Starbucks pins hopes on ‘visible’ kitchen model

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Coffee giant Starbucks believes a new ‘visible’ store lay-out and kitchen at its latest site in Covent Garden will give it the edge in the battle for customers.

The Upper St. Martin’s Lane store features an on-site micro kitchen, allowing staff to produce pastries and other hot food. The company has brought in equipment from brands such as combi oven supplier Houno to create the new set-up, which is completely open for customers to see.

Rachel Chatterton, R&D manager for food and beverage at Starbucks, regards the fact that customers can see its food and coffee being freshly prepared in front of them as a key feature of the store.

“It is a significant step change from our traditional store format as it allows customers to see the pride our partners have in preparing food and coffee,” she told FEJ.

“We believe this transparency makes our food offering more attractive to customers while remaining practical for partners [franchisees]. The size of the kitchen and layout indicates the scale and volume that we envisage this kitchen to produce.”

Prior to launch, Starbucks had to factor in a period for staff to get up to speed with the kit that they are now using on a daily basis. “

As this format is so new, our store team of 30 employees underwent a month-long training course learning how to operate new kitchen equipment and new coffee brewing methods,” said Chatterton. “Partners also participated in extensive food hygiene courses and wine sommelier courses.”

Read the full story in the February issue of FEJ.

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