Starbucks embraces the nightlife


Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world. Building a reputation through the grinding, stirring, mixing and flavoring of coffee beans, the company is now deciding to hold off the caffeine.

Over time, the business has strayed from increasing coffee sales, by advertising food items, juices and teas. Now, the menu is welcoming wine and beer. After four pm, the established coffee houses are serving savory dishes and alcohol. Starbucks Evenings are now open in only a few locations, but its expansion appears rapid and continuous.  Although research has proven that the menu will not work everywhere–rural areas have reaped the most success.

“We’ve tested it long enough in enough markets; this is a program that works,” Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead said. “As we bring the evening program to stores, there’s a meaningful increase in sales during that time of the day.”

Even San Diego took part in debuting the menu’s latest additions. Acting as a test location, the expansion proved worthwhile. With an array of appetizers and varying wine lists, Starbucks offers a sense of decorum.

However the company is not providing a full restaurant service–you still place your order with the barista and pick it up when your name is called. Only this time, rather grabbing a Venti sugar-free caramel, Nonfat, Light Ice, Starbucks double shot on ice, you find yourself picking up an Artichoke and Goat Cheese Flatbread.

Original drinks and treats are also yours for the choosing until regular closing hours.

“I know those sound like odd words from a CFO, but there is a magical experience that happens in a Starbucks store,” Alstead said. “The products we offer are the platform, but the real magic and the reason we have the brand strength we have, the loyalty and consistency of sales and profitability quarter in and quarter out, is because of the fantastic experiences provided in the store.”

As the sun goes down, the coffeehouse steps outside its comfort zone. Embracing a modern franchise’s expansion … Starbucks serves a greater purpose and some chocolate fondue.