Toma, guapo! Insights from the Mediterranean Market Model

Midweek. Time to talk some serious business. In a circle of 150 meters around my office, you can find three coffee bars. Since university campus is much bigger, I am sure there are even more bars to discover in the next months. Remember: In Essen, unless you count some Tschibo automats, no facility of that kind can be found. Closest there is Subway, where much more interesting than taking coffee is the weekly changing migrations population serving.

However, coffee bars here seem to be inherent part of every dining spot, serving whatever espresso lovers like: capuccino, lungo, cortado, bombón, con hielo – not talking about the beer tap which also forms part of the equipment and is quite popular from 10 in the morning onwards. Since privatization of public services became mayor concern of the right wing government of Catalunya, every bar has its own entrepreneur and therefor complete different coice of products. It took me the first weeks to get a grip on basic differences.

The one on the way (communication sciences) is the biggest one. Great place, but worst coffee and prices are high. You get it served by either an almost deaf pensioner (of who I am always afraid that he spills everything) or a grumpy youngster who tries to impress with coolness (of whom I am afraid that he spills everything). The middle one (political sciences), squeezed in on of the dark corners of the buidling has the most friendly staff. It does not matter which time of the day and how long the line, a bunch of middle-aged ladies always serve you with great mood and compliments. “Princes, what you´d like?” “Gorgeous, what can I do for you today?”. The one most far away (psychology and philosophy) is always crowded, has best prices (capuccino & croissant 1,50€) and best quality.

So where do I stay with? Of course I am deciding for the familiarist regime. Okay, there is no breakfast offer and drinks are some 5-10 cents more expensive but who has to compete while giving the sensation of security of strong bounds and home-like atmosphere?

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