Booze Coming To Thousands Of Starbucks Locations, Eventually

After a few years of testing and slowly expanding the number of Starbucks shops that serve alcohol, the coffee colossus says it will be going wide with that evening menu of adult snacks and drinks. But don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Starbucks’ COO Troy Alstead says that the booze and nibbles offerings — which began with an attempt to rebrand a few stores in 2009, then began testing in earnest at a handful of locations in 2010, followed by an expansion to a few additional stores in 2012 — “is a program that works,” and that every time they have made it available in a new location, “there’s a meaningful increase in sales during that time of the day.”

Currently, only 40 of the more than 11,000 U.S. Starbucks are involved in the program, but Alsted said that they will be bringing it to thousands of more stores in the foreseeable future. However, don’t start pestering your barrista for a glass of Malbec just yet, as the process could take years to roll out.

Additionally, Alsted admits that some locations just won’t be a good fit for the program. It seems like the most likely Starbucks to get into the booze biz will be those in densely populated urban areas, where the store could become part of an already active nightlife scene.

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