Back in June, Starbucks announced they’d be closing 400 of their dine-in U.S. locations. within the next year In November, they added 100 more to that number.
Starbucks is pivoting away from being a “third place” for their customers, as COVID-19 has changed coffee drinkers’ habits. Instead, they’re doubling down on contactless ordering options like curbside pickup, drive-thru, and mobile-only pickup.
But don’t worry; Starbucks is still opening new stores — a net gain of 50 in 2021. Locations in big cities are seeing declines, so expect new stores to open up in suburban areas.
Here’s what you need to know:
Starbucks is moving away from sit-down stores & toward pickup-only.
Part of Starbucks’ current restructuring is to close 500 of its traditional cafe-like stores and pivot to stores that cater to convenience, like their pickup-only stores, which they began testing in 2019.
The first pickup stores opened in Manhattan, NY, and Toronto, Canada. The third pickup store is scheduled to open near Grand Central Station, NY in the near future.
Existing stores are getting upgrades to support pickup and order-ahead features.
Starbucks found that 80% of orders in the United States were placed using the order and pay ahead feature in the Starbucks app, then picked up at the pickup counter.
Starbucks will now add a separate pickup counter for mobile orders to more of their stores. (You may have used this already at your local Starbucks.)
Drive-thrus will start to look different soon, too.
Starbucks will also expand drive-thrus with new concepts like double lanes or a special lane for order-ahead pickups.