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Canada Braces for Booze at Starbucks By the End of 2015

Beer, wine – and tapas – with your Caramel Macchiato?

Bartenders and baristas, together at last
Bartenders and baristas, together at last
Starbucks Canada

In a blatant bid to cajole fickle Millennials, Starbucks Canada will launch beer, wine and tapas at select outlets throughout the country in 2015. Toronto will serve as the initial test market for the experiment, which the Star reports will include "flatbreads, olives, nuts and cheese" and "a carbonation station for teas and juices."

The coffee colossus has other measures in mind in the land of Tim Hortons. Look for delivery, more drive-thrus — some made from salvaged cargo containers, app-based pay-and-order options and "higher quality, locally sourced food" in 2015. And, yes, more Starbucks outlets throughout the country: "People say there’s a Starbucks on every corner. But there isn’t [in Canada]," Starbucks Canada president Rossann Williams tells the Star.

Of course, the "complete revamp" is not an attempt to muscle out Third Wave independents: "We love [the competition]. People say Starbucks is the Walmart of coffee that’s going to put them out of business," but the more the merrier, insists the executive.

With Starbucks in fifth place in the quick service restaurant segment in Canada, the company has no choice but to retool, declares mansplainer and industry analyst Robert Carter: "Beer and wine is also a no-brainer for them. It’s a $100-million opportunity for Canadian restaurants, and it appeals to Starbucks’ core customer (women) because it’s not the bar scene."

You hear that ladies? Bars are scary places — get your drink on at Starbucks.

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