Friday, March 4, 2011


I've been to the Netherlands a lot, but one thing I've always wondered was why there seem to be so few Starbucks around here. For years, it seemed like you could only find Starbucks at the airport. But if the Starbucks I visited today at the Utrecht train station is any indication, all of that seems to be changing. First of all, it was a model of efficiency. It was overflowing with customers, though the line moved quickly. Drinks were prepared by a team of five Baristas working along side each other like they were in an assembly line. Two people kept the cash registers whirring at a dizzying pace. You could also tell that Starbucks regional management was on an inspection tour. The couple pictured above were walking through the store inspecting everything closely. Two more "corporate types" were sitting at the bar. I sat next to one of them -- a friendly-looking executive who was busy reviewing pictures of coffee beans on her laptop -- and asked her what was going on. "We're expanding," she said, "In fact, we're opening another location here in Utrecht in just a few days." "Really?," I asked, "Where will it be?" I know Utrecht pretty well ... it's a quaint, University town with a lot of history and I was trying to imagine where another Starbucks might fit in. "Just 28 steps away from this one," she answered, cheerfully. Business is evidently booming so much that they need to open another location steps away just to handle the overflow. All-in-all, I'd have to say this was one of the best experiences I've had at a Starbucks outside of the U.S. They're even "camera-friendly." Several customers were walking around taking photos and one man was even shooting a video. You can bet I'll be back ...!


emikk said...

They sure have blank expressions on their faces!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Hard to believe they are opening another one so close. Maybe it will have fritters :o)