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Why Starbucks doesn’t mind when customers stay for as long as they want at their shops

Starbucks Philippines doesn't mind when customers stay for for as they want at its coffeeshops even with just a cup of coffee, its president Noey Lopez told members of the media on Tuesday.

Lopez said the Starbucks wanted to be the “third place” customers would want to be at after home and the workplace.

He recalled his first time at a Starbucks in Manhattan in the 90s and he found it like an “oasis”. It was an experience he wanted customers to experience.

“That was my first experience in Starbucks when I stayed for so long nursing one cup of coffee, and I was so amazed… So I don’t want to deny anybody that. That’s the Starbucks experience,” Lopez said.

“Why would I deny that to anybody else? That was the magic I felt so to this day, we let people stay as long as they want. It’s part of our business,” he added.

While letting customers stay as long as they want appears counterintuitive, Lopez said the company was mainly in the people business, serving beverages.

“Third place is between home and work right? That’s where you come up with the third place, so we wanna be the third place. If we can be the first place, then even better. We don’t really mind,” Lopez said.

Lopez’s remarks echo the official stance of the global coffeeshop chain.

“We strive to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers. We do not have any time limits for being in our stores, and continue to focus on making the Third Place experience for every Starbucks customer,” Starbucks was quoted as saying in a report in The Wall Street Journal in 2009.

Starbucks Philippines opened its first store in the Philippines at 6750 Ayala in December 1997, and has since grown to 424 stores across the country.

“Post-pandemic we’re seeing very strong business, right? So that’s very encouraging, and I think with the Philippines... the population continues to grow, the economy is strong. I mean it’s recovering, and I think we warm to anything new,” Lopez said. —NB, GMA Integrated News