Express Espressos with Starbucks
by Jake Lockett
This month Starbucks opened its first European based express café in Canary Wharf, London’s financial district. A project tailored for customers who want quick and efficient service, without losing the high-quality coffee that Starbucks is known for. The store relies on a large quantity of local professionals who are already acquainted with the Starbucks menu and know what they want before entering. It has no interior seating and serves a reduced menu (only 85% of the normal menu) to speed up service.
The they have done away with writing your names on the cups and till system is now touch screen, although customers are urged to order ahead via Starbucks’ order and pay app.
Peter Davies, retail operations director at Starbucks explains, “The Canary Wharf location has a very busy morning peak. We noticed that we couldn’t cope with the demand using the standard model. So we wanted to elevate the customer experience by bringing together the latest tech and design – but it’s only relevant for certain store types and customer segments.”
This express concept follows a similar concept in the financial district in Manhattan’s Wall Street last summer. “This location on Wall Street was intentionally designed to take what’s at the heart of our cafés and distil that for a smaller space,” said Bill Sleeth, Starbucks vice president for Store Design.
These concepts are indicative of an ultra-fast culture in fast food, following in the path of the largest chains like McDonald’s, where every millisecond scraped off service time makes the company millions of dollars annually. These new Starbucks concepts however may have limited appeal outside of major metropolises due to the expectation of the customers knowledge of the brand and the necessarily huge footfall, so don’t hold your breath for a new Starbucks Express on your local street corner any time soon.