Starbucks now has about 70 US locations serving beer and wine during the evening hours in New York City, Denver, Miami, Orlando, and California. It is turning baristas into bartenders.
Like all forward thinking retailers, Starbucks is examining ways to increase night traffic in its stores. The alcoholic drinks are served with mac & cheese, flatbreads, meat balls with tomato basil sauce, cheese plates, chicken skewers, and truffle popcorn.
While 70 locations maybe considered a small subset of total locations (7,000+), Starbucks is merely testing this new menu offering, which requires skill, practice, and strong compliance to age restrictions. Its plans are to have alcohol in about 25% of its locations by 2020. This aggressive goal is about the need to constantly change to be relevant, and also about adding about $1 billion in sales to the top line.