Starbucks is many people’s number one choice for some good coffee and a quiet place to study. It has recently been announced, though, that it will now be selling alcohol as part of their evening menu, which will begin at 4 p.m.
Selling beer and wine at Starbucks actually started back in 2010 at the Seattle location. Because of the success, the coffee company decided to move this idea to 26 other locations including Chicago, Los Angeles and Portland.
This idea seems it would work considering the business slows down at night since not many people want to drink caffeine right before they go to bed. However, selling alcohol may attract those customers who do enjoy a simple glass of wine with a couple friends.
“The concept is a natural progression for Starbucks as we seek to create a new occasion for customers to gather, relax and connect with each other in the evenings,” spokeswoman Lisa Passé said to USA Today.
This could also help the sales of Starbucks since the cost of drinks would be more expensive than a cup of coffee. According to CEO Howard Shultz, the typical Starbucks customer spends about $5 per visit; a glass of beer or wine can instantly double that figure.
Even though this could potentially bring in more customers, and money, it could also lose some of its old customers who want to use Starbucks for a place to study.
Some Illinois State University students are not too thrilled about the idea either.
“It sounds like a superfluous bid for money. I think that if they want to expand their drink selection to include alcohol, it should be coffee-oriented, like Irish coffee. It just seems like a sleazy corporate ploy to exploit college students,” senior philosophy major Rebecca Hays said.
Selling coffee with some Bailey’s would make much more sense since Starbucks is a coffee shop. But it seems this idea is not going to happen anytime soon since Passé stated to USA Today that Starbucks has no plans of selling any other kind of alcoholic beverage besides beer and wine. Overall, though, I am not completely opposed to the idea of selling alcohol.
Considering the Starbucks atmosphere, it does not seem it will turn into a bar-setting environment. Yes, there will be alcohol and people usually tend to be louder. However, I can’t imagine it getting too rowdy like a typical bar or pub.
I could actually see this becoming a tremendous success. Grabbing a glass of wine or beer is relaxing after a long day of work or school. During the evenings, unless I am trying to study, I am usually not in the mood for more caffeine to keep me up and going. By this time of day, I am trying to relax and enjoy the rest of my night.
Along with this, they are creating a new food menu that will go well with the wine and beer such as truffle macaroni and cheese, chicken and roasted tomato flatbread and bacon-wrapped dates.
Starbucks is probably doing this to make more money. But, I am fond of the idea and think a change on their menu will not do much harm to their relaxed and mellow environment.
Christina Danno is a senior philosophy and English studies major in addition to being a copy editor and columnist for The Vidette. Questions or comments regarding her column can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.