Starbucks is ramping up its plans roll out wine and craft beer menus in stores across the country.
The coffee chain will start selling alcohol and small plates — such as bacon-wrapped dates with balsamic glaze and Parmesan crusted chicken skewers — at two dozen new locations this week, USA Today reports.
That brings the total number of stores now offering the “Evenings” menu to more than 75.
Within the next 12 months, the company expects its Evenings menu to be available at hundreds of stores nationwide, Cliff Burrows, the head of Starbucks’ US operations, said last month during an earnings call.
By 2019, Starbucks plans to offer the menu at 2,000 of its 12,000 stores in the US. Many of the stores will be redesigned to become more conducive to evening gatherings with additional lounge seating.
The next cities and regions to get a beer and wine menu at Starbucks include Denver, Miami, Orlando, Northern California, and Brooklyn, the company told Business Insider.
“We learned resoundingly that our customers want to come to Starbucks and have a glass of wine or a craft beer,” Rachel Antalek, Starbucks’ vice president of concept innovations, told USA Today. “There aren’t that many places to go in the evening where you can go very relaxed, very casual. It’s not loud. You can actually have a small group and hear yourself talk.”
Starbucks’ internal research on its pilot Evenings stores revealed that women accounted for 60% of the customers after 4 p.m.
The new menu also attracted groups that might otherwise meet at someone’s home, such as knitting groups, book clubs, and Bible study groups, according to USA Today.
Some analysts have warned that the Evenings menu could slow down service, forcing baristas to focus on preparing complicated food items in addition to filling coffee, tea, wine, and beer orders.
But evenings are typically a slower period for Starbucks, and the company’s renewed focus on food during lunch and breakfast has paid off. Food sales grew 16% in the most recent quarter, including a 35% increase during breakfast.
Here’s a sampling of what the Starbucks Evenings menu offers:
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