Beverage Industry

Starbucks expands evening day-part concept

January 24, 2012

Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, announced plans to bring wine, beer and premium food offerings to a select number of locations in Atlanta and southern California by the end of this year. These stores, along with several others recently announced for the Chicago area, will be the first extensions outside of the Pacific Northwest of the company’s evening day-part concept, which was developed in response to customer feedback for more options to relax in its stores in the evenings.

“Building an evening day-part is a natural progression for us as we are always looking for ways to evolve and enhance the Starbucks experience based on what our customers are telling us,” said Clarice Turner, senior vice president of U.S. operations, in a statement. “We’re pleased with the response of our customers to the introduction of wine, beer and premium food at several of our stores in the Pacific Northwest, and we’re excited to see how the idea translates to other markets.”

Since first introducing the evening day-part concept in Seattle in October 2010, Starbucks has seen success from creating a new occasion for consumers later in the day through an expanded food and beverage menu, the company says.

Five stores in the Seattle area and one in Portland, Ore., currently serve wine, beer and premium food. Late last year, Starbucks announced plans to bring the concept to five to seven locations in the Chicago area by the end of 2012. Now, Atlanta and southern California will each see four to six stores, also by the end of the year.

As part of an enhanced menu, these stores will serve wine, beer and premium food, such as savory snacks, small plates and hot flatbreads. The wine and beer list will be hand-selected to reflect local customer tastes and preferences, and will be refined over time, the company says.

In addition to providing a product assortment not traditionally found at Starbucks, these stores will incorporate flexible seating to accommodate individuals and small groups as well as larger parties that want to host community meetings or other events such as book clubs.