Lauren Richards Headshot

Out of all the Grubhub lines on campus, none take the crown like the Starbucks at Talley Student Union. Ordering from here can sometimes feel like shopping on Black Friday, but instead of the best deals, you’re competing for a caffeine fix. If you're not camping for the Grubhub doors to open, you may end up waiting hours for a coffee that should take minutes to make.

NC State is the largest university in North Carolina, home to over 35,000 students and thousands more faculty and staff. With such a large student population, not to mention all the visitors that pass through, it’s high time NC State considered adding another Starbucks location on campus.

While Starbucks customers and their needs are important, they aren't the only ones who would benefit from another on-campus site. Every day, Starbucks employees face the herculean task of filling every order, from both Grubhub and in-person customers. A new location would relieve some of the stress for baristas and allow these individuals to have much needed rest.

This move will not only reduce employee stress but also improve job performance. In one study, researchers found that employees who reported higher levels of stress were less productive than those with lower amounts of stress. Because employee satisfaction is positively correlated with customer satisfaction, and thus profitability, an additional Starbucks would result in greater monetary benefits.

Moreover, having multiple locations of the same restaurant isn’t a new concept for NC State. For instance, there are six Port City Javas scattered throughout campus. With a Port City Java in every brick-filled corner, a second Starbucks doesn’t seem like a big ask.

In fact, there are several universities in North Carolina with two Starbucks locations. Among those universities are UNC-Wilmington, East Carolina University, and Western Carolina University. Because NC State has a much larger student population than these institutions, it makes more sense for our campus to have another Starbucks.

Some may argue NC State doesn’t need a new Starbucks as one recently opened on Hillsborough Street. Although this location is convenient for many students, especially those who don’t have meal plans, it isn’t useful for those who do. Because a significant proportion of students on campus have a meal plan, another on-campus site will allow students to utilize their meal swipes without having to spare extra money or time.

Because NC State is a large university, there are multiple suitable places for a new Starbucks. Some potential candidates include popular dining locations such as the Atrium or the Oval on Centennial Campus. Another possible solution is to replace one of the several Port City Javas on campus. 

Although an additional Starbucks would be beneficial for all, there are other measures we can currently take to reduce the high demand on Starbucks employees. One way is to order from other coffee spots on campus. One of my personal favorites is Hill of Beans Café at D.H. Hill Library. There is virtually no wait, and the coffee will fill your caffeine needs as any Starbucks drink (the chai latte is one of my go-tos).

However, if you insist on having your Pink Drink, please remember to be respectful to the baristas. As an employee in food service, I know the panic that comes with an onslaught of Grubhub tickets and the ensuing rush to complete every last order. The employees at Starbucks are working hard to ensure each customer’s needs are met, so keep that in mind whenever you go to place an order.

With over $2.1 billion raised from the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign, there’s no doubt in my mind NC State has the capacity to add another dining facility on campus. If NC State truly wants the best for their students, another Starbucks should be on the list of future endeavors. I’m sure both students and employees will agree — there’s no other color that compliments red more than green.

Staff Columnist

My name is Lauren Richards and I am a first-year in Exploratory Studies. I joined Technician as a correspondent for the Opinion section as I'm interested in weaving stories that resonate with the student body and spark dialogue around issues that matter.