Private phone booths and coffee aplenty: This new Starbucks looks an awful lot like WeWork

The default cup for a Starbucks coffee—whether you order a tall or venti, cappuccino or the dreaded pumpkin spice latte—is a paper to-go cup. That’s because Starbucks really wants all those coffee lovers to head out by the time the espresso machine stops steaming. It’s not an office after all, though many people make it one. But at least one Starbucks Japan store has a new concept that says “When you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” It invites customers to stay.

Starbucks Japan collaborated with ThinkLab, a design consultancy, to develop the coworking space concept. The store, in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood, has a typical Starbucks to-go model on the first floor. On the second floor, however, the store has introduced private phone booths with videoconferencing ability, which customers can reserve in advance. It’s like a WeWork with more drink options and without the monthly rent.


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