Can Starbucks Morph Into A Night Meeting Place?

Given that Starbucks was one of the earliest forces behind selling truly dark coffee, can the coffee chain find money in a different form of dark? Starbucks is aggressively testing night programs at select stores, to see if customers will embrace Starbucks during after-work hours. Clarice Turner, Starbucks' SVP of U.S. operations, is managing the work on preparing for night specials. For the past three-and-a-half years, Turner has developed and expanded Starbucks Evenings, which includes small plates, desserts, beer and wine. The company is testing the program in Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington Dulles International Airport and Portland, Ore. "The reason we even started down this path was that it came from our customers. They wanted a way to relax and unwind in the afternoons and evenings. We talked to them to figure out what they wanted, and they came up with small plates and said, 'Wouldn't it be great to have beer and wine?' We're a very innovative company, so customers expect us to evolve. In Europe, a lot of those coffeehouses evolve as the day goes on. Maybe the music changes and small plates are served, and it becomes more of a gathering place, but people can still drink tea or hot chocolate." Story

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