Starbucks express store launches in NYC

The coffee giant downsizes to up efficiency in New York City.

To keep up with the pace of busy customers—whether running to an office building, class or a nursing shift—Starbucks rolled out a pared-down, no-frills prototype on Wall Street in late April. The express-store pilot promises to be “one of the most streamlined experiences in the company’s portfolio,” Starbucks said in a statement announcing the opening. 

  1. To speed throughput, a greeter takes orders via a handheld device before customers arrive at the register. The order is digitally relayed to baristas, who start prepping drinks before time of payment.
  2. Taking orders earlier in the process caters to regulars who know their go-to drink. The express store displays a digital menu board of locally tailored offerings, but on the wall instead of over the counter.

  3. While cash, credit and mobile payment are accepted at the register, Starbucks has integrated its Mobile Order & Pay service, letting customers order and pay remotely by smartphone to speed up the process.
  4. Without much room to wait around, the goal is to get customers in and out fast. The one bottleneck: the straw and creamer station. While staffers work quickly, customers at this DIY area move at their own pace.

Location: Manhattan's Financial District with four more planned in New York City in 2015

Footprint: 538 square feet

Steaing: None

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