When you first approach the 400-square-foot space, the iconic sign, welcoming baristas and smell of rich espresso are familiar signals that you’ve arrived at Starbucks, but there’s something a bit different about this particular location. The layout is streamlined, and so is the menu which glows on digital boards. Seating is limited if existent at all. And a Starbucks partner (employee) takes your order on a tablet before you arrive at
the cash register, so the baristas can begin handcrafting your favourite beverage in advance.
You’ve officially found yourself in one of two Starbucks Canada express format stores, located in high-traffic commuter hubs: Toronto’s Union Station and Montreal’s Central Station.
"The express store format is an 'espresso shot' version of the store experience Starbucks is known for. Everything about the store design comes together to provide customers with the most streamlined experience in order serve high-quality Starbucks products with speed.”
“The open layout creates a walk-through experience that ensures Starbucks customers are receiving an excellent experience from our partners. They can travel through the space quickly and efficiently to continue on their day without having to worry about catching their train,” said Chris Tarrant, Vice President of Store Development, Starbucks Canada.
There are currently only seven Starbucks express format stores in the world with three others in North America: Chicago's Union Station, New York's Wall Street and the Empire State Building.