Starbucks announced earlier today that it will soon cater to busy commuters by opening a slew of smaller, express-style stores, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The new quickie Starbucks locales won’t have quite as extensive a menu as its regular coffee shops. However, the new express Starbucks stores will focus on the company’s digital payment and mobile ordering systems to speed up service.
Starbucks is reportedly looking to capitalize on the fantastic sales it has enjoyed via the drive-thru sections of its normal coffee shops. The drive-thrus currently provide the Seattle-based coffee giant with 40 precent of its total income. Within the next five years, Starbucks plans on opening 100 of the new quickie, express-style coffee stops. Each of the new stores will focus on its Starbucks Reserve small-batch arabica coffee line.
Starbucks is currently the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with over 23,605 stores in 65 different countries. Over 13,000 of those stores are currently in the United States. Starbucks was founded in 1971 by three friends who met in college in San Francisco. Originally, Starbucks was a coffee bean roaster and retailer in Seattle. Over-expansion of the company made the company lose a lot of money in the early 80s into the 90s, but Starbucks turned around near the tail end of the last century when, all of a sudden, coffee became trendy.
The coffee at Starbucks seems to be polarizing when it comes to taste. It seems people either can’t get enough of the uber-dark roasts, or they absolutely despise it. Coffee, however, wasn’t the only thing Starbucks offered to get people into their stores. They were the first chain to offer a calm, relaxing environment in which their customers could come in and hang out with friends to have a cup of joe in a tranquil atmosphere. They offered a place where students were encouraged to come and spend the day or evening studying, or where busy office folk could come on their lunch hour and catch up on emails while enjoying a scone or a muffin.
In Joseph A. Michelli’s book, The Starbucks Experience (5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary), Michelli talks about how Starbucks managed to create a “unique corporate culture,” and that was the key to its success. The company is mindful of not only its employees and its customers, but of the community it exists in, as well as the country and world at large. The book talks about how Starbucks keys in on its customers wants and expectations and does little things like encouraging their baristas to make a point of getting to know their regulars, what sort of coffee they like and how they like it.
In July, Starbucks reported its 18th consecutive quarter of sales gains of 5 percent or more, on top of a 23 percent increase in earnings.
[Image via JM Stevens]