Following its recent mobile order and pay developments, Starbucks has expanded its empire with wine, beer and waiters.
The coffee giant has opened doors to a new after-hours Star Reserve store on London’s affluent Upper St Martins Lane, near Covent Garden. With a new discreet, black logo, the store will resemble a restaurant/wine bar rather than its typical coffee shop set-up. This is first of its kind in Europe.
The store will replace traditional counter service with waiters armed with iPads, taking orders and payments from customers who won’t need to leave their seats or queue.
In an attempt to appeal to the upmarket customer, the store will offer five different exclusive beans from around although the new brewing methods on offer will mean that coffee, Starbucks’ staple product, will start at a price of £6. Selected coffee menus will be displayed on digital boards that change three times a day.
Additionally, as part of an ‘Evenings’ programme, the Star Reserve store will sell alcoholic favourites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, as well as a Nero D’Avola from Sicily, a Syrah from Washington, and an Italian Prosecco from 4pm to 9pm.
Rhys Iley, Vice President of Starbucks' Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa said that the chain’s new venture was “not at all” a result of Brits‘ losing interest in the global retailer’s primary business.
Illey cited that the new venture will demonstrate "the theatre of coffee in the heart of Theatreland".
"London is the most competitive espresso market in the world and we wanted to showcase our fantastic heritage in coffee and bring that to a very discerning UK and London customer", Illey added.
"I think there's no mistaking that this store is all about the coffee but we also recognise that a lot of our customers want to come in the evening and enjoy a glass of wine or beer and a sharing platter”.