Starbucks launches first drive-thru-only store

Nov. 15, 2012

Seattle's Best Coffee, part of Starbucks Corporation, has unveiled the future of its retail business, a 600-foot-square, drive-thru and walk-up only store.

The new design is 65 percent smaller than its previous store and represents a completely transformed retail strategy for the brand. With this new concept, Seattle's Best Coffee is appealing to a large and growing audience of customers who are increasingly getting their coffee on-the-go, said Jim McDermet, senior vice president and general manager, Seattle's Best Coffee.

According to NPD Group, last year 12.4 billion visits were made through drive-thrus, a 2 percent increase over the prior year. The first store debuts in Seattle's SODO neighborhood and will roll out in more markets beginning in 2013.

"Customers are demanding better coffee everywhere they go and we believe we've cracked the code on how to deliver a premium cup of coffee in the fast lane at just the right price," McDermet said. "We have completely overhauled our store concept both inside and out. Our drive-thru store features a new menu of affordable, delicious, car-friendly beverages and food for customers who need a one-stop destination without any compromises, any time of the day."

The new menu line-up was finalized after launching a learning lab in the Chicago area earlier this year. Based on customer feedback, new signature food items and value-forward combo meals have been added. With equal focus on coffee drinks and all-day-long food items, the menu is unlike anything available in the current marketplace.

New menu

The new menu offers dessert-inspired coffee drinks such as Birthday Cake Lattes, Caramel Candy Lattes and S'mores Mochas that are served hot, iced or frozen. Brewed coffee gets upgraded to a fully customized experience, offering either original or dark blend and free flavored creamers, McDermet said. The menu also features traditional coffeehouse standards like lattes and mochas. Delivering on the one-stop-shopping promise, customers will see food options across any daypart, offered all day long. These include egg breakfast sandwiches on muffins or biscuits with sausage, ham or cheese; pretzel melts stuffed with ham & cheese, turkey & provolone or spinach & feta and an array of sweet and savory handheld "Anytime Pies," including Spicy Mac 'N' Cheese, Cheesy Egg & Potato and Caramel Apple.

Read more about store design.

Topics: Restaurant Design / Layout

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