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- Customers at Starbucks’ SBUX +1.93% Mumbai outlet
India’s first Starbucks café has been open for more than two weeks, and the lines only seem to be growing longer.
Strangely, the patrons couldn’t care less.
This isn’t a place to grab a coffee and run. This is a place to see and be seen. Almost every table is filled with crowds of college students. Nobody is in a rush.
Keshvi Desai, a 16-year-old student at K.C. College, was relishing her time in line because, as a first-timer to Starbucks, it allowed her to decide what to order. She was actively seeking recommendations.
- People waited in line at Starbucks’ Mumbai outlet.
Someone suggested a blueberry muffin. Another suggestion: a Frappuccino. Her group of friends is vegetarian, a crowd Starbucks anticipated with a special counter and a segregated oven. (Read more on Starbucks’s “Indianized” menu here.)
Yesterday, at 4:30 p.m., Ms. Desai was among about 30 people waiting in line. On weekends, the line often extends longer–out the door of the historic Horniman Circle, a commercial neighborhood set around a park in the heart of South Mumbai.
“I’m just happy to be here,” said Ms. Desai, in jeans and a long T-shirt, looking around the 4,500-square-foot cafe set over two floors. “A foreign brand in India is a very big thing.”