Starbucks – Internet Market Research (Focus Group)


For my Internet Market Research course, I conducted a research around Starbucks and the consumption of plastic and paper cups. The questions were available on Google Survey

The Next Step? The Focus Group


Creation of one focus group consisting of 5 to 10 participants to discuss the subject that Starbucks cups (among other brands) are not recyclable. A moderator will also be recruited to ask the questions, guide the conversation and ease people’s mind if there is any argument. The purpose of these questions is to create a debate and brainstorm feasible solutions for Starbucks to reduce their consumption in plastic cups.

Target Audience & Recruitment

Posts on social media will be created to advertise the project. The potential participant can send an email to demonstrate their interest into the survey. A screening interview over the phone will be held to recruit the participants. They must be at least 18 years old, drink hot/cold beverages from Starbucks and visits the store at least one a week.


The day of the meeting will be established in the future and it will depend on the availability of every participant. After the phone interview, we will send them an email with a Doodle Poll to determine the day of the meeting. The focus group will be held in a private room at the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street, Toronto) for approximately 1.5 hours to have enough time for everyone to express his/her opinion.


Each participant will be offering a Starbucks cold/hot drink in size Grande (Medium), a food item of their choice and $200 in cash for their participation in the focus group.

Moderator Questions

Question 1: What do you usually order at Starbucks?

Question 2: What do you enjoy most about consuming Starbucks good?

(e.g. coffee store, atmosphere, culture, customer service, diversity of products…)

Question 3: Do you consume your coffee in the store or do you usually order for take-out? What makes you stay/what would make you stay in Starbucks? What makes you leave the coffee shop?

Question 4: How would you rate the service at Starbucks? What do you like/dislike about their service? What would you change?

Question 5: The City of Toronto declared “an estimated 45,000 tonnes of garbage were mistakenly put into recycling bins” in 2015. This includes paper and plastic coffee cups. It is therefore assumed that many customers don’t know the cups aren’t recyclable. How do you feel about this statement? Did you know coffee cups are not recyclable?

Question 6: If you discovered another coffee store was using solely recyclable cups, would you be tempted to change your consumer habits and order your beverage in this store rather and Starbucks?

Question 7: Starbucks offers 10¢ discount every time the customers bring their own mug, do you think it is reasonable? Would you visit a Starbucks store more often if the discount was higher? How much of a discount will you consider reasonable?

Question 8: Do you have any other ideas on how Starbucks could incite their customers to bring their own mugs? E.g. a reward program, the 10th drink in a home mug, Starbucks offers you a free drink

Question 9: In Europe, while asking you for your order, the Starbucks barista usually asks if you will drink in the store or if you want your beverage on the go. They ask this question to reduce the consumption of coffee cups inside the store and provide the customers with a real mug while they are enjoying their beverage in the store. Is it something that would interest you? Would that influence on your stay in the Starbucks store? Do you think it adds value to the customer service?

Question 10: France has passed a law against all plastic cups, cutlery and plates. By 2020, all these items need to be composted and made of biologically-sourced materials. How do you feel about this new law? Do you think it is something Canada could achieve in the future?

To read more about this research, click on the various steps:

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