1. In Costa, the furniture and décor is lame. In Starbucks the furniture is less lame and the décor is way better with funky lights and better colours.
2. Costa marketing is shaky and has little substance. Starbucks marketing is modern, some of it seemingly handmade.
3. Costa have all the wrong names for different sizes of hot beverages, I mean I wanted a small and it's called a Primo, so I asked for a Primo Americano, black, with a dash of cold water to cool it down a bit. The idiot looked confused and said 'so that's an Americano with cream?'. No, no no no no NO, you absolute neanderthal. Starbucks actually listen to what you want, you don't even have to use their jargon, you can just say 'I want a small black coffee that isn't scolding hot'.
4. Costa have the lengthiest ordering-queueing system. One person is taking orders who then makes the coffee in slowest fashion, while two staff stand chatting in the corner. Most annoying queue I've stood in for a while. I actually wanted to go back there and make it myself. Starbucks are really quick - one, maybe two baristas quickly prepare your drink while one or two cashiers work the queue to get orders in. Once everyone in the queue has ordered and paid the cashiers help out to get everyone served faster.
5. Costa don't seem to manage their staff uniform very well. Untidy faded black trousers dragging on the floor, one girl also had orange make up tan lines around her chin. Starbucks seem well presented and I actually want an apron that reads COFFEE MASTER.
6. Costa didn't seem at all enthusiastic when I approached their counter. There was no smiley 'good afternoon', no thank you, no good bye. In Starbucks you are greeted with genuine happy staff, who are willing to chat, even it's just the plain old 'just on your way to work?'. They are all quite quirky and have always been in great moods no matter what state I'm in (ranging from hungover and in need of sustenance, sleepily on my way to work, or crying my head off in need of cake) and always provide a bit of banter.
All of this has completely overshadowed that the plain black coffee I had was quite nice. I will actually avoid Costa if I can. Team Starbucks, all the way. xoxo