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When you’re thinking of buying a coffee, there are usually two key contenders: Dutch Bros and Starbucks.
Of course, the main factor you need to consider when you purchase a drink from either of these places is which is better for your wallet? Deciding which one is cheaper can be a challenge, and that’s why we’re here to help.
Based on what we’ve found, we’ve noticed that Dutch Bros offers a little more value for money than Starbucks. In this article, we’ll be talking about why that is and what are the benefits and disadvantages of going to each chain.
About Dutch Bros And Starbucks
Before we dive into our analysis, let’s talk about what each brand is known for. Both Dutch Bros and Starbucks have different business models, and you can see how these differences can affect them.
Dutch Bros was founded by two brothers in 1992 when they opened a coffee cart in Oregon. Over the years, they expanded and began to roast their own coffee.
Eventually, they started a franchise and expanded across the country.
Now they have roughly 500 stores across 12 different states. Most of their stores are drive-thrus, which makes them easily accessible to those who want to get access to food and drink quickly.
Not only do they serve coffee, but they also serve a selection of baked goods and various hot and cold drinks. So, it’s no wonder that so many people flock to them.
Starbucks was founded in Seattle in 1971 and initially began as a coffee bean and equipment retailer before shifting to a café structure.
They quickly expanded and started to serve a wide variety of hot and cold drinks and foods.
Nowadays, you can find a Starbucks in most countries, and you’ll find there is a mixture of cafés, drive-thrus, and kiosks.
They also sell instant coffee and coffee capsules, allowing customers to make their coffee at home.
Due to its diverse system, Starbucks has its own loyalty program and an app allowing customers to purchase their products in advance.
This is done to reduce wait times so customers can pick up their items without lining up and waiting to order.
We’ll start by comparing the classic drinks’ prices from Dutch Bros and Starbucks.
The Dutch Classics can be bought hot or iced and are available in three different sizes: small, medium, and large. A small drink is $3, a medium is $3.50, and a large one is $4.50.
However, Starbucks offers its classic drinks as separate items, so iced coffee is not the same on the menu as a hot one.
Starbucks doesn’t use the small, medium, or large model, as we know, so you should remember they are Venti, Tall, and Grande.
A freshly brewed coffee costs $1.85 for a small, with a Grande costing $2.10 and a Venti costing $2.45.
The next cheapest is a caffe latte, with a Tall costing $2.95, a Grande costing $3.65, and a Venti being $4.15.
Each item depends on the number of additions they include to make it, so a white chocolate mocha will cost more than your usual caffe mocha.
The cost of a Starbucks drink will vary from as low as $3.45 for a Tall to as high as $4.95 for a Venti.
Of course, this depends on the location of your store, but on average, Starbucks has different prices for its drinks, which makes them more expensive.
Their iced drinks are usually more expensive, with their cheapest being an iced coffee. You can even get an extra large iced coffee (or a Trenta) for $3.45.
Usually, a frappuccino will cost, at most, $4.95, so Dutch Bros definitely has more value for their money than classic drinks.
Both Dutch Bros and Starbucks sell food, but each has different offerings. Compared to Starbucks, however, Dutch Bros has less to offer.
While Dutch Bros does offer baked goods, these are in the form of varied muffin tops. However, they also offer granola bars, so if you want a quick snack, you’ll only have to pay as much as $2.
Starbucks offers a wider range of bakery items that cost between $1.95 and $3.45 at most, with breakfasts increasing in price to $4.75 depending on what you buy.
Most lunches and anytime snacks cost between $4.95 and $6.45 is the most expensive item.
Overall, you will get more for your money at Starbucks, but Dutch Bros offers a more affordable option if you want a quick snack with your drink.
Why Is Dutch Bros Cheaper?
Now that we’ve explored the various prices for food and drinks at Dutch Bros and Starbucks, we should discuss why Dutch Bros is cheaper.
Generally, there are a few reasons why this is, and it all depends on a few key factors.
Dutch Bros’ Business Model
As we said earlier, Dutch Bros operates primarily as a drive-thru coffee shop, so they don’t need to worry about paying rent for retail space.
They don’t have to worry about seating or a large kitchen, so they can save money on overhead costs.
Generally, Dutch Bros also specializes in serving coffee and drinks on the go. They don’t have to worry about extra menu items, which means they can serve them quickly.
They can save money on buying ingredients because they don’t have to worry about more items.
The Location Of Dutch Bros
Most Starbucks shops are in busy retail areas, so they need to adjust their price based on the area. While Dutch Bros is in areas with high-traffic and lower rent.
That way, Dutch Bros can afford to offer lower prices, as they will know they get the traffic without having to compete with others.
However, we should note that not all Dutch Bros and Starbucks shops will have the same price difference because of this. It depends on where you visit.
Dutch Bros Has A Simpler Menu
While we mentioned that Starbucks has more on its menu, that means that Dutch Bros won’t need as many items. They have the key items they can sell at their highest quality, allowing them to save on costs.
Having more items means Starbucks must spend more on food, drinks, and snacks. It also means their employees need to be trained more to ensure all items are served at their best.
It also makes it easier for customers to know what they want when they visit Dutch Bros. As they know the items they like, they won’t have to worry about feeling the need to try too many new items.
Should Price Be The Only Factor To Consider?
When choosing which coffee shop to go to, you should consider what you enjoy when you have a drink. Each has different strengths and weaknesses, so it ultimately depends on what you prefer.
Let’s take a closer look at what you should think about.
When you go to a coffee shop, you want to get the best bang for your buck. We suggest looking at how much you can get in each drink.
It’s easier to measure Dutch Bros drinks because they are all sized at small, medium, and large. However, Starbucks is a little more complicated with their sizes of Tall, Grande, Venti, and Trenta.
A small Dutch Bros cup can be 12 oz or 16 oz, depending on whether you buy a hot or cold drink.
However, a medium cup for a hot drink is 16 oz, while a cold drink is 24 oz. If you get a large drink, you’re looking at a 20 oz hot drink or a 32 oz cold one.
They even have kids’ sizes at 10 oz.
Meanwhile, if you look at a Starbucks drink, you’re looking at a 12 oz Tall drink, a 16 oz Grande, a 24 oz Venti, or a 31 oz Trenta. However, a cold Venti is a little bit larger than a hot drink, measuring 24 oz.
So, if you think about it, you will get more for your money if you go to Dutch Bros.
Customizing Your Drink
If you want to customize your drink, you’ll be disappointed by Dutch Bros. Unlike Starbucks, where you can control everything about your drink, you can’t do that at Dutch Bros.
At Starbucks, you can customize the kinds of milk, the temperature, and the type of roast you want.
However, Dutch Bros will give you additional shots but has fewer milk options. So, if you want to customize your drink, visiting Starbucks is better.
Which Is Healthier?
You’ll find that Dutch Bros does offer a small number of low-calorie drinks, and you can also have sugar-free syrups to make it healthier. However, they don’t have nonfat milk options available.
Starbucks, on the other hand, has many drinks with lower calories. Many of their drinks come unflavored; you don’t have to add sauces or syrups.
You can also choose healthier non-dairy milk or nonfat to make your drinks healthier.
So, if you want a healthier drink, it may be easier for you to choose Starbucks if you’re on a health kick.
What About Signature Drinks?
Everyone has their favorite signature drink, and many Americans have tried European drinks due to Starbucks.
They are also renowned for their frappuccinos, which also have a trademark. You also can’t forget about their pumpkin spice lattes in the fall.
That’s not to say that Dutch Bros doesn’t have signature drinks. Many of their drinks have catchy names that are fun and fun to say. They’re easy to remember, and many of them aren’t seasonal, either.
Suppose you’re looking for a signature drink. In that case, you may be more likely to find what you want while visiting Dutch Bros.
Sometimes, you may miss out on your favorite signature if you go to Starbucks at the wrong time.
Which Has The Most Variety?
Starbucks has an extensive list of items on its menu, with a variety of different hot and cold drinks to enjoy along with their food.
They even have bottled drinks, smoothies, and juices available for you to purchase. So, you’ll most likely find something you enjoy while visiting the shop.
However, Dutch Bros doesn’t serve brewed coffee and only has Americanos. Their espresso-based drinks aren’t served as traditional Italian coffee and have their own brand.
That’s not to say they don’t have other drinks, as they also have teas, milkshakes, cold brews, energy drinks, and hot cocoa.
Ultimately, if you want food, it’s better to visit Starbucks as you’ll find a more filling meal there.
So there you have it. Between Dutch Bros and Starbucks, ultimately, it’s Dutch Bros who are cheaper. Starbucks has more expensive items on the menu and a much more extensive range.
However, that also means you need to pay more so they can also afford their ingredients.
If you’re looking for a quick drink, visiting Dutch Bros is best. If you want a more extensive range, it’s better to head to your local Starbucks, even if it costs more.
Curious to know more about your coffee questions? Feel free to check our blog to find out more.
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