Subway Cafés a Possible Threat to Starbucks?

If you’re looking for a place to grab a cup of coffee on your way to work or during your break, Subway would most likely be the last place you would think to go to, to say the least. With roughly 7,000 locations in the United States alone, Starbucks would be the obvious choice. Subway is looking to change that with Subway Café, a new project from the sandwich giant intended to go straight after Starbucks’ market.

The café concept started from an office building located in Alexandria, Va., and has since expanded to 15 other locations. Beyond serving to satisfy your caffeine cravings for the day, the Subway Café will be designed to keep you there after you’ve had your cup of coffee. The company appears to be shooting for Starbucks’ relaxing lounge atmosphere. Here’s a description of the décor, courtesy of Nation’s Restaurant News:

“The décor and signage for the café would be standardized, and would feature brick or wood paneled walls, more lounge-style seating with comfortable armchairs, and in some cases a fireplace. Lighting also would be different from standard Subway operations. (A spokesman) noted, however, that the design would remain flexible to allow for the development of the cafes in a variety of locations.”

The coffee is reported to come from Seattle’s Best, the same company that provides the coffee already available at Subway. Interestingly enough, Seattle’s Best’s parent company is Starbucks.
This isn’t the first time a company has taken aim at Starbucks’ highly lucrative market. Earlier this year McDonald’s announced plans to spruce up the restaurant chain’s look, attempting to steal the show from Starbucks as the go-to hangout spot. Whether Subway’s plan takes off or not remains to be seen, but it’s nonetheless interesting to see a little competition in that market.