Starbucks Expands ‘Evenings’ Program Across US

 

Starbucks Expands 'Evenings' Program Across USIn an attempt to widen brand versatility, Starbucks is taking its ‘Evenings’ menu to more American locations.

When you think of Starbucks, what crosses your mind first? If your response is anything other than the word ‘coffee’ – or perhaps ‘scones’ – you’re part of a tiny minority. Starbucks is looking to change that, with an expansion of their ‘Evenings’ line.

Starbucks Evenings includes a menu of beer and wine offerings, along with small appetizers and tapas. The idea, of course, is to change the image of Starbucks as a morning-only destination. After picking up a caffeine jolt on the way to work, most consumers likely don’t have Starbucks on their minds later in the day.

Truth be told, there is a demand for the sort of casual drinking environment offered by Starbucks Evenings. Unlike traditional bars and pubs – where ‘chatting’ often means ‘shouting at each other over loud music and even louder customers’ – Starbucks offers a laid-back atmosphere that’s ideal for book clubs or Bible-study groups.

Test locations in America have been quite popular with women, who make up 60 percent of Evenings patrons. That makes quite a bit of sense to me. How uneven is the ratio between male- and female-targeted bars in America? There’s countless male-oriented sports bars – such as Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings – but coming up with counterexamples that market primarily to women is a difficult venture.

As Starbucks expands ‘Evenings’ to over 2,000 of its 12,000 US locations, don’t be surprised if the after-dinner scene makes its presence felt at a franchisee near you.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

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Starbucks Delivers Right to Your Desk

Watch out drones, Starbucks will soon begin delivering right to your desk.

Starbucks delivery

Starbucks delivery. Pumpkin spiced lattes right to your mouth, no movement necessary.

In 2015, the coffee giant will launch its new mobile-payment app allowing customers to order without waiting in line. Latter next year, they are plan on making food-and-beverage deliveries in select markets. Delivery will only be available to loyalty-program members though, but who isn’t going to become one after this news?

Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz believes delivery and mobile payment will be “E-commerce on steroids”. Forrester Research estimates that the mobile payments market in the U.S. will reach $90 billion by 2017 with restaurants like Taco Bell and Wendy’s already launching their own mobile apps. As if people weren’t staring at their phones enough.

By adding mobile payment and delivery, Starbucks is totally quenching consumer thirst for new technology. But this might come with some risks. Many of Starbucks’ drinks are temperature-sensitive. With time for delivery, an iced drink could arrive watered down, and a hot one could arrive lukewarm. And what about the coffee shop culture: the free WiFi, the hipster barista, the quirky name spelling on the cup. Oh, and, my favorite, listening to people place orders.

If only there was a way for Starbucks to deliver intravenously…. Someone tell them to get this idea brewing.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

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Starbucks Pours Beer-Flavored Latte

Starbucks is pouring beer-flavored latte.  Eew.  Totally sounds gross to me.

Starbucks Experimenting With Beer-Flavored Latte

This new dark barrel latte from Starbucks is an experiment in flipping the script on coffee-flavored beers.

Coffee-flavored beer has existed for ages. Whichever local microbrewery is nearest you likely has some sort of coffee stout. It’s a flavor profile with proven staying power…for beers. How would you feel if the script was flipped, and instead of a coffee-flavored beer, you were drinking a beer-flavored coffee?

That’s the selling point of Starbucks’ new Dark Barrel Latte, which is based on the rather insane concept that people over the age of 22 want beer for breakfast. The beverage – which is non-alcoholic, for the record – is geared to taste like a Guinness-type stout. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want my morning coffee to taste like is beer of any kind.

I was schlepping through grocery store the other day and saw cappuccino-flavored potato chips. Now I see that Starbucks is creating beer-flavored coffee. Can’t we just let things taste like they taste? If I want a mocha, I’ll order a mocha instead of eating mocha chips. Same thing applies to this new beer-flavored coffee. Enough is enough.

I’m officially declaring war on anything that is artificially scented or flavored to taste like a completely different food or beverage. I just don’t get it. Not to mention the fact that I can’t help but wonder what sort of crazy chemistry went into making coffee taste like beer.

Bottom line: If you’re the kind of person who needs your morning kickstarted by the flavor of beer, you probably have a problem that requires professional help. The kind that Starbucks can’t provide.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

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Huffing at Starbucks in Arlington, MA

Last week police removed a man from the Arlington Center Starbucks  (in Arlington, MA) for alleged huffing.

Seemingly a venti mocha cappuccino wasn’t enough to get the anonymous Arlington man through the day. So instead of adding a couple of shots of espresso to his coffee he decided to sniff from two bottles of keyboard “dust off” (apparently he couldn’t get his hands on any glue).

Huffing is the colloquial term used to describe the sniffing of intoxicative inhalants.  The fumes cause a slew of side effects, including light-headedness, dizziness, incoherence and involuntary loss of muscle control. While some might find these symptoms reminiscent of a bad case of the flu, others actually enjoy the high.

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However, if you’re planning on huffing you should probably do it within the privacy of your own home. As the Arlington Starbucks huffer has learned, sniffing from bottles in broad daylight in a crowded public place does, indeed, attract attention. A Starbucks manager noticed the man’s odd, erratic behavior and his bottles of dust off and promptly called the police. While the man was not arrested, the police did give the man a verbal no trespass order and encouraged him to seek out help for his problem.

I guess the huffer left the shop in a huff.

Posted by Howard Davidson in Arlington, MA

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