It's 4 o'clock somewhere, and Starbucks starts the party
The coffee powerhouse is expanding into a range of nighttime choices, including alcoholic beverages.
The menu will include various types of red and white wines, as well as a beer selection for people to enjoy after 4 p.m.
Starbucks said it will not be serving cocktails and doesn’t intend for it to turn into a bar, maintaining its family-friendly atmosphere.
There are 26 locations where you can enjoy its nighttime selections across the Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and Atlanta areas.
The menus differ based on location and local preference but hold various beers and an average of nine wine selections.
Starbucks isn’t concerned that it will turn into adrunken hangoutbecause the items are offered later and hold a more sophisticated vibe like it does during the day.
The menu itself looks delicious as far as pre-prepared food is concerned.
It offers a blue Brie cheese plate, bacon wrapped dates with a balsamic glaze, truffle macaroni and cheese, two different types of flatbread, Parmesan-crusted chicken, chocolate fondue and a salted caramel brownie.
The food overall is an extension of any typical evening time appetizer or tapas bar and are meant to be shared.
Turning the atmosphere from a coffee house to a nighttime lounge could pose a problem for those who go there with the intentions of doing work or reading a book.
Although Starbucks only has its evening menu at a small number of locations, it plans to expand to thousands of locations nationwide over the next few years.
It will continue to serve coffee and its usual menu items throughout the time the evening items are served.
I think the idea is smart, considering Starbucks receives the majority of its business before 2 p.m.
By adding the new options and menu, it is expanding itself to another crowd once the caffeine kick is done for the day.
The only concern this could truly hold is for students or business people who go to Starbucks to try and get work done or relax.
Overall, the additions will increase business during normal down hours, and maybe after a few drinks, people will be more generous with tipping.
Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead told Bloomberg News that the change creates a “meaningful increase in sales during that time of day.”
Vamping up business during the down hours has not only proven to increase sales but has also been a hit with the local people in the areas.
I think Starbucks is proving itself to be more than just a coffeehouse giant.
With an already trusted name and brand people will definitely flock to the locations for a casual evening beverage and hors d’oeuvre.
Let’s just hope the Starbucks on Mill Avenue gets the evening menu so we can all try it for ourselves.
Reach the columnist at Lauren.Klenda@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @laurenklenda