Starbucks already has the caffeine to rev you up in the mornings, but the coffee chain also wants to help you wind down later in the day. The company is gradually rolling out an evening menu, including beer, wine, and small plates available after 4 p.m. Think truffle mac and cheese and bacon-wrapped dates.
As of this week, some 70 stores across the country will carry the expanded menu.
This is a clever way to get people into the stores during the slower evening hours, says John Staszak, an analyst who covers Starbucks for Argus Research.
“After dinner, [customer traffic] starts to trail off,” he says. “People don’t want to become caffeinated at 9 p.m.”
However, the Starbucks customers I talked to are divided about whether they’d turn to their local barista for booze.
“Why not?” says Nicole Thomas, a medical research assistant in New York. She’s already a twice-a-day Starbucks customer and says she’d definitely add a visit for a glass of wine while waiting to meet friends after work.
But Jennifer Chien, who works in digital marketing, isn’t sold. She’ll visit Starbucks for her daily four shots of espresso, but not for an Italian prosecco or Californian chardonnay.
“There’s so many other bars in the city,” she says.
Starbucks says the rollout will continue at select locations only.