Starbucks has opened a 3200 sq ft “Starbucks Reserve” location in Toronto, joining two others in Ottawa and Vancouver. The location offers coffee connoisseurs a highly personalized, curated experience with exotic coffees and high-end brewing methods.
The “Reserve” concept has been introduced as Starbucks faces mounting competition from high-end coffee competitors. The locations are large, strikingly different in design from the usual Starbucks locations, and are staffed by specially trained baristas called “coffee masters.”
Using special equipment and processes, the coffee masters offer unique, small-lot, Reserve-only coffees, including sample coffee “flights” similar to beer tasters offered in bars. Special Reserve-logo merchandise, and the usual Starbucks edibles, are also available.
The chain has plans to open 1000 standalone Reserve stores, as well as Reserve bars at 20 per cent of its main stores.
Starbucks believes the cost of store rental will fall as online shopping erodes brick and mortar stores, making upscale locations more affordable.