Starbucks introduces evening menu to experiential London store

Starbucks is opening an experiential store in London that will bring together the brand’s newest tech developments and a bespoke coffee offering, as well as introducing an evening menu complete with beer and wine in the UK for the first time.

The London store, which is based in the West End and is branded as ‘Starbucks Reserve’, aims to bring together three key factors in the consumer experience: convenience, customisation and discovery.

On the tech side the store will include virtual screens, wireless charging and hand-held payment units.

There will also be an evening menu offering freshly made hot food such as truffle mac and cheese and sharing cheese platters with the option to purchase beer and wine. The outlet will also serve unique espressos that are not available in other stores.

When customers enter the store, a waiter will be at hand to take their order and payment. They are then able to wait wherever they want while their beverage is made. Table service is also available.

Ian Cranna, Starbucks VP of marketing and category EMEA, told Marketing Week: “We want to allow the customer to follow any journey they want.

“The idea is that you can order and pay anywhere in the store. We don’t want there to be a queue, so people can come in and move around at will.”

The brand is also keen to showcase its coffee and will offer exclusive drinks as well as the opportunity to buy the beans to take home.

“We haven’t always done as great a job showcasing our coffee. This store has been created to put our coffee at the heart. We also want customers to have an experience. The coffee machines are placed lower, so you can see the barista a lot more clearly. That was important to us,” explained Cranna.

Cranna said that the brand will ‘learn a huge amount’ from the store, and is keen to roll out some elements to other stores.

“We have packed a lot of different elements into one place, so there’ll absolutely be bits of this that you’ll see in the right places depending on where stores come. I’m sure we’ll be doing that,” he added.

Starbucks isn’t the only brand to roll out an evening menu. Pret A Manger is trialling a fine dining evening concept at its Strand-based shop in London, in a bid to take night trade from bars and restaurants.

Starbucks also announced in February this year that it would be serving an evening menu in its newly renovated Stansted Airport store.

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