Credit: Cal Poly Corporation | Courtesy

Since the freshly renovated University Union Starbucks opened at the start of Fall quarter, store traffic has increased by 8.6 percent, according to Cal Poly Corporation Communications Specialist Aaron Lambert.

The store began renovations in Summer 2019, modernizing the space and creating a more efficient production line. 

“Every few years, someone from Starbucks comes in and does an assessment and says whether we need a renovation,” Lambert said. 

Renovation plans were made throughout last year to apply current Starbucks franchise standards..

The biggest change was rerouting the ordering line into one smooth path. Prior to this change, wait times were long and disorderly due to the lack of a waiting area for those who had already finished ordering their drink. 

Starbucks employee Michael Jaquez said the biggest change is the new equipment. 

“One of the biggest issues is people waiting for food. Now, we have two ovens,” Jaquez said. 

Other changes included modernizing the decor and repainting the walls with Starbucks’ iconic green color. 

Study spots towards the back of the store were removed to open up storage space and the counter was pushed out further so employees would have more room to work. 

“Before [the renovation] we had things hiding in a bunch of different places on campus, so it was kind of annoying to go five minutes walking to get a box of lemonade or something,” Starbucks barista and political science senior Yarelie Magallon said.

The approved budget for this project was $675,000 and was funded by the Cal Poly Corporation, according to Lambert. Starbucks provides the design plan to Cal Poly Corporation, then the facilities team receives construction estimates. The project and cost are presented to the Cal Poly Corporation Board of Directors, which is a team including faculty, staff and students. Once approved, a contractor is hired to plan a construction schedule.

“It was actually very smooth. It was a short time to do as big a remodel as we did,” said John Thomson, Project Manager for Cal Poly Corporation, when asked about the process of renovations.

Cal Poly Corporation does not plan to update or further renovate Starbucks. It is likely that in another five to 10 years, Starbucks corporation will make plans to keep the brand evolving and customers engaged.

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