Starbucks is to open 200 new drive-thru coffee shops in the next five years – 100 of which will be operated under licence by Top 50 Indie Euro Garages.
The 2011 Forecourt Trader of the Year winner Euro Garages will operate drive-thru Starbucks stores in the Midlands and north of England – adding to the 14 it already runs.
Zuber Issa, managing director of Euro Garages, said: “Our partnership with Starbucks has been a huge success to date. We’re delighted to be making such a positive announcement about our expansion together that will create new and exciting employment opportunities for so many people across our sites.”
Starbucks said it is developing a new drive-thru concept store, which will bring new levels of comfort and environmental performance to the roadside, and combined with openings of conventional stores over next five years, the company expects to create 5,000 new jobs.
Kris Engskov, managing director of Starbucks UK & Ireland, said: “Customers told us that they now expect the best possible coffee wherever they are and the success of our first drive-thru stores shows that this is a huge opportunity.
“It also means that we are able to create quality jobs at a time when they are most needed and because half of our baristas are under 24 years-old, this will particularly benefit young jobseekers at a time of record youth unemployment.”
The news has been welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said: “I welcome Starbucks’ announcement, and I am glad to see continued investment and job creation in the private sector. Starbucks’ plans to open 200 new stores, creating 5,000 jobs, are a great boost for the British economy and the local communities that will directly benefit from these openings.”
Starbucks UK has recorded consistent sales growth during the past two years following a series of innovations ranging from switching to 100% Fairtrade espresso, launching new store designs, introducing stronger ‘Flat White’ coffee, offering new food, free Wi-Fi, and sharing success with employees through free shares known as Beanstock.
It has also found many new places to sell its coffee, including on trains and planes as well as in supermarkets and workplaces. In 2010, Starbucks opened 35 motorway stores with Welcome Break, serving seven million cups in the first year of operation.