About a month ago, as part of it's ohmygodwe'relosingourchokeholdonthecoffeeindustry panic campaign, Starbucks launched MyStarbucksIdea.com. Customers log on and suggest improvements for Starbucks stores, like a shelf in the bathroom for your cup, coffee ice cubes for cold drinks, or this clever idea:
One idea that has gained traction is to embed a customer's regular order on her Starbucks card so when she enters the store she could swipe the card, her order would be put in and paid for, and she'd avoid (and shorten) the line. Other suggestions call for the ability to send in orders by phone or Web. These customers are telling Starbucks that long lines irritate them. But note well that they didn't come online to complain. Instead they offered solutions. This is the gift economy of online.
An excellent article on the project in BusinessWeek emphasized the positive, open-sourceishness of the whole endeavor. So quit yer bitchin' and go fix Starbucks.