Starbucks Goes Big…and Small

Starbucks_Pickup Store

It’s been a busy few months for Starbucks. Nine days after introducing its pickup-only micro-format store in New York City’s Penn Station, the chain went to the opposite extreme, opening Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago. The latter is the company’s largest store, with three main coffee bars, a bakery cafe and a cocktail bar. Here’s how the two compare:

Starbucks Pickup

Mobile order and pay

Penn Plaza, New York City

1,000 sq. ft

0 seats

Grab and Go

Customers order and pay through the app. They can track their coffee or food order on an in-store status board and retrieve it from a shelf. A barista is on hand to offer additional help.

Equipment Highlights

Drinks are made behind the scenes but out front, guests see:

  • Digital status screen
  • Tiered pickup shelves at the center of the store
  • Special shelving off to the side holds orders for delivery runners

Starbucks Reserve Roastery

An immersive experience, “coffee theater”

Michigan Avenue, Chicago 35,000 sq. ft. (five floors)

175 seats at the fourth-floor cocktail bar, alone

Sit and Stay:

Visitors can watch coffee being roasted, eat sandwiches and soups at the Princi Bakery & Cafe, gawk as baristas showcase experimental techniques or sip locally themed cocktails at the bar.

Equipment Highlights:

  • Seven brewing methods, including espresso, siphon, Chemex, Clover, pour over and cold brewing
  • • 56-ft. steel cask holds beans after they’re roasted
  • Custom conveyor transports breads and other goods from the second-floor bakery
  • Liquid nitrogen gelato making equipment
  • Barrels for aging craft coffee drinks


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