The next time you are in Goa or Siliguri for a holiday, don’t be surprised to see a Starbucks near you. The company which set foot in India a decade back has opened its 250th cafe in India including 4 other cities such as Nasik, Bhubneswar, Gauhati and Thiruvanathapuram. Other than this, the company also opened it’s newest format – a drive through concept, notably in Chandigarh, a city which has deep connections with the American coffee brand with almost one person in each household in the region currently or in the past having lived in the US. The company announced its entry in to new cities with announcements on Twitter, which has caught the interest of netizens and citizens alike.
“Tata Starbucks is grounded in growing with its partners and customers together and thus expanding our footprint in India is a matter of great pride for us,” Tata Starbucks CEO Sushant Dash said in an official press release. “The stores are a fusion of the signature Starbucks warm and welcoming design and the city’s local culture and craftsmanship, serving as an extension of the neighbourhoods we serve,” it added. “The drive-thru format offers added convenience for customers who want to pick up their orders from their car, or travelers on the go. Located next to the Chandigarh-Ambala highway, customers can also stop for a quick break to enjoy their Starbucks favourites in the café, with two levels of in-store seating, free Wi-Fi, and Starbucks merchandise available for purchase. At the drive-thru window, a Starbucks partner will greet each customer and take their order, adding an element of warmth to the experience,” the release said.
India has an estimated 2,000 cafes across the country of which over 1,000+ cafes are still run by the poster boy brand “Cafe Coffee Day”. While CCD has shut hundreds of its locations, it continues to remain the largest cafe chain in the country. Barista, Costa, McCafe add up together to less than 100 cafes while there are 100s of local cafe chains and independent stores currently in India. Due to the lockdown and the disruption led by Covid-19, a number of cafes have been either shut down or have remodelled their businesses with a deep focus on take-away and home deliveries. however, the cafe experience is something to be consumed while “at the cafe’” and perhaps not while watching a movie or a web series in an OTT. A cafe shall continue to remain the third and preferred place for anyone after home and work place.