AEOUT Observation

Starbucks is a space in which coffee is ordered, served and enjoyed. A medium to large line-up is continuously forming before the cash registers. Forming a cluster of people in an S shaped line. Although the space is used to serve its purpose most efficiently, both the entrance and exit doors are constantly obstructed with people. Tables are set up parallel to the line where people sit, talk and enjoy their coffee – obstructing the order area even more. A small study space is placed around a faux fire place including two couches and 2 large tables. With ambient lighting and smoothing music a relaxing, comforting home-like atmosphere is created. Among the tables and lines are pleasantly decorated display stands of coffee, mugs, books and accessories. People stop to examine and inspect the various objects for sale. Although the Starbucks is a pleasant place to enjoy both a delicious cup of coffee, talk to friends or study with the free wifi offered. There is a key issue, the place is overcrowded. The two large tables placed at the back of the coffee shop are pleasant for studying however they take up large amounts of space that could be dedicated to a resourceful way of seating customers or constructing a new line up strategy. If customers had the option of using the current Starbucks cards with a pre-ordered drink setting, drinks would be placed before the customer arrives at the Starbucks location. When the customer arrives they can go directly to the order pick up area, look for either an order number or name or their cup. This option can easily be turned into a phone App or online ordering. Recommended drinks are featured on a chalk board, talk about prehistoric. If Starbucks had an Ipad section of recommended drinks that you can flip through and decide accompanied by descriptive phrases and appealing images. With small Starbucks locations, it is difficult to accommodate the idea of an “at home” feel with traditional line-ups and large tables, couches, fireplaces. If the location was larger, by all means there is space to replicate your own living room. With smaller Starbucks locations it would be smart to modernise both the order process and line up process by including digital options. This would filter out mainly the people that are in a hurry and already know their orders, avoiding unnecessarily crowded line ups. Those who are unsure can line up and take their time with their orders followed by a long relaxing conversation by the fire place.

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