As a hip, world-traveling American, I am supposed to run in the other direction when I see a chain store from my native country, especially if that chain is a monster like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.
Buuuuut… it’s not that simple. You see, rather than being disgusted by the tentacles of imperialism in corporate garb, I’m frequently fascinated and impressed.
For example, check out the lead photo of this article. Dunkin’ Donuts of Shanghai fascinates me because they adapted their menu to suit the Chinese palate… and thus offer Red Bean, Pomelo, and Green Tea flavored Coolattas!
Meanwhile, I’m impressed by Starbucks for their consistency across the world, and for the extra mile they go to support that consistency. Not only do they have free Wifi and the exact same type of appliances and canisters as American Starbucks, but to see the step they took to make full consistency possible, look at the photo above.
Part of the Starbucks allure is that customers can customize every single aspect of their drink, especially the milk. That said, Chinese food culture does not currently have the same picky milk distinctions as we do… and so Starbucks Shanghai kindly dedicated an entire large advertising board to educating its customers on what “Whole,” “Nonfat,” and “Soy” milk are.
So, yes, the beast of corporate imperialism is galloping its way through the world, and it’s annoying and disturbing, but amid our protests, we also need to give a nod of respect: it takes smart adaptation to be embraced by so many cultures.
And you know a corporation has really been embraced when it appears on street signs (BEFORE the listing for the primal human need of “Toilets”) in the People’s Park of Shanghai!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!
Monday 12th of January 2015
Wow this shows the comparison of countries and how they can be similar. I didn't realize that they had different specialties and flavors but it seems interesting! When I go to visit China I will go and try different kinds of food to expand my taste buds.
Monday 12th of January 2015
Hi Ms. Marshall. I really think it is interesting that these two major coffee places that are huge in America are also big in China. I think Starbucks is bigger than Dunkin Donuts because it is a more business and mature environment (at least it is here). Dunkin Donuts isn't as much because it it is an on the go type of place. This article was great.
Friday 9th of January 2015
Hi Ms. Marshall. Personally I love China and I hope to one day visit to teach them English and to learn a little Chinese too, so that's why I thought it would be cool to read this article. Also, I liked how you put your own thoughts and beliefs and I think it's really cool how they put there own culture into the Dunkin Donuts.
Thursday 8th of January 2015
Hi Ms. Marshall! I really do find it interesting that China has Dunkin' Donuts, but I find it even more interesting and surprising that they have Starbucks. I had always thought that places as such would always stay in the America and that other countries and regions would just have their own version of the same thing, like how in SW and Central Asia they have Pizza Hat instead of Pizza Hut. P.S. In the fifth paragraph you have a grammar demon; you forgot the word "the" before the word "world" in the first sentence.
Saturday 10th of January 2015
Thanks, Jackie! Just fixed it.
Wednesday 7th of January 2015
Hi Ms. Marshall! As you can see I am the most interested in China and especially, since this is about Starbucks I just had to read it. This article makes me happy because if I decided to visit China I could still have the ability to drink my favorite drink. It makes me feel proud that Starbucks coffee made the effort to spread al over the world. By: Lauren.B