The US coffee giant continues to develop its global drive-thru portfolio with its new Punta Cana outlet – its 1,600th store in the Latin America and Caribbean market
The Punta Cana outlet marks Starbucks’ 1,600-store milestone across Latin America and the Caribbean | Photo credit: Starbucks
Starbucks has opened its first drive-thru store in the Dominican Republic in partnership with local franchisee Green Star Partners.
The Seattle-based coffee chain, which entered the Caribbean nation in May 2020 and currently operates six stores, said the new outlet at the Blue Mall Punta Cana shopping centre provides ‘the convenience that on-the-go customers are looking for in their daily routine’.
The outlet combines Starbucks’ core branding with local design features, including native materials in the building work and a miniature garden which ‘exhibits the colours, textures and smells’ of Caribbean fields.
The outlet also marks Starbucks’ 1,600-store milestone across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Starbucks, which opened its first drive-thru store in California in 1994, has recently intensified its focus to the convenience format after seeing revenues from drive-thru stores increase during the pandemic.
In May 2022, Interim CEO Howard Schultz said in an earnings call that Starbucks would be accelerating its US outlet growth ‘with 90% of new stores being high-returning drive-thru’.
In September 2022 Schultz said drive-thru would deliver 4% net new store growth annually across the US by 2025.
Highlighting Starbucks’ focus on the format globally, Starbucks opened its first drive-thru stores in Colombia and Cambodia in December 2022.
In February 2023, Starbucks said it expects to open over 400 stores across Asia-Pacific markets in 2023, including more than 100 drive-thru sites. In the UK, the Seattle-based coffee chain opened 14 drive-thru sites during 2022 and now operates 284.
The coffee chain also announced plans in March 2023 to open 100 ‘digitally-forward smaller stores’ and drive-thru sites in the UK this year.