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Fortune reports that Starbucks is getting into the brunch business, "conducting a small test for a weekend-only brunch menu in 78 locations in Portland, Ore., and Seattle."

According to the story, "Starbucks’ brunch menu includes baked French toast, quiche, and Belgian waffles. But the launch also points to a natural limitation to to endeavor: All the food arrives premade each morning and then gets warmed up before serving. For Starbucks to fully participate in a brunch that many Americans think of today—where the food is almost always made to order—it would need to either reconfigure locations or open new, larger stores with fully operational kitchens."

Starbucks says that the test is exactly, and that it is trying to learn from the limited initiative.
KC's View:
Starbucks, of course, has been engaged in series of ongoing efforts to figure out how best to expand its footprint and get more business out of its coffee shops. One of those initiatives has been to expand into beer and wine sales, as well as offering "small plates," at night in select locations, and Forbes reported the other day that it plans to offer its "Evenings" service at a number of airports, in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles.

BTW ... the reason I think this is important is that every piece of french toast ordered at Starbucks is a loaf of bred, a dozen eggs, a quart of milk and a tin of cinnamon that may not be purchased at the local supermarket. The battle is being joined every day by the competition, and the struggle for share of stomach continues.

(One note. Some of the best french toast I've ever eaten was at a Price Chopper-owned Market Bistro store in Latham, New York, where it was made with thick challah bread soaked - not dipped - in a special egg mixture for a minimum of 30 seconds. It had to be better than pre-made stuff available at Starbucks, and is an example of how to compete effectively.)