Starbucks disciples, take a seat and perk up your ears. Big changes are afoot in your favourite chain, and you may not like them. The Canadian president Rossann Williams has let slip that Starbucks will start serving an evening menu that will include (brace yourself) wine, beer, and tapas.
Before you panic, pause for a moment to consider that 60 per cent of Starbucks clientele is made up of women, who face a genuine shortage of evening venues. Think about it. Where else can you turn when you want to enjoy a quiet glass of wine and conversation with a girlfriend? When contemplating a local book club venue recently, my friends and I were met with a depressing dearth of options that didn't involve us having to shout over Hockey Night in Canada.
I was reminded of that Paula Cole song from years ago: Where have all the unpretentious wine bars gone?
The idea of noshing on some shared flatbreads, olives, nuts and cheese, paired with an affordable wine may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your beloved Starbucks. That doesn't mean it's an unwelcome concept, though. Starbucks by day could look one way—in the evening, another.
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More and more businesses are having to think out of their coffee cup. Starbucks hasn't gone unscathed, with its coffee sales reportedly flat lining. Let's face it, with the Tim's takeover and so many of our favourite companies going under, evolution is sometimes a necessary evil.
Some new menu items will be rolled out in Ontario and B.C. as early as March. Other, less controversial changes—including carbonated summer drinks and 401 drive-thrus—are also on the horizon.
With McDonald's elbowing into the coffee market, Starbucks has had to up its food game. From next month, locally sourced pastries from bakery La Boulange will make a welcome appearance. I say "welcome" because I've lost track of how many times I've been let down by stale Starbucks snacks.
So far, the changes have been positive in the U.S., with a 15 per cent jump in sales. Will loyal Canadians be so receptive to the Starbucks evolution? It remains to be seen.
You tell me: How do you feel about the changes brewing at Starbucks?
Image Source: WikiCommons