Cabell Starbucks ranked in top five among Aramark schools

Michael Pasco
Contributing Writer

VCU Cabell Library’s Starbucks is ranked third among Aramark schools. Photo by Chris Conway.

Cabell’s Starbucks is ranked third in Aramark’s most successful Starbucks, beaten only by the University of Rochester (first) and NYU (second).

When compared with other Starbucks in the state, VCU’s is in the top 10.

“In Virginia, we’re the top,” said Michael Martin, district manager of Aramark. “Any of our brother and sister schools, they’re not even close.”

According to VCU Dining Services’ sales and customer services manager, Tamara Highsmith, the busiest days of the week for Starbucks are at the beginning of the week.

“You see a bit more of a dip on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and it picks right back up again on Sunday,” she said.

“On the average, we get about 14,000 customers (a week),” said assistant director Dan McDonald.

According to Martin, Sergey Drobchenko, the manager of the Cabell Library’s Starbucks, has a specific process that moves people quickly through the line in order to maximize the shop’s efficiency.

“Starbucks has their way, but we prefer our way,” Martin said in support of Drobchenko’s system. “It has helped us a lot through the years.”

One of the employees who previously worked under Drobchenko is now slated to become the manager of VCU’s IHOP.

Back in 2004, the library coffee shop was a “We Proudly Brew” affiliate of Starbucks. It was such a high traffic area, the idea came up to expand it in order to have access to a full Starbucks menu.

A good week in 2004 gave the store about 13,000 transactions. With a full menu, a good week now is at least 58,000 transactions.

“We just did not expect it to go where it’s gone today,” Martin said. “Double (sales) became triple; triple became quadruple.”

According to Martin, when VCU announced Starbucks’ extended hours this semester, the store had ordered 420 sandwiches to get through the first week of classes.

By the second day of classes, Cabell Starbucks had 10 sandwiches left.

“Now (Drobchenko) is stocking about 2,000 (sandwiches) on hand, and we’re selling about 100 a day,” Martin said.

Starbucks now has the ability to provide warm food products with the installation of a new oven. VCU Dining Services is also looking to expand available seating in the future.

Cabell Starbucks is open until 2 a.m. when Cabell Library closes.

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