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