Starbucks to Become On-the-Go Kiosk


A student chases down Dr. Patrick Hamilton, professor of English and part-time Starbucks employee, trying to get a cup of coffee before morning class.

Speedy Gonzales, Caffeine Drinker

Starbucks is getting a mobile makeover for the 2021-22 school year.

Ree Cota, president of Metz Culinary Services, announced Wednesday that the Starbucks located in the Banks Student Life Center will be a on-the-go kiosk instead of a stationary shop beginning in the fall 2021 semester. Cota said the shop is going to be torn down over summer break and be replaced with a large study and lounge area for students.

“Lots of campuses are doing this actually. The pandemic has kept everyone locked in their dorms, so the extra study and hang out space will be nice,” she said.

Cota said they don’t plan to make the new coffee system as simple as before, however. The kiosk, which will be based in a golf cart owned by the university, will be open during a select two hour period on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with the time changing each day. Starbucks staff will leave behind clues for students, faculty and staff to decode about the whereabouts of the kiosk’s starting location the day before it is set to appear.

Once someone locates the kiosk, they will have to work for the chance to order coffee by chasing it down. The kiosk will stop for only three minutes at a time, so if people don’t get their drinks before time is up, they’ll have to chase it to the next location.

“I think it’ll help students wake up,” Cota said. “They’re becoming too dependent on caffeine for energy. If they have to not only figure out clues and do some physical activity before they consume caffeine and sugar, it’ll be healthier for them in the long run.”

Starbucks employee Gordon Blue said he wasn’t thrilled with the news at first but quickly changed his mind when he heard he would get to drive the golf cart.

“I’ve always wanted to drive that thing. Plus, it’ll be entertaining to see how many people I can get chasing after it just for a cup of joe,” he said.

Students have already begun expressing their excitement about the new Starbucks. Bobby Johnson, junior business administration major, said he doesn’t drink coffee but is considering to start just to use the kiosk system.

“I think many students will be very excited when they find the kiosk. It is almost going to be like a scavenger hunt and there’s nothing I love more than a good scavenger hunt,” he said.

Sophomore nursing major Kennedy Ranch said she is fully prepared to chase down the golf cart as far as she has to.

“I can’t function without my coffee in the morning, afternoon, and night. If I don’t have it, my whole day is ruined,” she said.

Ranch added that she already began going to the gym in the Anderson Center two extra days a week in order to prepare.

“I’ve been getting on the treadmill, putting it at the highest speed possible and just running for a whole hour. I’ve also been doing only leg workouts. I figure it’ll get my body use to running long distances,” Ranch said.

Cota said the Starbucks’ prices will be the only thing that will stay the same next year.

“A little change is good for everyone, and I think this is just the change this campus needed,” she said.