Industry News | October 8, 2010

Not Your Grandparents’ Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf recently announced a roll out of four new store designs that one company executive says will highlight the “stores of the future, globally.”

Terry Mansky, chief administrative officer for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, says the four new store designs, created by architecture, planning, and design firm Gensler, will help the global brand of nearly 800 stores stay fresh in its wide range of markets.

“As our franchise program has accelerated forward into sophisticated markets throughout the globe, we have to have store designs that are … different options,” Mansky says. “You can’t have a single store model any longer.”

The four new stores designs—Original, Heritage, Tea Crate, and Lounge—will still feature the signature elements of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf brand, Mansky says, which include oak woodwork, the color burgundy, and tea create panels.

However, he also says that the new designs “are not your grandparents’ Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.”

“For those to whom that legacy and tradition matters, the eye will still catch … the sacred elements that are always tied into each of our models,” he says.

The Original model will primarily be used for suburban communities, Mansky says. It’s more of an upscale model better suited for sit-down guests, especially with its lifestyle patio area.

The Heritage model is better for heavily urban areas, Mansky says, and can be truncated to a sub-1,000-square-foot space. The Tea Crate model is also better suited for urban areas, he says, but is directed more at college campuses and is designed with a younger, alternative customer in mind.

Finally, the Lounge model is a larger, more “sophisticated” model that Mansky says will be the most popular new design in Asia and the Middle East. He also says the brand is interested in putting the Lounge model into airports and upscale malls.

The first of the new designs was recently unveiled with the grand opening of a store in Conejo Valley, California. Mansky says all future stores will boast one of the new designs, and that the brand “will take elements of these models for a clean sweep, and then for remodel purposes we will be using the appropriate design.”

Mansky says that time was right to roll out a new set of store designs, despite the recession that had been plaguing business.

“Having gone through the challenges that we faced, as so many companies faced, during the Great Recession, it became very apparent to us, as we began to draw down at the end of a negative same-store sales cycle that we’d gone through, that it was bottoming out,” Mansky says.

“We had a fairly positive outlook on the growth of our brand.”

Plus, Mansky says, the competitive landscape of the coffee industry demanded that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf keep as updated and refreshed as possible.

“We don’t want to be a historical curiosity,” he says. “We listen carefully to what our guests are telling us, and we will evolve accordingly.”

By Sam Oches

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.