DESIGN | Staff Reporter, UK

New Starbucks store promotes interaction between bartenders and customers

The new Starbucks store at Upper St. Martin’s Lane was designed for interaction between Starbucks partners and customers.

“The store is a platform of connection,” said Ad de Hond, vice president of Design.

“Everything in the store is visible – the way we make our coffees, the way we prepare and present our food, and the way we interact with our customers.”

Instead of a queue at the cash register, customers will be greeted by a host, who can invite customers to sit down and relax or quickly get coffee for take-away.

“The special thing is that we moved our partners from behind the bar into the store,” said de Hond.

“Customers can order wherever and whenever they want through handheld devices. We hope to reduce the idea of standing in line.”

An open kitchen will offer a menu of freshly prepared food for breakfast, lunch and evenings. Floor-to-ceiling walls of glass visually link the interior to the happenings on the street outside.

Upper St. Martin's Lane will also serve specialty beverages such as Shakerato, Sparkling Mint Espresso, and flights of coffee to allow customers to do side-by-side tastings of coffees from around the world.

“The coffee bar you see is rounded at the front near the glass and low. It’s a theatre for Starbucks Reserve coffee,” said de Hond.

“The coffee bar can be seen from the outside, like a billboard inviting customers to come in.”

The Upper St. Martin's Lane store is the UK’s second Starbucks Evenings location, serving a curated menu of wine and craft beer after 4 p.m.

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