Starbucks now on campus
It was supposed to be a quiet beginning, but the unmistakable aroma of Starbucks coffee this week clearly signaled the newest addition to Georgia Southern University’s Russell Student Union. Students who have been waiting for more than a year since the Starbucks plans were announced are lining up to purchase coffees, lattes and frappucinos, saying they’re glad the coffeehouse is finally here.
‘I am very excited that Starbucks has finally opened on campus,” said Amanda Kepfer, junior writing and linguistics major.
‘It’s exciting that we don’t have to go off campus to get coffee. It also gives us a nice place to hang out and talk to friends,” said Rebekah Wilson, senior public relations major.
The intended low-key opening week was to give new employees a chance to learn the ropes. A grand opening is planned for the near future. ‘When we opened Chick-fil-A, we did it in the same way,” said Tom Palfy, director of auxiliary services. ‘By doing so it gives the staff a chance to learn the system.”
Georgia Southern joins the ranks of approximately 200 other colleges and universities who also have Starbucks on their campus. ‘This is one of the largest Starbucks on a college campus,” said Palfy. ‘Starbucks only requires 800-1200 square feet of space. Our space is 3,000 square feet.
‘Georgia Southern is a licensee with Starbucks. This means we are licensed to represent them, and we own and operate the store,” he said.
‘I realize that this operation was a long time coming and there was a lot of frustration, and I am certainly apologetic to that,” Palfy added. ‘We’re finally here and I think everyone is experiencing the fruits of our labor, and we appreciate everyone’s patience.”
The store currently employs 25 students and two managers, Jeff Yawn and Margo Hutchins, and is still hiring. Hours are Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hours may adjust as time goes on.
‘It’s also important to point out that for the second time in three years our Chick-fil-A was the number one Chick-fil-A in the country by business volume on college campuses,” Palfy added. ‘I expect that Starbucks will come close to doing the same.”