Starbucks to trawl for college students with food trucks

  • Image Credit: Starbucks
The old joke about Starbucks is that there are so many of the coffee shops across America that in some places you can sit in one location sipping a pumpkin spice latte and actually be able see another one of its stores across the street. If you think the brand is everywhere now, it's going to be truly ubiquitous at three universities this fall with a pilot program that has food trucks serving coffee to caffeine-starved students and faculty.

According to BusinessWeek, Starbucks has about 11,500 stores nationwide, but the company wants to increase its presence on college campuses. Therefore, it's launching this pilot program to see how things work by using trucks. They're already following herds of students at Arizona State University and James Madison University in Virginia, and Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina gets its coffee-delivery vehicle on September 18.

The true genius behind this plan is that the trucks aren't just going to sit in one place all day. Instead, they are moving around throughout the day to give students their first fix in the morning and be right there in the afternoon to top off their cups. Starbucks is even promising to adjust the trucks' hours as needed on each campus to suit customers, even staying open later than the dining halls in some cases. The company clearly knows once you get people hooked; they are going to keep coming back for more. Scroll down to read Starbucks' announcement of the pilot program.
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Starbucks Tests Mobile Trucks on Three College Campuses this Fall

Classes don't begin until later this week at Arizona State University, but there's already a buzz on campus about a Starbucks mobile truck.

The new truck, a pilot mobile service coming to three college campuses this fall, offers a menu of drinks and food nearly identical to what customers would find in their neighborhood Starbucks stores.

"People are surprised to see it, and then they're excited," said Ike Van Skike, district manager for Starbucks licensed stores. "ASU faculty and staff tell me this is great for them because it's an area of the campus that doesn't have a lot of food service."

The Starbucks mobile truck can move to various locations on campus throughout the day, making it convenient for students and faculty to grab a snack or beverage. While hours will vary on each campus, trucks are able to adjust business hours to suit the needs of their customers, in some cases staying open later than a dining hall.

The mobile truck, which complements Starbucks cafes currently located across campus, is a licensed store operated through Aramark and is a natural extension of the long-standing partnership between the two companies.

"Between classes, homework, extracurricular activities, jobs, and socializing with friends, today's students truly embody the on-the-go lifestyle," said Cathy Schlosberg, Vice President of Marketing for Aramark Education. "We believe the Starbucks mobile truck is a perfect opportunity to increase the convenience of our offerings and help meet our student body wherever they are in their busy days."

In addition to ASU, a truck will begin service on the James Madison University campus in Virginia on August 25 and Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina on September 18.

Starbucks looks forward to delivering world class service and the Starbucks Experience customers around the world have come to know – even on four wheels.

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