Contracts being finalized to bring Starbucks to new b-school buildings
Some coffee cups on campus will soon be sporting a familiar green logo, pending final contracts being signed.
An Aramark-operated Starbucks franchise is scheduled to open in the new business school buildings upon completion of Knight and Bauer Halls March 1.
The Starbucks will be located in the elevated cafe and food service area along the central glass atrium, in addition to an unbranded deli, pizza, salad and international food station.
The business school is now in final negotiations with Aramark food service provider to offer a food service plan similar in style to the Anheuser-Busch eatery, according to Brian Bannister, associate dean for finance and administration at the Olin Business School. As a result, the Starbucks and food service operation will accept cash, credit cards and Bear Bucks, but not meal points.
The business school also analyzed proposals from Bon Appetit and Panera Bread. The Bon Appetit proposal projected annual operating losses and would have required a subsidy from the business school to operate and accept meal points.
“We would like to be able to accept meal points, but we have not been able to work
that out with Bon Appetit and the University,” Bannister said. “Aramark was much better at meeting our student needs in a model that didn’t require subsidies.”
The Panera Bread proposal would have tied in food service and a cafe, but the operation would have required a larger volume of sales than was expected.
Since the slated Starbucks will be a fully licensed store, it will offer the same beverages, pastries, grab-and-go and other food items as any other Starbucks in the world.
“We wanted it so any person can walk into this store and say, ‘Yep, this is my Starbucks,’” Bannister said.
Bannister predicts that the Starbucks will draw in the broader campus community, beyond just business school students and professors.
“We’re excited about having the Starbucks brand, which is popular with a number of people. We’re hoping a number of students will be drawn into the business school to use these service outlets,” Bannister said. “We think offering an attractive food program is a way to interact and attract interest from others on campus.”
Senior Kara Hunersen said she would be willing to go to the new business school building for Starbucks but isn’t entirely ready to abandon the Einstein Bros. Bagels in the current business school building.
“I would probably go to Starbucks for their specialty drinks, but for regular coffee, I’d still go to Einstein’s,” she said.
Other students said they are unhappy with the administration’s choice.
“We already have Einstein’s, which is the same coffee concept,” business student and senior Madeleine Parker said. “I’m disappointed because Starbucks has such limited food options and…when we don’t leave the building all day, it’s important to have quality and diverse food options.”