| Siti Hajar |
WITH a positive momentum already gained in Brunei Darussalam, international chain Starbucks achieved another milestone yesterday with the official opening of its latest branch in Beribi.
The food major is also planning to launch more outlets in the coming months.
“One more outlet has been scheduled to open very soon,” the Managing Director of Starbucks Malaysia and Brunei, Sydney Quays, said in a press conference.
The international chain is also planning to apply for the Brunei Halal brand title. This is especially aimed at customers who are wary of the food and beverage policies followed in foreign countries.
“We are part of the Halal hub in Malaysia as well,” he explained, while reassuring that “all our products are Halal” in line with Malaysia’s stringent norms and applying for Brunei’s Halal certification “is definitely in our plans”.
The latest branch of Starbucks Brunei is operating out of a three-storey building along one of the busiest roads in the capital with the added bonus of a drive-through much to the convenience of customers from 6am to 1am.
“The most important thing is that we wanted something really different,” said Quays.
To incorporate modernism into its business plan, this particular outlet has been built around an innovative design and “we believe this will set us apart from competitors” and also address the lack of parking space at the Mabohai branch.
Since the launch of its operations earlier this month, Starbucks has been receiving overwhelming response which was not expected, Quays said. “The response has been tremendous.”
The area around the outlet is now abuzz with activity with continuous streams of cars inching their way towards the order kiosk to pick up of the variety of drinks and food offered by the international food joint.
“One of the key things that we’ve learnt from this opening is that the potential for us in Brunei is very big. We wanted to introduce a new concept and we found this Drive-Thru as a very unique proposition,” Quays said.
Designed to reflect Starbucks’ 43 years of coffee heritage, while embracing the country’s distinct local traditions and culture, the infrastructure was built with a cost of B$550,000 with a capacity to accommodate around 200 people both indoors and outdoors.
The design of the facility has a ‘Regional Modern’ concept that maximises the appeal of woodwork.
The outlet offers garden seatings as well.
Apart from a training centre for Bruneians, especially the youth, the building will also house what has been described as a centre for promoting a community environment where customers can make use of a number of planned facilities such as book borrowing. Also, there will be spacious seating areas for both leisure and business purposes.
“Starbucks provides much more than just the best cup of coffee – we offer a community gathering place where people come together, connect with family and friends and celebrate the Bruneian local culture.
“Now with the opening of our Drive-Thru concept store, we hope customers will enjoy the convenience of coffee on the go,” added Quays.
Alongside yesterday’s launching was a carnival with activities such as balloon distribution, photo booth, coffee tasting and face painting as well as a merchandise fiesta where customers took the opportunity to purchase limited edition of Starbucks merchandise and won prizes.
Among those who attended the celebration were various community organisations including the Brunei Darussalam Scouts Association, the Independent Motorcycle Club and SMARTER Brunei.