Starbucks is making a move to serve beer and wine in their stores across America. Apparently 6 stores located in the Pacific Northwest have been selling alcohol for some time and, according to the Seattle Times, the service has been a real success so far. As it is at Starbucks, beer and wine sales begin around 2PM with sales growth going into the double digits by 4PM. It’s been such a success that now the plan is to move the trend eastward beginning in Chicago next year. The idea is catching a lot of flack from groups across the board. Loyal patrons are concerned about what will happen to their neighborhood Starbucks and some, already disenchanted with the corporate giant, think the idea is another misstep. Personally, I’m all for it.
In my neighborhood we have a coffee shop that serves great beer in bottles and on tap.Ã‚Â It’s a typical coffee house environment with your typical coffee house vibes but they’ve opened themselves up to new business by providing spirits along with their java. For me it’s a place to have casual meetings with my co-workers after work. I always get one of their choice stouts while Callie orders a macchiato, Maggie grabs a chai latte and Brandon drinks grain alcohol from a flask. The point is, everyone is happy. We talk business. We talk pleasure. We just talk. As long as no one has too much caffeine or too much alcohol, it remains a really good environment for people who are underage or are uncomfortable with drinking alcohol to partake in “after-work drinks”.
Of course the last thing Starbucks wants is to become a bar. They need the customer working on his novella/screenplay who spends $200 a week on croissants and espresso. They don’t want drunk patrons ruining the library-like atmosphere and driving out the old customers.
I think it’s safe to say that wouldn’t be the case. People can joke about what-ifs but it’s unlikely that alcoholics are going to make Starbucks their watering hole of choice. Starbucks will probably replace baseball stadiums as the most expensive place to buy beer and the mood music in Starbucks isn’t exactly conducive to club-going, young frataholics. Restricting themselves to expensive craft brews and higher end options and opting out of the Budweiser and Corona scene should discourage people from ordering large quantities. More than likely a beer and wine menu might bring a group of drinkers with self-control and a decent budget.
There are 11,000 Starbucks stores in the United States. In a year, a total of eleven will carry alcohol. It’s safe to say that 00.1% of stores carrying spirits isn’t a wave of change likely to overtake your neighborhood Starbucks. Even it does you can always walk the half block to the next Starbucks that doesn’t serve alcohol.
So keep going (or not going) to Starbucks. Beer and wine are a long way off. Meanwhile, enjoy this e-card.