Starbucks will test mobile stores on college campuses

Starbucks is kicking the tires of the food truck business, with plans for mobile Starbucks stores to hit three college campuses this fall.

The trucks, run by longtime Starbucks partner and food services giant Aramark, will circulate around Arizona State University in the Phoenix area, the James Madison University campus in Virginia and Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina.

ASU is the university Starbucks partnered with to offer subsidized online college education for its staffers.

It’s not the first Starbucks “to go” store: That honor belongs to a Starbucks-branded train car hitched to a Swiss train that began slinging lattes to thirsty travelers last November. But it’s the first time the concept is applied in the U.S.

It’s a pilot, which means that if it succeeds, the trucks may pop up on college campuses across the nation.

The trucks will offer a beverage and food menu that’s “nearly identical” to the one available in its other stores, Starbucks said.

High-end food trucks have become a common sight in recent years, populating street corners and urban parking lots from Los Angeles to Portland to Seattle. For many young chefs, it’s a relatively low-cost entry to the foodie market.

Starbucks says the trucks can follow their customers’ schedules and in some cases can stay open later than other options.

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