Photo (cc) by Lindsey Gira
Starbucks is ramping up efforts to add alcohol to the menu at more than 2,000 of its 12,000-plus locations, USA Today reports.
It’s called “Starbucks Evenings” and is designed to boost traffic after 4 p.m., when sales tend to slow. The menu includes wine, beer and small dishes, according to the Evenings website:
Our Starbucks Evenings menu features a thoughtful selection of wine and craft beer alongside the signature coffee and tea beverages you know and love. Enjoy one of our savory small plates — whether it’s our creamy Truffle Mac & Cheese or a delicious flatbread.
Starbucks first announced in 2010 that it would experiment with alcohol and small plates. The same year, its Olive Way store in Seattle, where the public company is headquartered, became the first Evenings location.
Slated to become Evenings stores this week are Starbucks locations in Denver; Miami; Orlando, Florida; Northern California; and the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. That will bring the total number of Evenings stores to more than 70, USA Today reports.
Starbucks has also applied for liquor licenses for hundreds of other locations nationwide in recent months and hopes alcohol will be available in many of those locations by the end of the year.
After five years of experimenting, the company believes it has found a niche it can fill with alcohol. Starbucks’ in-house sommelier, Rachel Antalek, who developed the wine line-up for the Evenings menu, tells USA Today:
“We learned resoundingly that our customers want to come to Starbucks and have a glass of wine or a craft beer. There aren’t that many places to go in the evening where you can go very relaxed, very casual. It’s not loud. You can actually have a small group and hear yourself talk.”
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