Recapping the Starbucks Roastery Concept

For most, mornings are not complete without a cup or two of your
favorite joe. When Howard Shultz, Starbucks’s former and
long-running CEO, claimed that he was inspired to build his coffee
empire from what he experienced during his early travels in Italy
(specifically Milan), it is indeed telling that the company has
waited this long before pushing full force into this hallowed
market. Visiting the country affords nearly every traveler the
right to outstanding coffee, with a perfect little café adorning
nearly every city block. So, when Starbucks decided to make its
move, it had to be bold and it had to be different from what’s
considered the norm in Italy’s coffee culture – to not only
earn the ongoing praise of locals but to hopefully also give the
company another revenue stream that they could export around the
world. The Milan Roastery Starbucks decided to
enter the Italian market starting in Milan with a single store –
the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Milan. Converting a historic post
office, it is undoubtedly the largest Starbucks in the world.
Dominated by a multi-story, unobstructed roastery and adjoining
packing line in its center, eight serving counters wrap around the
outer walls with coffee-related merchandise sold in the middle. On
the mezzanine, you’ll find a bar with a half-dozen mixologists
whisking together a wide range of alcoholic beverages with,
surprisingly, no coffee service on this level. Instead, with most
every order comes free pizza to ply patrons with a little nosh. On
a weekday afternoon, service was brisk and efficient. Above all,
the coffee was superb. Looking over the vast expanse from my
balcony seat, I estimated about 400 people actively pursuing a cup
of their favorite brew as they watched the brewers shuffling about
in the center to roast and bundle the beans on the spot.
It’s All About the Experience While every café
in Europe has its charm, the experience offered by this Reserve
Roastery was exceptional, and therefore memorable. While any place
can inevitably make a fantastic cappuccino, here it’s all about
the experience and the vivid activation of the five senses. Beyond
the taste, think of how the wafting of freshly roasted beans
smells, how the constant grinding of those beans from every corner
plays on the ear drums or simply how having so many people in one
room resembles less a traditional café and more a German beer
hall. Applying this to the hospitality industry, how do you move
your aspects of your business from serviceable or great to
something truly experiential? Certainly, you’re not going to
spend a massive amount of CapEx to build a roastery in the center
of your restaurant, but the core idea of full sensory activation is
nevertheless critical for the next evolution of your operations.
Thinking experientially does not have to be limited to your coffee
program, of course. Initiate a dialogue with your staff to see how
you can slowly integrate newer and wilder ideas into your
restaurants, your bars, your lounge areas, your pool areas, your
meeting spaces or anywhere else that’s guest-facing. Ask what
measures can be taken to create elements of your service delivery
with a unique thumbprint. Hotels must be fun and exceptional in
order to truly command an upwardly moving ADR and to create
year-round demand. Designing micro-experiences are a great way to
make your hotel stand out.
Source: FS – All-Hotels-Blogs
Recapping the Starbucks Roastery Concept