May 19, 2020

Starbucks expands Evenings beer and wine menu to New York

CEOs
Marketing
Starbucks
restaurants
Cinch Translations
3 min
Starbucks expands Evenings beer and wine menu to New York

Beer and wine at Starbucks? It’s not exactly a new concept per se—the Seattle-based brand may be best known for its coffee and specialty espresso drinks, but as our sister site FDF World has often recounted, in recent years Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been intent on driving the business toward a more diversified menu.

Starbucks has been relatively slow to roll out its “Evenings” menu, introducing it in just over 70 locations in the past five years. Now the menu, which trades morning lattes and croissants in for adult beverages and tapas, the select menu has finally reached the east coast: this week Starbucks launched its first Starbucks Evenings menu in New York City at its North 7th Street location in Williamsburg.

According to Vanity Fair, who was on the scene in Williamsburg to try out the new fare, the Starbucks Evenings menu was conceived of as a way to meet the needs of its consumers, especially its female clientele, in a whole new way that evolves after the morning breakfast rush:

The idea was born from customers, she said—women, in particular—who said they wanted Starbucks to be a comfortable place to go in the evening, whether they were alone or with company. If they didn’t feel like cleaning their houses but wanted to host a book club, they wanted another option, where they wouldn’t feel rushed like they usually were in the mornings, or limited to ordering a coffee and a muffin.

Business Insider has an array of appetizing images from the launch including salumi plates and flatbreads, and according to Vanity Fair, the pricing appears to be on point:

The menu is made up of 10 wines—5 reds, 4 whites, and a prosecco—which range from $8 to $15 per glass nationally. There are four beers, which, in the case of the Williamsburg outpost, all hail from Brooklyn, for $4 to $5 a pop. The small plates top off at $7. That’s a downright steal, especially in a city of the $16 cocktail and $10 green juice. But that’s the pricing sweet spot Starbucks found while testing the concept over the last five years, according to Rachel Antalek, certified sommelier and vice president of concept innovation at the company.

One of the biggest challenges for Starbucks over the years has been finding a way to maintain a steady rate of customers even after the breakfast and lunch day parts end—the chain has tackled this in many ways, including its recurring Treat Receipt promotion that entices morning customers to return after 2:30PM for a discounted drink. But by rolling out methodically and taking notice of its customer base, this could ultimately be the chain’s most successful bid to capture the all-day market yet.

[SOURCE: Business Insider; Vanity Fair]

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May 14, 2021

Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF

U.S Air Force
Dark Wolf Solutions
Paddy Smith
2 min
Dark Wolf Solutions is small and agile, its partnership with the US Air Force is helping to deliver critical security faster and better than ever before

As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.

The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”

It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.

“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”

The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”

Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.

“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”

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