Wegmans believes its customers are no longer getting up for coffee. Or if they are, they aren't buying it at Wegmans.
The Rochester, N.Y. grocer is conducting a pilot study right now — closing its full service Buzz Coffee Shops in favor of self-service stations. Representatives from Wegmans say that ever since work from home flexibility increased during the pandemic, less and less shoppers have been making the trip for the retailer’s coffee. There are over 110 stores in the Wegmans network, with most in the northeast.
“Over the last several years, we have seen a significant change to our coffee business, including a decrease in the morning traffic flow to our Buzz Coffee Shops,” Wegmans said in a statement.
The self-service coffee station pilot begins in the company's headquarters in Rochester.
Wegmans does not think customers will notice a change.
“We are introducing self-serve coffee machines that allow customers to choose from a variety of specialty and brewed coffee drinks, made freshly just for them,” the company said in a statement. “Coffee-brewing technology has come a long way, and our new self-serve coffee machines use our same high-quality coffee beans and offer a similar menu of lattes, cappuccinos, and brewed coffee drinks.”
A new Wegmans store in Reston, Va., that opened earlier this year skipped the Buzz Coffee completely, offering only a self-service option.