Driven by the recent “camping craze”, the personal mobile coffee cart constantly emerging on social media has become a “new online celebrity”. Today, even Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, is not going to miss this traffic password.
At present, Starbucks is successively “opening” mobile coffee trucks in many cities in China. Recently, it came to the famous scenic spot Shamian in Guangzhou. In response to the inquiry of the snack agent, Starbucks said that this is the first time its mobile coffee cart has landed in Guangzhou and will operate in the form of flash from May 20 to June 12.
Previously, Starbucks mobile coffee cart has landed in Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang and Shenzhen, Guangdong. Next, the mobile coffee cart will enter Hangzhou and Chengdu. Starbucks said it was “connecting with customers in an innovative way”. In the future, this coffee cart project will also “drive” into other cities. Tonight, you might as well follow the footsteps of the snack generation to “punch in the cloud”.
Same payment in the store
On the newly opened Starbucks Coffee cart, you can easily get the “same model in the store”.
According to the company, in the mobile coffee cart, consumers can place an order directly at the window or order online through “coffee express”, and choose classic drinks such as American style, latte, caramel macchiato and cold extract. At the same time, the coffee cart will also launch seasonal Limited new products synchronized with the stores according to various market trends. For example, the coffee cart in Guangzhou Shamian has launched three limited drinks, including black Qiao mousse star bingle, etc.
The snack generation noticed that in addition to ready-made drinks, Starbucks mobile coffee cart also provides sandwiches, cakes and bottled drinks, although the choices are not as rich as the store menu. In addition, its coffee cart also provides “personalized customization” services, such as replacing milk with vegetable milk.
“Whether in stores or mobile coffee carts, Starbucks is committed to bringing customers the same high-quality coffee experience as before, and the selling prices of its products remain the same.” The company stressed that “the production of each drink and the storage of each cake are carried out in accordance with the food safety standards consistent with the stores”.
To meet these requirements, manpower is also crucial. The snack agent learned that the Starbucks mobile coffee cart is operated by allocating people from the employees in the existing stores, and “will make reasonable personnel allocation and dynamic adjustment according to the site conditions”.
In addition to providing “the same model in the store”, this company, which has always been able to play with the concept of space, also creates a sense of freshness. The snack generation noticed that the mobile coffee cart launched by Starbucks in Guangzhou and Shenzhen focuses on different space concepts and is equipped with corresponding material scenery.
For example, the Starbucks Coffee cart located in Shamian, Guangzhou, takes “Garden Coffee” as the concept, and places green plants, tables, chairs and sun umbrellas near the cart. Previously, coffee carts opened at Shenzhen Vientiane world and Futian coffee life festival took station and camping as concepts respectively, and built waiting booths and sky curtains at the site.
“Starbucks has always been committed to bringing customers a coffee experience that exceeds their expectations.” Starbucks told the snack generation that the mobile coffee cart is an innovative attempt to connect young consumers with coffee, and will be continuously optimized and adjusted according to consumer feedback.
Coffee cart craze
From a global perspective, Starbucks is no longer a “novice on the road” in terms of driving a mobile coffee cart.
For example, it is noted from the information of the snack generation that as early as 2014, Starbucks tried to promote coffee carts in three American university campuses, focusing on providing “same model in store” products. The company mentioned in the release that there are not many catering service points in Arizona State University, and the coffee cart will complement the existing Starbucks stores on the campus, making it easier for students and teachers to buy food and drinks. In some cases, the coffee cart will close later than the store.
In addition, according to public information, in 2017, Starbucks mobile coffee cart was also driven near its headquarters in Seattle to make up for the gap during the renovation of nearby stores.
It is not difficult to find that the starting point of Starbucks’ American coffee cart is to improve the accessibility of outlets and reach more potential consumers. This is different from the Chinese market’s concept of emphasizing new experience and shaping brand tone.
In fact, not only Starbucks, but also chains such as maccoffee, Ruixing and manner have tried to build coffee carts into “walking billboards”. These coffee carts are often located near well-known business districts, urban landmarks and cultural and creative parks. They not only have prominent brand elements, but also sometimes are matched with independent scenery with “high film production rate” for taking photos and punching cards.
Take McAfee as an example. In December last year, McAfee drove a limited time flash car in Zhengjia square, one of the shopping centers in Guangzhou. The striking yellow car body adopts the main color of the brand logo, and materials such as “Guangzhou proverb wall” are separately provided on site to punch in for consumers.
Today, a senior person in the catering industry believes that the chain brand is mainly to promote the brand and drive the coffee cart, rather than drive the sales. “Their coffee carts are generally attractive and cool in appearance. They can drive in crowded areas or online red card punching points on specific days or holidays, turning the coffee carts into online red card punching points.”.
Another senior executive of the catering chain told the snack generation that he believed that the coffee chain flash car was more a manifestation of brand vitality, which could bring goodwill and topic.
It’s not that simple
For individuals, trying to launch their own mobile coffee cart to cater to the camping craze may be for feelings, fun or socializing, or for running a sideline. For coffee and other catering chain enterprises, the mobile dining car is indeed an eye-catching choice; But if the company wants to use it to increase revenue and spread it on a large scale, it is not so simple.
First of all, in terms of business qualifications, the above-mentioned executives told the catering agent that the independent mobile dining car could not handle the catering service license, tax registration certificate and business license, “it is difficult to achieve legal compliance”. The mobile car of the catering chain is generally a “child and mother store”.
Taking the Starbucks Guangzhou coffee cart as an example, the snack agent learned from the sources close to the project that the cart was driven out by attaching to the existing stores. Although no additional relevant certificates are required, it should be reported to the relevant departments and approved.
The above senior catering personnel added that the mobile dining car has high requirements for hardware and food safety, and also needs to consider environmental pollution factors. It is not suitable for large-scale deployment in any place. “The mobile dining car should only be suitable for driving in some online shopping areas, as a way to supplement the sale of cooked food when the brand has no fixed booth.”.
It also mentioned that Hong Kong tried to promote the mobile dining car project called “food car pilot program” a few years ago, but now there are not many dining cars that can continue to operate. The snack agent noted that the project aims to provide “diversified, creative and high-quality food choices” for tourists and local residents. However, it has announced that it plans to end on June 1 this year because “its development fails to meet the policy objectives”.
According to the relevant statement issued at the end of December last year, when the above plan was launched in 2017, 15 food trucks were put into operation. At present, only six of the remaining 12 food trucks are in regular operation. At present, only three of the 12 venues are in regular operation.
In addition to legal qualifications, business environment and other factors, chain brands also need to consider how to retain consumers for a long time, so that the dining car can continue to operate. Obviously, the catering chain can not directly copy the successful experience of individual dining cars.
The above catering executives believe that the current wave of popular private “online popular” coffee carts and mobile pubs largely depend on the personal charm of the manager. “If there is no manager, just the operator dispatched by the brand, there will be no soul.”.