Starbucks is closing all of its stores for three hours tonight while its team members get a refresher course on the art of making coffee.

Starbucks’ stock (SBUX) has dropped by 50% over the past year, so maybe it’s about time for a little extensive training to try and spice up its sales. (And I say that as a devotee of the grande, non-fat, two-Equal latte.)

But caffeine addicts need not go into withdrawal. McDonald’s has responded by offering free lattes at the Golden Arches. Just like every other U.S. company, McDonald’s sought to rev its sales last year when it introduced the higher-end coffee drinks to those who need syrup and foam, and not just a regular drip brew.

Or if you’re fortunate enough to have a Dunkin’ Donuts in your community – we only have one in Austin – Dunkin is offering its lattes today for a mere $0.99. The Chicago locations are even matching the McDonald’s “free” offer.

This is what makes competition and free markets so savory. If Starbucks doesn’t brew a better fancy coffee drink tomorrow morning, some of its customers may go back to the McDonald’s or Dunkin that they sampled tonight.

– Angie Choueifati