Starbucks Corp. debuted this week its first express unit in New York City.
Described by the company as an “espresso shot” version of a traditional Starbucks coffeehouse, the 538-square-foot location at 14 Wall Street is designed for speed and efficiency.
Workers take orders at the entryway with hand-held devices. Mobile point-of-sale positions are placed throughout the unit to help manage wait times.
Horizontal wood paneling on the walls and ceiling give a sense of depth. Digital menu boards are displayed on four low-glare monitors offering a limited menu that has been tailored for New York customers, Starbucks said.
At night, the display serves as “a form of art,” with glowing images of coffee farms shining through the front window.
“It was a small space, so it was important that we keep it as open as possible,” John Park, Starbucks’ senior architectural designer, said in a statement. “The bar is low and the kitchen framed wide, like a show kitchen, so our partners are able to interact with customers from every point in the space.”
The location meets environmentally friendly LEED building standards.
Four more express locations are scheduled to open in New York in 2015 as part of the pilot program, the company said.
The smaller format is an example of how Starbucks is evolving its look and design to fit consumer needs and vary the customer experience.
Earlier this year, Starbucks said 500 locations will add Starbucks Reserve bars, where the company’s premium micro-lot coffees will be showcased and served in various brewing methods, like pour-over, siphon and Clover.
Starbucks is also adding drive-thru locations, which account for more than 40 percent of U.S. units, the company said. The brand may soon serve out of mobile trucks on college campuses.
The chain is also rolling out mobile ordering and payment later this year, as well as delivery in some markets.
Starbucks has pledged to grow its 22,000 units around the world to more than 30,000 locations over the next five years. The company operates and licenses about 14,000 units in the U.S.