News Date: 
Monday, November 28, 2016

Source: The Red and Black

By Maddie Lupo
The Red & Black
November 28. 2016

After months of planning and construction, University of Georgia Food Services has officially opened a Starbucks on the third level of the Tate Student Center.

In a 2015 Food Services poll, UGA students collectively expressed their desire to see more coffee options around campus, with Starbucks being the most popular option.

“It takes so many different people to get a project like this off the ground,” said Bryan Varin, interim executive director of Dining Services.

Just in time for finals, the Starbucks will tend to the caffeine needs of UGA students and faculty between the hours of 7 a.m. and 12 a.m. every day of the week. Students can use Bulldog Bucks and Paw Points as payment.

For those students more interested in making coffee rather than drinking it, Varin said Food Services is looking for student employees. Varin said the location will be entirely owned and operated through the university, employing strictly university community members.

“The students love coming to work, in addition to receiving a paycheck," said store manager Max Grant. "I haven’t had a single student miss a day of work or training."

For many students, an on-campus Starbucks location is something they have been waiting for.

“For students who take their coffee as seriously as I do, this is very exciting,” said Brooke Miccio, a business major from Long Island, New York. “I prefer Starbucks over any of their competitors, and the one downtown was just too far away from campus.”

As for its competition, Varin said UGA Food Services wishes to not only promote the opening of Starbucks, but strengthen its partnership with other existing coffee shops. He does not anticipate the new location interfering with other competitors, including the Jittery Joe’s in the Zell B. Miller Learning Center.

“We all feel very confident that not only will Starbucks be successful, but the other coffee outlets will continue to be successful as well, and that’s what we’re focused on,” he said.

Prior to the Thanksgiving break, Starbucks held a series of soft openings, serving as a test-run for the location. Based on the positive turnout and reaction to these soft openings, Varin predicts the business in Tate will be a success.

“There’s a lot of excitement built around this project, and it’s been a great experience so far,” he said.

Image : Madison Lupo
Caption: University of Georgia students line up at the new Starbucks in the Tate Student Center on its opening day.