SEATTLE -- Starbucks Corp. said it plans to install vending cafés in large offices throughout Europe, expanding upon a pilot it launched in Switzerland last fall.
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 program will make its way to Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Austria this summer.
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 subsidize them at others.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Starbucks plans to expand the initiative to Britain and to have thousands of vending stations in Europe within a few years.
Moving ahead, Selecta will install, operate, market and service the machines and pay Starbucks a licensing fee, according to the WSJ. The vending company will purchase branded cups, coffees and other products from Starbucks and procure fresh milk from local suppliers.
Selecta provides office coffee service to more than 100,000 workplace locations in Europe and more than 15,000 in Switzerland.
Starbucks is not the only coffeehouse giant seeking to place high-end brewers in workplaces. Earlier this year, Vending Times reported that Costa Coffee (Dunstable, UK), 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. | SEE STORY