Talk about flexibility in restaurant marketing approaches. In response to customers’ appeal to give them more options in relaxing and unwinding at Starbucks locations during evenings, the coffee-giant announced their plans to offer beer, wine and premium food offerings in some of their units in Southern California and Atlanta before the end of 2012.
These restaurants, along with those in Chicago which also announced the same move last December, are the first stores to extend their evening dayparts and expand their happy hour crowd. Other than alcohol, customers can also order food such as small plates, hot flatbreads and savory snacks.
The chain first experimented with its alcohol menu offering in Seattle in 2010. With that, they were quite successful in creating a new reason for customers to visit them during the later part of the day, mainly through their enhanced food and beverage offerings. Their staff in cool bib aprons currently offer wines by the glass for $7 to $9, while beers are offered at $5. Their wine options include Pinot Noir from Oregon, Malbec from Argentin and Prosecco from Italy. Beer selections include Rogue Dead Huy Ale, Peroni Nastro Azzuro and Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale.
Last year, they also announced plans to extend the concept to around seven locations in Chicago by the end of this year. The beer and wine list will once again be hand-selected, adjusting to the preferences of the local customers, and will be fine-tuned to perfection over time. On top of the new offerings, these stores will also come up with a more flexible seating in the hope to accommodate customers who don’t only long for the Starbucks coffee, food or wine that are served by their able servers in classy bib aprons, but also want to hold community meetings or other functions that could be done in the stores, such as book clubs.
“Coming up with an evening daypart is inevitable for us, since we have always been exploring ways to enhance and evolve the Starbucks Experience, basing it on what our customers tell us,” said Starbucks U.S. operations senior vice president Clarice Turner. “And we are quite happy with the reaction of our patrons with regards to this big move. We’re now eager to see how the concept would translate to the other markets.”
“Our customers are now looking for a warmer, more inviting place where they can chill, unwind and connect with their friends and family,” continued Turner. “We’re now opening these select locations to provide them with that—an atmosphere where they can relax, eat a little and drink a cup of good coffee or a glass of fine wine.”