It is widely known that Starbucks was one of the leaders in the new experience economy by creating a coffee experience like no other. Since then, others have followed but, Starbucks has just shown that they fully understand the experience economy and how innovation and creativity can continue to add value.
Today Starbucks opened a new coffee experience in Seattle that combines a cafe with a coffee bean roastery as the chain boosts production of its Reserve line of premium coffee. While enjoying their favorite brew, customers can watch workers opening large sacks of raw beans and watch them being roasted. Another feature is a ceiling mounted pneumatic piping system that delivers coffee beans from a large copper silo to a coffee bar where customers sit and enjoy their coffee.
Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead said “That unique roastery experience gives customers an understanding of our heritage.” Added Andre Kim, Senior Concept Design Manager,“We wanted to create a theater of coffee”
It is clear from the above statements that Starbucks has risen, and will continue to thrive because they understand that in today’s world, experiences sell. They also understand the benefits of collaboration by sharing a portion of the 15,000 square feet of space with Serious Pie, the successful brick-oven pizzeria chain that Tom Douglas, a noted Seattle chef and restaurateur created.
Of course, this move by Starbucks will allow them to increase the price of a cup of brew in that location by a not inconsequential amount. It is said that some blends/styles could sell for as much as $8 USD per cup. As this innovation becomes widely known it will also likely have a positive impact on regular store pricing and certainly the bottom line.