Starbucks expands its ‘Corner Café’ vending programme

Starbucks has said it plans to install vending cafés in large offices throughout Europe, expanding upon a pilot it launched in Switzerland last year. Called Corner Café, the Seattle coffee giant’s automated workplace coffee bars feature Starbucks-branded vending machines that dispense coffee, cappuccinos, espressos, chai tea lattes, hot chocolate and more. The programme will make its way to Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Austria this summer. It has been reported that Starbucks plans to expand the initiative to Britain and to have thousands of vending stations in Europe within a few years.

Starbucks piloted Corner Cafés in Switzerland six months ago in partnership with European vending giant Selecta and has about two dozen on location. Employees pay for their own drinks at some machines and employers subsidise them at others.

Moving ahead, Selecta will install, operate, market and service the machines and pay Starbucks a licensing fee. The vending company will purchase branded cups, coffees and other products from Starbucks and procure fresh milk from local suppliers.

Starbucks is not the only coffeehouse giant seeking to place high-end brewers in workplaces. Earlier this year, it was reported that Costa Coffee,  the world’s second-largest coffeehouse chain, is developing its own vending machine with help from Intel. Costa’s CEM-200 is a full-height kiosk that delivers freshly ground and brewed espresso coffee and coffee beverages, prepared with fresh milk when appropriate, in a variety of portion sizes. It incorporates brewing technology by Swiss foodservice brewer manufacturer Thermoplan.

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