Remember when Starbucks first unveiled its drive-thru format? What a time. Now, the fast-casual chain could be overhauling a majority of its operations to expand this format across the U.S. Last week, Starbucks announced it is unleashing plans to blend its traditional sit-and-stay café with a more digital, convenience-led format that will include drive-thru and curbside pickup options.
“Starbucks stores have always been known as the 'third place,' a welcoming place outside of our home and work where we connect over a cup of coffee,” said President and CEO Kevin Johnson. “As we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis, we are accelerating our store transformation plans to address the realities of the current situation, while still providing a safe, familiar, and convenient experience for our customers.”
It’s no news to the industry that COVID-19 has shifted both the buy- and supply-side and altered how consumers interact with both. In response to these changes, Starbucks is expanding Starbucks® Pickup stores in dense U.S. markets like New York City, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco, and convenience-led enhancements such as curbside, drive-thru, and walk up windows in suburban areas, according to a press release.
In addition, Starbucks is also touting the convenience of the Starbucks App, perfect for ordering and paying ahead, and Starbucks® Delivers through Uber Easts. The chain will be renovating select store layouts to include the addition of a separate counter for mobile orders at high-volume stores in order to accommodate more app-based experiences.
To learn more about Starbucks’ format overhaul, click here.
Will on-the-go, drive-thru-type restaurants become the norm in foodservice? How will this introduce a new eating experience? Deli Market News will continue to follow the trends and latest reports.