It's all in the question, because lately when I have gone on dates, I would only get a first date but no second dates, and I have met these girls for coffee at Starbucks, so it makes me think if I should stop setting up coffee dates for a first date.
Most Helpful Girl
If you're meeting online, then I think coffee shops are one of the best places to meet up. Smoothie places are good too. These places make for a laid-back environment, and they're not too expensive. If the location is nice, then it can be fun to take a walk together (while drinking the coffee or smoothie drink). I personally feel less shy and nervous when I'm walking and talking, rather than just sitting face to face. Maybe I'm weird though haha.
If you've met them in person, then you could definitely try being more creative with your first date idea. Some ideas: bowling, mini golfing, ice skating, a yummy hole-in-the-wall type restaurant, a bakery or cupcake shop, a museum, dinner and a movie, etc.2
Most Helpful Guy
How well do you know these girls?
If you've just met online and haven't texted for weeks, were just like 'you seem interesting, brief flirt, lets meet', then coffee or an after work (not after dinner) drink is a good quick way to meet in person.
As for starbucks, it really depends. I work in a downtown core and live in the deep suburbs. Where I work, suburbs are like the standard coffee, the starbucks are high traffic places and would suck for a date. Find somewhere much smaller, or maybe grab a coffee at a little restaurant that you can chat in. Out where I live, where there's no massive foot traffic, starbucks are trying hard to act like nice little café, and they could be fine.
If you already know the girl, i'd plan a slightly more interesting date. The point of a coffee date, honestly, is that it can end in 20 minutes easily.
Most first dates don't lead to second (if they're the first time meeting). But if less than 1/4 are, i'd question if you're doing something wrong in the date.