Dutch Bros vs Starbucks: The Battle Of Two Coffee Giants

Spread The Love!

In the realm of coffee, two major contenders have captured the hearts and taste buds of millions: Dutch Bros and Starbucks.

These coffee giants have built empires around their distinct coffee cultures, offering unique experiences to their loyal customers.

As their rivalry intensifies, it’s time to delve into the Dutch Bros vs. Starbucks showdown, exploring their origins, coffee offerings, customer interactions, and overall brand appeal.

Join us as we uncover the contrasting characteristics that make each of these iconic coffee chains stand out in a market saturated with caffeine cravings.

Here’s the short answer: Dutch Bros is the budget-friendly choice, offering lower prices and a more limited menu. Starbucks is the preferred option for those seeking a wider range of menu options, higher-quality ingredients, and a premium coffee experience.

Dutch Bros: Crafted Beverages with a Personal Touch

Dutch Bros has established itself as a rapidly expanding operator and franchisor of drive-thru coffee shops, renowned for its commitment to delivering top-notch, hand-crafted beverages with exceptional speed and service.

Founded in 1992 by brothers Dane and Travis Boersma, the company embarked on its journey with a humble double-head espresso machine and a pushcart in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Today, while espresso-based beverages remain at the heart of their offerings, Dutch Bros has expanded its menu to encompass an impressive array of both cold and hot beverages, each customizable to suit individual preferences.

Embracing a vision that extends beyond simply serving exceptional coffee, Dutch Bros aims to make a significant positive impact on the lives of its employees, customers, and the communities it serves.

With a footprint of 716 locations across 14 states as of March 31, 2023, Dutch Bros has cultivated a unique culture that fosters strong relationships, referring to its employees as “broistas” and “The Mob” for experienced trainers.

The company empowers its employees to take ownership of their locations, creating a sense of pride and autonomy.

While Dutch Bros excels in crafting creamy beverages, their menu caters to a diverse range of tastes.

Traditional cups of coffee and tea are readily available alongside their signature creations.

Furthermore, Dutch Bros stands out as a great destination for a tasty snack, offering delectable options to complement their beverage offerings.


  • Affordable prices compared to other coffee shops like Starbucks.
  • A great place to indulge in tasty snacks.
  • Generally excellent customer service.
  • Offers a loyalty program for customers.


  • Limited menu options compared to Starbucks.
  • Coffee quality may not be on par with Starbucks.
  • Ingredients may not be as top-notch as some competitors.

Starbucks: The Global Icon of Coffee Culture

As a brand that has become synonymous with coffee, Starbucks Coffee Company stands as one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable coffee franchises.

This multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves has its roots in Seattle, Washington, where it was founded in 1971. Since its humble beginnings, Starbucks has experienced remarkable growth, with over 18,000 stores now spanning 62 countries.

In many cities, it seems there is a Starbucks on nearly every corner, ready to offer its signature cups of coffee.

However, Starbucks is not just about coffee—it has expanded its menu to include breakfast and lunch options, providing customers with a diverse culinary experience.

Central to Starbucks’ mission is its commitment to ethically sourcing and roasting the finest quality arabica coffee beans from around the globe.

The company takes pride in offering a wide variety of coffee blends, handcrafted beverages, merchandise, and food items to cater to diverse tastes and preferences.

From whole bean and ground coffee to ready-made drinks, snacks, and other beverages, Starbucks provides a comprehensive range of products that extend beyond the traditional coffee experience.

To further enrich its offerings, Starbucks encompasses various sub-brands, including Teavana, Starbucks Reserve, Princi, and Ethos, each contributing to the brand’s appeal and diversity.

Creating an inclusive and welcoming environment lies at the heart of Starbucks’ values. Much like Dutch Bros, Starbucks places great emphasis on delivering exceptional and personalized customer service.

A notable example of this commitment is the practice of writing customers’ names on their cups, adding a personal touch to the overall experience.

Starbucks strives to foster a culture of belonging, ensuring that everyone feels welcomed and valued within their stores.


  • Well-recognized coffee franchise with a global following.
  • Consistently provides excellent customer service.
  • Like Dutch Bros, Starbucks offers a rewarding loyalty program.
  • Provides a welcoming environment for connecting with family and friends.
  • Offers a wide variety of options compared to Dutch Bros.
  • Renowned for excellent coffee quality.


  • Generally higher prices compared to Dutch Bros.
  • The extensive menu can sometimes be overwhelming or confusing for customers.

Coffee Quality: Dutch Bros vs Starbucks

When it comes to coffee quality, both Dutch Bros and Starbucks have their distinct approaches and characteristics.

Starbucks has established itself as a brand synonymous with ethically sourced, high-quality coffee beans.

Their commitment to delivering exceptional coffee justifies the higher pricing point. Starbucks meticulously sources the finest Arabica coffee beans from South America, Africa, and Indonesia.

With a rigorous quality assurance process, they taste over a thousand cups of coffee each day to ensure the superior taste that customers have come to expect.

While Starbucks excels in delivering high-quality coffee, some individuals find that their coffee can be over-roasted, resulting in a burnt, charred, and smoky taste that has become associated with the brand.

On the other hand, Dutch Bros also emphasizes the importance of high-quality products and attentive customer service.

While Dutch Bros primarily focuses on creamy drinks, they also offer traditional cups of coffee and tea.

However, some individuals find Dutch Bros coffee to be comparatively lighter, with a slightly watery texture when compared to Starbucks.

It may lack the full-bodied flavor and aromatic intensity of Starbucks’ finest brews.

It’s worth noting that Dutch Bros also caters to a younger crowd with its offering of other soft drinks and energy drinks, diversifying their menu beyond coffee alone.

In terms of overall coffee quality, Starbucks is generally regarded as superior to Dutch Bros.

Starbucks coffee packs a stronger punch, characterized by a full-bodied flavor and an irresistible aroma that is hard to resist.

The company’s meticulous sourcing and stringent quality control processes contribute to its reputation for consistently delivering a premium coffee experience.

Menu Options: Dutch Bros vs Starbucks

Dutch Bros shops are known for their focus on creamy drinks, while still providing traditional cups of coffee and tea for those seeking a more classic beverage experience.

Alongside their beverages, Dutch Bros also offers a range of tasty snacks, complementing their drink offerings.

While Dutch Bros has a more limited menu compared to Starbucks, it compensates by providing more affordable drink options, making it an attractive choice for budget-conscious customers.

On the other hand, Starbucks boasts an extensive menu with a wide variety of hot and cold drink selections.

Their offerings include hot coffees, hot teas, frappuccino blended beverages, cold coffees, iced teas, and cold drinks, providing a comprehensive range to suit diverse preferences.

Additionally, Starbucks offers a diverse food menu, featuring oven-warmed food, healthy options, and baked items, appealing to customers seeking a more substantial culinary experience alongside their beverages.

However, the expansive menu at Starbucks can sometimes be overwhelming or confusing for customers, especially those visiting for the first time.

Despite this, Starbucks has the advantage of a visible menu at the register, making the ordering process more straightforward and accessible.

Both Dutch Bros and Starbucks also have their own “secret menu” in addition to their main menu, offering hidden or unique drink combinations that can be requested.

Starbucks also holds the advantage here as the secret menu is available at the register making it more accessible to customers who may not have known about it.

In summary, while Dutch Bros and Starbucks both provide a variety of coffee and signature drinks, Dutch Bros offers a more limited menu compared to the extensive options available at Starbucks.

Beverage Sizes: Dutch Bros vs Starbucks

When it comes to beverage sizes, Dutch Bros and Starbucks offer different options to accommodate various preferences.

Starbucks provides a range of six primary cup sizes: Demi (3 oz.), Short (8 oz.), Tall (12 oz.), Grande (16 oz.), Venti (20 oz. for hot drinks, 24 oz. for cold drinks), and Trenta (31 oz. for cold drinks only).

On the other hand, Dutch Bros offers four cup sizes: Kids (10 oz.), Small (12 oz. or 16 oz. depending on the type of beverage), Medium (16 oz. for hot drinks, 24 oz. for cold drinks), and Large (20 oz. for hot drinks, 32 oz. for cold drinks).

While the sizes in terms of ounces are somewhat comparable between Dutch Bros and Starbucks, the names and availability of sizes differ between the two chains.

For instance, a Tall at Starbucks corresponds to a Small at Dutch Bros, while a Venti at Starbucks is equivalent to a Large at Dutch Bros.

This variation can sometimes cause confusion when ordering between the two coffee houses.

If simplicity and streamlined choices are your preference, Dutch Bros may be the better option.

With four cup sizes, Dutch Bros offers a more straightforward selection to meet your beverage needs.

However, if you seek a wider range of options and enjoy tailoring your order to precise specifications, Starbucks emerges as the clear winner.

With six different cup sizes, Starbucks grants you the flexibility to customize your drink according to your exact preferences.

Customer Service: Dutch Bros vs Starbucks

Dutch Bros is widely recognized for its friendly and outgoing vibe, with employees often engaging in conversations with customers, creating a lively and interactive atmosphere.

This personalized interaction is appreciated by many customers who enjoy the social experience that Dutch Bros provides.

However, it’s worth noting that this focus on constant upbeat customer service has received criticism from some individuals who feel that it can sometimes lead to inappropriate interactions.

On the other hand, Starbucks has built a strong reputation for exceptional customer service and a welcoming atmosphere.

The company emphasizes the importance of creating a pleasant and comfortable environment for customers to enjoy their coffee.

Starbucks aims to provide a consistent and high-quality service experience across its locations, ensuring that customers feel valued and attended to during their visit.

In terms of contacting customer service, both Dutch Bros and Starbucks offer avenues for assistance.

Dutch Bros provides an email address and phone number for customer inquiries, allowing customers to reach out for support or provide feedback.

Similarly, Starbucks provides a customer service phone number and email address, enabling customers to seek assistance or express their concerns.

Additionally, Starbucks goes a step further by having a district manager for every licensed store in the United States.

This allows customers to have a direct contact for providing feedback or addressing any specific concerns they may have about their Starbucks experience.

Overall, both Dutch Bros and Starbucks strive to deliver excellent customer service within their respective styles.

Dutch Bros’ friendly and outgoing approach creates an engaging and social atmosphere, while Starbucks prioritizes exceptional service and a welcoming ambiance.

While Starbucks has a slight edge in terms of the quality of service, both coffee chains generally offer commendable customer service experiences.

Company Footprint: Dutch Bros vs Starbucks

Starbucks, a global coffee powerhouse, boasts a staggering 36,170 locations open across 83 countries, with a notable focus on the United States and China.

Approximately 61% of Starbucks’ locations are found in these two countries, while the remaining locations operate elsewhere around the world.

New York City alone houses around 350 Starbucks locations, highlighting the brand’s widespread presence.

In contrast, Dutch Bros Coffee, while rapidly expanding, currently operates 817 locations exclusively within the United States.

These stores are spread across 12 states, employing approximately 16,500 people.

Oregon takes the lead with the highest number of Dutch Bros Coffee locations, hosting 155 stores, which accounts for around 19% of all Dutch Bros Coffee locations in the United States.

As of now, Dutch Bros has not ventured into international markets and remains solely focused on its operations within the United States.

Starbucks has an extensive global reach, with a presence in 80 countries and a staggering total of 33,833 stores as of November 2021.

This international expansion solidifies Starbucks’ status as a leading coffee retailer on a global scale.

In contrast, Dutch Bros is currently focused on establishing a strong foundation within the United States, prioritizing domestic growth and market penetration.

Despite the disparity in their company footprints, Dutch Bros is rapidly expanding its presence.

With plans to open 150 new shops in 2023 and a goal of reaching 800 new shops by 2025, Dutch Bros is poised for continued growth and market expansion within the United States.

In summary, Starbucks holds a significantly larger number of locations both domestically and internationally compared to Dutch Bros. Starbucks’ global presence is evident through its widespread operations in various countries.

Pricing: Dutch Bros vs Starbucks

Dutch Bros is widely regarded as the more affordable choice compared to Starbucks, offering prices that are often significantly lower for drinks of the same size.

This affordability can be attributed to factors such as a streamlined menu and the use of fewer high-end ingredients compared to Starbucks.

On the other hand, Starbucks positions itself as a premium coffee brand, reflected in its higher prices.

While Starbucks may have a higher price point, it compensates with a wider range of menu options and the use of higher-end ingredients.

Starbucks provides customers with a more extensive selection of coffees, teas, frappuccinos, and other specialty beverages, ensuring there is something to satisfy various tastes and preferences.

When deciding between Dutch Bros and Starbucks based on pricing, it ultimately boils down to a trade-off between quality and price.

Dutch Bros offers more affordable options, making it an attractive choice for those seeking budget-friendly alternatives.

However, it’s important to note that Dutch Bros may have a more limited menu and may utilize ingredients that are not as high-end as those found at Starbucks.

The Verdict: Where Should You Go?

If affordability is a priority and you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, Dutch Bros is the ideal choice.

With lower prices and a focus on providing creamy drinks, Dutch Bros offers a more cost-effective solution for coffee lovers.

On the other hand, if you value a wider range of menu options, higher-quality ingredients, and a premium coffee experience, Starbucks is the recommended option.

Despite its higher prices, Starbucks delivers a diverse selection of beverages, including hot coffees, teas, frappuccinos, and more, ensuring a satisfying experience for those seeking variety and quality.

Ultimately, both coffee chains have excellent customer service with delicious beverages for you to try out!


How does Dutch Bros compare to Starbucks?

Dutch Bros is known for its friendly atmosphere, affordable prices, and focus on creamy drinks.

Starbucks, on the other hand, offers a wider variety of menu options, higher-quality ingredients, and a premium coffee experience.

Which is more popular, Starbucks or Dutch Bros?

Starbucks is generally more popular and widely recognized worldwide.

With thousands of stores across the globe, Starbucks has established a strong presence in the coffee industry.

Dutch Bros, while growing rapidly, has a more limited geographical reach primarily within the United States.

Is Dutch Bros cheaper than Starbucks?

Yes, Dutch Bros is considered to be more affordable than Starbucks.

Dutch Bros offers lower prices for comparable drink sizes, making it a budget-friendly option for coffee lovers.

What’s so good about Dutch Bros?

Dutch Bros is loved for its friendly and outgoing vibe, attentive customer service, and affordable prices.

It is a great place to enjoy creamy drinks and tasty snacks while experiencing a welcoming atmosphere.

Why do people love Dutch Bros?

The brand’s friendly and outgoing vibe, along with its focus on exceptional customer service, creates a positive and enjoyable experience.

Additionally, Dutch Bros’ affordability and delicious creamy drinks attract a wide range of customers, making it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts.

Who is the rival of Starbucks?

Starbucks faces competition from various rivals in the coffee industry. One of its biggest competitors is Dunkin’ Donuts, which has a strong presence in the US market and also operates internationally.

McDonald’s and Costa Coffee are other notable rivals that have gained market share by enhancing their coffee quality and expanding their offerings.

While Starbucks holds the title of the largest coffee company globally, its competitors differentiate themselves by focusing on different factors like pricing, convenience, or customer experience.

Spread The Love!
Photo of author

Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

Leave a Comment