Starbucks (www.starbucks.com)

Starbucks (www.starbucks.com)

In an effort to boost sales during their slowest hours, Starbucks has opened up their menu to serve alcoholic beverages at select locations.

 

It is a simple idea; every night after 4 p.m., Starbucks offers up a new “Starbucks Evening Menu” with tapas, select beers and wine. Although one of the first few locations to introduce this new menu was a lone Starbucks in Seattle, Wash. in 2010, the company has high hopes for the new menu.

 

Since the Seattle launch in 2010, Starbucks has expanded their evening menu to a few more locations in the United States such as Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Portland, Maine; Seattle, Wash.; and Washington, D.C. Starbucks plans to expand the evening menu to 40 locations by the end of the year, and hopefully 20,000 locations in the United States and Canada within the next couple years.

 

According to Bloomberg News, Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead stated, “we’ve tested long enough in enough markets. This is a program that works … As we bring the evening program to stores, there’s a meaningful increase in sales during that time of day.” USA Today reported that Starbucks generates 70 percent of their sales before 2 p.m., so the attempt to fill those dead hours is not unusual for a business.

 

Starbucks (www.starbucks.com)

Starbucks (www.starbucks.com)

However, Business Insider suggests that this could be a total flop. Due to their rapidly changing menu, Starbuck’s baristas are going to have a hard time keeping up with the new recipes and learning to prepare them quickly and efficiently. This may also make it harder for people looking for just a small cup of black coffee to get their order quickly which, could very well translate into a drop in those particular types of sales.

 

Most people ask some basic questions: does this mean you have to be 21 or older in order to get into the store after 4 p.m.? Also, would baristas have to be 21 or older to serve the alcohol in some states? The answers are simple: each county has its own laws on how they regulate the sale and distribution of alcohol. This is why it takes so long to get the menu incorporated into their existing locations; Starbucks has a lot of legal issues they need to sort through and resolve before they can introduce the menu in each county.

 

Want to see if there is a location near you? Check out the Starbucks web site for a list of locations.

 

What do you think of this new Evening Menu at Starbucks? Have you tried it? Do you think it’s a great way to boost sales in dead hours, or a bad idea that will eventually backfire? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @kateeb790!