyway, so I let my boss buy me the dumb thing. Every goddamned turtleneck-wearing cockmongler has to bless me with a rant about how they love their Mac. When I tell them I hate the thing and that it hinders my workflow, the answer is always "you'll learn to love it" - never "you will get used to it" or "yeah I guess that feature kind of sucks". They simply cannot parse the reality that someone might not be head-over-heels for a piece of Apple hardware.

      And that's when they're fresh off the street, still sober. After one and a half pints of wheat beer, they step it up a notch by shouting in your ear about how awesome GarageBand is, you're a "fucking dinosaur" for using Cubase. After pint #3, they start telling you how iCloud is going to change your life and end world hunger. Somewhere during pint #4, the bartender calls 9-1-1 because Mr Fanboi has accidentally fallen under your boot and crushed their windpipe.

      So no, let's not sell booze at the Apple store. Those cultists are annoying enough as it is, and frankly I'm already quite tired of having to cleave through hordes of people just to buy a stupid charger. You want to improve the Apple store experience ? Kick them out after 5 minutes if they haven't bought anything. It's a fucking Apple store, they sell all of 4 products. You don't need to browse, you need to get in, remortgage your kidneys, and get the fuck out.

      • by Macrat (638047)

        I have the unfortunate distinction of owning a 17" MBP. Wasn't my idea, but part of my job is mobile app dev, and I needed a new laptop anyway, so I let my boss buy me the dumb thing.

        A developer who can't handle UNIX?

        • by wazza (16772)

          No, a developer who hates having to handle Apple's bizarrely modified, quite screwed up version of UNIX.

          • Name the definitive version of UNIX please - because pretty much every version out there has been "bizarrely modified" and "quite screwed up" by its vendor.

          • by billcopc (196330)

            I don't know how modified it is, but it's rooted in BSD, and that's enough to set me off. My curse is that I cut my teeth on RedHat 4.2 (I think). I later went through the Linux-From-Scratch rite of passage, and eventually settled on Gentoo. With the exception of LFS which is pretty spartan by nature, those other two distros have a ton of custom patches and creature comforts to soften some of the hard edges in the OS.

            BSD/Darwin have none of that. The nerfed stuff is all in the GUI, while the Unix stuff

      • Sir,
        You are instantly and forever my most favorite person in the world.
      • by Greyfox (87712)
        You should install Linux on it. Then when the fanboi approaches you, you can say "Yeah... check this out..." and take it through the text mode boot sequence. If it's anything like my 17" MBP, you won't be able to find 3D drivers for it, though. It only boots into Linux anymore, and mostly does what I need it to do. I'm constantly tempted to take it by the "Genius Bar" and taunt them with my text-mode Apple hardware.
      • by mjwx (966435)

        I have the unfortunate distinction of owning a 17" MBP. Wasn't my idea, but part of my job is mobile app dev, and I needed a new laptop anyway, so I let my boss buy me the dumb thing. Every goddamned turtleneck-wearing cockmongler has to bless me with a rant about how they love their Mac.

        You dont have to own a Mac to get that.

        Two weeks ago I was sitting in an outdoor bar in the Philippines with my Asus laptop just fucking around on the internet minding my own business when a turtleneck-wearing cockmon

  • $ per square foot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OzPeter (195038) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:16PM (#37600276)

    From a stat I saw a few weeks ago (can't be bothered to look it up) , Apple already rakes in about double the $ per square foot it makes from its stores than the next highest retailer makes in their stores. So why would Apple want to change a winning formula?

    • Because they'd like to win by more?

      • This is an interesting point the GP makes, most companies are judged on their gross margin which this plan may well hurt. Sure they make more actual profit, but if it takes a proportionately greater amount of money to make that, then are they actually hurting themselves?
        Now if they're selling a lifestyle for even greater gross margin and customer loyalty then maybe it's worth that hit, but I'm not sure the stock market would see that - they're very short sighted.

      • But it may not make them more.
        There is value of getting them there and sticking around playing with their products, but the length of time they stay there probably has a curve of diminishing returns to it.

      • At the moment they are winning by having less.

        Their stores I've been to have been far less crammed full of stuff than a Fry's or Best Buy. They certainly don't have an expansive product range.

        The only thing their stores seem to have more of are employees, and wildly priced peripherals.

    • by Tsingi (870990)

      ... So why would Apple want to change a winning formula?

      They need a proper venue to serve you the Koolaid.

    • Because then they could have their customers literally drinking the kool-aid.

  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:17PM (#37600300)
    It's called Starbucks. Of course Apple doesn't own it so they would probably open iBucks and sue to have Starbucks shut down for stealing their look and feel.
  • To further besmirch the image of the average iPhone/iPad user, let's have a café where they can appear to be casually hanging out, before going someplace or doing something incredibly important, but for now can spare $20 for a cuppa and a scone.

    Hey! This iPhone was an open box, there's crumbs in here!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *

      before going someplace or doing something incredibly important

      They're going down to Wall Street and take on the evil corporate pigs who are exporting all our jobs. But first, they need to stop off and buy a bunch of stuff from the Apple Store.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      To further besmirch the image of the average iPhone/iPad user, let's have a café where they can appear to be casually hanging out, before going someplace or doing something incredibly important, but for now can spare $20 for a cuppa and a scone.

      This is Apple we're talking about A iCuppa will cost at least $25 (A$58) and the scone would require an upgrade to the iCuppa Pro at no less then $35 (A$136). Not to mention the $9.99 hourly fee for being allowed to enter the iStore seating program and the Apple care warranty in case you burn yourself.

  • If the Apple stores sold food, how would that affect Apple's legal action against a supermarket chain that uses a stylized apple-shaped W as its logo [slashdot.org]?
    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      Probably not much, given it would be (as positited) a cafe, not a grocery store. Woolworths do not have instore cafes.

  • by thermostat42 (112272) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:18PM (#37600320) Homepage

    Reminds me of a friends facebook status: "At Genius Bar. I can think of at least two things wrong with that name."

  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:20PM (#37600344)

    A glorious synergy of snack food and glossy touchscreen devices.

  • by kirkb (158552) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:20PM (#37600350) Homepage

    Not only would "apple store" plus "coffee shop" be hipster overload, but where you see "customers could interact with technology in a relaxed environment", I see "people spilling coffee on things"

    • Well, you've gotta point, iOS can't run with Java!

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      There's already a Starbucks kiosk next to my local iStore. Not sure they really need to do the Reese's thing with the two.

    • by DarkIye (875062)

      I think of it more as 'drawing more hipsters in, away from me'.

    • Maybe they can sell some vinyl records and wacky old clothes in there too, and it will form a hipster singularity that will destroy any more hipsters who walk in!

  • I'd steer clear of the Kool-Aid, that's for sure.

  • by haus (129916) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:25PM (#37600434) Homepage Journal

    This would not be inline with the Genius Bar, which is there to help people resolve problems users have experienced with their Apple technology.

    One thing that Apple does better than almost any other tech company is that they say No to most items that are not relevant to their goals. They do not load up their stores with extra padding items in order to try to sell a few more units, unless they think that it fits in with the use of their key products. When you launch a new Mac, you are not hit over the head with loads of crap-ware which the system vendor managed to make an extra 30 bucks by hoisting upon you.

    Picking up the short buck is not worth tarnishing the brand. To bad few other tech vendors will be able to figure this out.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      As much as I dislike the Apple Stores for being way too full of loitering fools, I gotta give them kudos for staying on-topic. The few 3rd-party items they do carry are directly related to their core products. Contrast with my local PC shop and erstwhile employer, whose computer inventory is perversely complemented by kitchenware, pottery, and Chinese Ikea-knockoff furniture. You know, because I totally needed an 8-dollar toaster to go with my new Radeon.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      This would not be inline with the Genius Bar

      If it's anything like my Apple store, in line is where you'll be standing too, right behind a bunch of pricks who have no intention of actually buying anything.

    • One thing that Apple does better than almost any other tech company is that they say No to most items that are not relevant to their goals. They do not load up their stores with extra padding items in order to try to sell a few more units, unless they think that it fits in with the use of their key products.

      Or, in other words, they *do* load their store up with extra padding - except that it's Apple Approved iPadding.

      Seriously, have you ever actually been in an Apple store? Three quarters of the SK

  • I'd visit more often if they would give people an apple upon request. Of course, they'd probably be McIntosh. In that case, I probably wouldn't stop by. Too soft for me. However, if they gave away Cameos...

    Nah. Still not close enough (30 mile drive to the closest Apple store, which is much further than the 5 mile drive to the closest grocery store.)
  • apple secret attitude may not be good for the health inspector.

  • Hope you don't mind greasy fingerprints on those nice shiny touch screens.

  • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:35PM (#37600612) Homepage

    I can barely get in the door of the Apple Store in the ones I've visited in Toronto and Ottawa. They need more crowding, why?

    This is a seriously stupid idea.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      ^^ This.

      There a few things I dread more than having to go to the Rideau Apple Store. In addition to the horde of seemingly non-paying customers, they get a colourful complement of the usual downtown Ottawa riff-raff: crackheads, brain-damaged, hobos, drunken Ottawa U students, and on one notable occasion, a fine fellow who begged for changed, then tried to steal my wallet and received a tender iBeating.

      But, since I live within walking distance, it's quicker than mail-order. FML.

    • I dig my Apple stuff and it unreal even to me. I went with my sister to help bring her iMac to be fixed last year. She had to work late, so we got to the Apple store at 9pm. Completely loaded with people while half the other stores in the mall were shuttered. WTF. It was surreal.

      Not sure why it *bothers* some folks, though. Wow, a company is doing well and generating tax revenue in a shit economy. Fuck, we can't have that!

  • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @12:35PM (#37600618)
    There is an Apple store not far from where I work. I go past it from time to time, have brought a few products in for service, and even made a purchase or two in the store.
    You know what stands out about the Apple store?
    It is ALWAYS full of people. Why would they give up valuable floor space currently used to display products, to try to sell coffee? To bring in customers? They do not seem to have a problem with that.

    Yet another stupid idea by someone who has never run a business.
    • by vlm (69642)

      It is ALWAYS full of people. Why would they give up valuable floor space currently used to display products, to try to sell coffee? To bring in customers? They do not seem to have a problem with that.

      I've noticed that. Some random quiet midday there will be 200 people in the mall, great my chance to browse the apple store in non-claustrophobic peace, no, 100 of those 200 mall rats will all be crammed into the Apple store. Totally weird.

      Anyway the idea is if customer satisfaction is dropping due to long wait times, one time honored way to improve it is to stuff food and drink down the customer's maw. Hence the mid level car dealers and repair shops I visit have donut and soda and coffee while you wait

    • by iteyoidar (972700)
      I won't go near the one by me during busy times of the day because it's always completely packed, I'd hate to try to relax and have a cup of coffee in there.
  • Can they make it like Cafe Macs in Cupertino? When I went there for training, it was hand-down the best cafeteria I've ever ever ever seen.

  • I can already interact with technology in a relaxed environment... At home. I can probably be more relaxed at home than at some iCafe surrounded by hipsters trying to be seen being hip.
  • Maybe after they open up the cafe's in the corner, they could start selling books so that patron's had something to read whilst they sipped coffee?

  • The Apple stores I go to are way too busy to provide a "relaxed environment." They don't have the room, and I suspect they don't need to have people stick around and socialize. The recent trend is in the other direction - the Genius bar gets 15 minutes / problem, and I was told there was strong pressure to get people rotated out, even if a fix could be done in a longer time.

    • by dave562 (969951)

      The Apple stores I go to are way too busy to provide a "relaxed environment."

      That was my first impression when I read the summary. I have been to an Apple store once. It was so busy and hectic seeming that I found it uncomfortable. I would never associate "relaxed environment" with the experience that I had at the Apple store.

      It was really too bad. I went in there with the intention of buying what I needed and perhaps toying around with the products for a little bit. By the time the sales guy came out

  • In case no one else noticed, there is a frikken BITE taken out of the apple in the Apple logo. I have always taken this as a symbol of their taking a piece of whatever you get from them or that it is never quite complete. But if they sold food could we expect the same?

  • NFC? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @01:16PM (#37601138)

    76 comments and no one, not even the original article, has commented on this is the perfect way to roll out a near field communications micropayment function in the next iphone?

    NFC / micropayments / all that rot all have the chicken and the egg problem. But if you knew you could at least buy a cuppa coffee at any Apple store with it... maybe if Apple didn't sell the coffee itself but got some established coffee shop to move in as part of a deal ALL of that chain's coffee shops would accept the new NFC micropayments thingy... I think we're on to something here, for the intro of NFC payment.

    At least around here, Apple stores are in big malls, with lots of foot traffic, which certainly pushes the NFC concept into other stores.... I can buy a cuppa coffee at the apple store, why not every food court vendor... why not buy a shirt at old navy... I think we're on to something here, for the NFC midgame/growth phase...

    • 76 comments and no one, not even the original article, has commented on this is the perfect way to roll out a near field communications micropayment function in the next iphone?

      They'd have to let go of their bottomless hate for a company and product line they seem unable to ignore.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @01:21PM (#37601220)
    If Apple started selling apples then they might lose their trademark for being to generic.
    Of course the cafe sounds interesting. There could be poetry readings that are typed into a screen reader on a MacBook Air, and whenever an iPad is sold, everyone could snap their fingers in approval.
  • The first thing they'd need to put on the menu was colonic cleansing drinks and shakes with wheatgrass. It's the perfect demographic.

  • Does this mean that if E Coli is found on the lettuce that they could do a recall on it and retroactively remove it from my system?

  • by Jiro (131519)

    Serving food makes them subject to licensing, inspection, and to all sorts of public health and safety laws, some of which have very tenuous connections to actual public health and safety.

  • It is really obvious why they are doing this, now as apple employees leave work and hit the bars to forget everything they can leave prototypes in a place where apple can easily collect them.
  • I can imagine the apple store serving food. You can buy a muffin, but you can only eat it with one hand, and you have to take the wrapper off first. You can't eat it outside the store, and you can't drink it with any other companies coffee. It only comes in 3 varieties, and you will like all 3. You have to use 2 napkins and can't pick the nuts out. And if you don't like nuts too bad, you are just stupid then, and don't deserve to own the muffin.
  • Apples and Guiness (At their Guiness bar?)
  • Coffee or other drink meets keyboard, laptop, etc will mean that a high likelihood of damaged or dead devices due to liquid immersion. I think the insurance for Apple Store increase exponentially due risk of damage due to liquids.

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