There’s nothing like a good book and a cup of coffee! Especially when that book and cup of jo is in a Barnes and Noble.
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of Barnes and Nobles offer Starbucks drinks in their locations. So do all Barnes and Nobles have a Starbucks? We looked into it and this is what we found..
Does Barnes & Noble Have A Starbucks?
Barnes and Noble cafe serves Starbucks beverages but they still remain separate entities. In fact, you can’t use a Starbucks gift card in a Barnes and Noble cafe as they are different companies even if the menus look almost identical.
This article takes a look at the partnership between Barnes & Noble and Starbucks: what it actually is, when it happened, and what it means for the customer.
Is Barnes & Noble and Starbucks A Joint Venture?
Barnes & Noble booksellers and Starbucks Coffeehouses teamed up in 1993 to provide in-house book store coffee shops, a partnership which would benefit both retailers.
Do All Barnes & Noble Stores Have A Starbucks Café?
From 1993, all Barnes and Noble outlets were designed to include a café, and these cafes would sell Starbucks handcrafted drinks. This means that the cafes are not actually Starbucks cafes as such; they are Barnes & Noble cafes, which are licenced to sell Starbucks beverages.
The agreement also meant that Starbucks would own and operate stores with common access to Barnes & Noble bookstores. Thus, they are still two separate companies working in cooperation.
What Can You Get At The Barnes & Noble Cafes?
The Barnes & Noble website has an online café menu. You can click through the different menu categories, but you can’t order online as you can on the Starbucks website.
The Barnes & Noble café menu is dine in. There are 6 menu categories:
- Espresso beverages and teas – includes a range of artisan coffees and teas and both hot and cold drinks
- Seasonal favourites – unique hand crafted drinks which are unique to each season
- Frappuccino blended beverages – “the original icy cold coffee indulgence” (and yes, you can customize them)
- High quality pastries and cakes – includes cheesecake, cupcakes, cookies, and café favourites
- Café specialties – wholesome snacks to enjoy with your coffee: includes sandwiches, soups, quiche, stuffed pretzels, and flatbreads
- Premium brands – a line of Starbucks retail coffees and teas in a variety of blends. There is free coffee grinding of whole beans available at the cafe upon request.
Most of the café snacks and specialty items are unique to and prepared by Barnes & Noble cafes.
Are You Allowed To Sit And Read At Barnes & Noble Cafes?
Barnes & Noble welcome readers to their stores and cafes every day. They offer free Wi-Fi and encourage customers to bring their Nook devices and read a selection of free eBooks whilst instore.
If you’re a Barnes & Noble member, you will also get 10% off any café purchase. Many students take advantage of the relaxed quiet atmosphere of B&N stores and the availability of snacks and coffee.
It’s important to remember though, that you’re not in a library. In other words, the books and other reading items are for sale, not for loan, and B&N staff ask patrons to please respect this.
It’s also good to be considerate of others: keep the noise down, clean up after yourselves, and if you’re going to use the café, make sure you purchase food and drinks while you’re there.
Can I Use Starbucks Gift Cards At Barnes & Noble Cafes?
Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble and Starbucks are two completely different companies. This means that they are unable to recognize each other’s gift cards.
The cafes in Barnes & Noble are selling Starbucks products, and the baristas who work in them are Starbucks trained, but that’s where the connection ends.
It can be confusing to distinguish which cafes are Starbucks and which are Barnes and Noble cafes selling Starbucks products. This is because there are some Starbucks cafés which operate right next to B&N bookstores – and these are independent Starbucks outlets.
The Barnes & Noble cafes are smaller and not sectioned off within the store. Rather, they are doorless sections of the store and always set up near books and other merchandise.
The gift cards (and membership discounts) you can use at Barnes & Noble cafes are the ones actually issued by Barnes & Noble.
Why Did Starbucks and Barnes & Noble Team Up?
Fans of Barns & Noble believe that the bookseller store chain needed to “upgrade” their instore experience in order to survive the giant online booksellers such as Amazon.
To this end, B&N added non-book items, music, educational toys for children, books and reading events, and Starbucks’ cafés.
The instore cafes were especially popular, attracting young readers and students who came for the free Wi-fi and the comfortable café services serving familiar products.
The strategy also helped facilitate Barnes & Noble’s move into a new era of creative bookstore spaces which combine places to meet with retail shopping experiences.
When two huge chain stores team up to work side by side, it can be confusing to know how the partnership works. Barnes & Noble and Starbucks agreed to set up as neighbours and for Starbucks to supply Barnes & Noble cafes with their signature beverage range.
The partnership proved popular as coffee fans and reading fans moved in to take advantage of the new combined conveniences.