Starbucks to take its ‘Willy Wonka’ concept worldwide

SSP adds to foodservice offerings at Euston Station with new Starbucks and Caffè Ritazza

Starbucks has revealed plans to export a ‘Willy Wonka-style’ café concept that it owns to major cities around the world.

The chain plans to take ‘The Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room’ international following the runaway success of its maiden store in Seattle. Customers can watch beans travelling in clear and copper tubes around the store, capturing the journey of a bean going from roast to brew to cup.

Starbucks claims the concept is ripe for expansion, with “international attention” helping to propel the Roastery brand to new levels.

Starbucks has not yet confirmed which locations it will target first, but it will almost certainly be examining its options in the UK.

COO Kevin Johnson confirmed that chief creative officer and president of global innovation, Arthur Rubinfeld, will lead the efforts to expand the number of Starbucks Roasteries globally and take “end-to-end operational responsibility” for all new stores.

“Arthur’s history and world-class experience in design and development will help us quickly and elegantly scale the incredible experience we’ve begun in Seattle,” he said.

“In addition, Arthur will leverage several of the design elements and our experience with the Roastery to lead our creative and development efforts for a new format of Starbucks Reserve Stores.

“He will work closely with the retail and operations teams on this new concept and once these new stores are opened, the operating teams in the field will be responsible for scaling and operating these stores as they do other Starbucks store formats in our global footprint.”

Johnson added that the roll-out represented a “historic opportunity to create differentiation and premium quality in the coffee experience”.

The decision to expand the Roastery business globally comes less than a week after Starbucks dashed any hopes of its ‘La Boulange’ sandwich chain ever entering the UK market by axing it completely.

The company acquired the business as part of a strategy to step up its food offering, but revealed that it plans to shutter all 23 La Boulange bakery cafes, as well two manufacturing facilities that serve the locations, by the end of September.

It said the stores were “not sustainable” for the company’s growth, although the La Boulange brand will continue to play a role in the future of Starbucks food in stores.

Starbucks said its ambitions to grow its food business and deliver an incremental $2 billion (£1.26billion) in the next five years in the US remained unchanged.

In the most recent quarter, food delivered growth of 16%. Sales of its new breakfast sandwiches contributed a noteworthy 35% year-over-year growth in the breakfast platform. The company’s lunch platform also delivered double-digit year-over-year gains.

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