One pageant please; hold the pageantry
The Miss America organization announced that its participants will no longer be required to appear in the swimsuit event, nor will the ladies be required to wear evening gowns. In short, the judges will not be adjudicating on physical appearance.
This certainly is a move in the right direction. The question is, what does this decision achieve? Does it go far enough? Should the entire event be canned? It makes me wonder whether revamping the qualifications of this iconic 100-year-old event in Atlantic City will be the forerunner of similar changes in other sectors.
The day may not be far when Starbucks issues a statement to this effect:
We have reviewed our product policy and after careful consideration, Starbucks has decided it will no longer be serving coffee. Starbucks is more than just a place for people to gather to drink coffee. We have concluded that our outlets can better serve the public without resorting to brewing java. No more grande, venti or trenta.
You may ask why you should now visit Starbucks. Good question.
As you know, everyone is now welcome to use the washrooms at Starbucks or to otherwise come and do nothing. Actually, this has been happening for a long time, where students and others just come in with their Apple Macs and occupy space. We have no problem with that. Now we encourage it.
In fact, we also encourage you to visit our outlets and just chat with our staff. Our team members will now be trained to engage visitors in stimulating conversations about coffee. For example, many people are likely wondering why coffee beans are shipped in those burlap bags. Just ask our knowledgeable crew.
Or did you know the word “cappuccino” originates from the order of monks called “Capuchin”? Our associates will be only too delighted to tell you more.
And we are certain many coffee lovers just have to know what conversations Jean-Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway had about existentialism while puffing away at Gitanes and sipping espressos in Paris at café Les Deux Magots in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Our baristas are the go-to people for this priceless information.
Will this move affect our profits? Certainly, but who cares? Given the changing times, what most matters to us is customer satisfaction. Starbucks is more than just a cup of coffee.