Motorway Services Online

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Locations:28 MSAs
Related names:Starbucks on the Go
Used by:Welcome Break, EG Group
Predecessors:Coffee Primo, Costa Express, Little Chef, Malongo Cafe
Successors:Coffee Republic, Hamilton's, Nescafe Alegria
Typical opening hours:Most 6am-10pm
See also:Costa
Roadside Starbucks.
Starbucks in a former Little Chef building.

The old joke that there's a Starbucks on every corner in London may not be quite true, but they've got a pretty good coverage by the side of the road.

Starbucks is one of the world's most famous high street brands, striking a balance between a premium image and being popular. However by the time Starbucks was introduced to the motorway network, the industry was already dominated by Costa.

Starbucks are known for their high brand standards. They like to be kept far away from the other food brands, and ideally they like to have a whole building devoted to their brand. This means you won't find a full Starbucks menu integrated into a restaurant, and in a food court you'll usually find Starbucks with a whole corner to itself.

The prices charged at Starbucks are set by the franchisee, and on the motorway these tend to be heavily inflated. The fact people continue to pay may explain why so many drive thru coffee shops have opened up near the motorways.

All Welcome Break sites include a Starbucks, and these used to be open 24 hours, until the COVID-19 lockdown. These are operated under a licence recently extended until 2030.

Starbucks can also be found in self-service form, named Starbucks on the Go, which launched in 2012 and is usually available at the same sites as the main stores.

Roadside Roll-out

Starbucks was introduced, under licence by Welcome Break to Corley in May 2006, where it was trialled alongside Coffee Primo. The result was not overwhelming and motorway users were given the impression that this was as far as the trial would go.

The Corley site didn't close though, and in 2009 Welcome Break opened a new Starbucks at Warwick southbound, followed shortly by an announcement that it would be rolled out nationwide. This was partly because using Starbucks allowed Welcome Break to access all their product development without any additional work, and also because demand had increased and Welcome Break now reckoned Starbucks was increasing sales by between 20% and 40%. Each service area gained several Starbucks, usually operating from small stands.

Around the same time, all of Extra's newest service areas opened with a Starbucks operated by Welcome Break.

Starbucks then became a Euro Garages partner. As Euro Garages became more successful, Starbucks spread further, especially on the A-roads. Many former Little Chefs had so far become Costas, but with Euro Garages on board they would now become Starbucks instead.

Euro Garages purchased Little Chef in January 2017, with the intention of replacing most of them with Starbucks. This worked for the smaller buildings, but Starbucks had reservations about sharing the larger buildings with other food brands which ultimately led to them not being included in those sites.

Drive Thru

Euro Garages opened a drive thru Starbucks in 2010, which was deemed to be highly successful.

In August 2012, Welcome Break opened two drive thru Starbucks units, utilising former buildings at Fleet and Membury. At the time they were the only drive thrus on the motorway network, and Starbucks drive thrus were still very rare in the UK.

Owing to their popularity, many more have since been built, with purpose-built glass restaurants springing out on spare land owned by Welcome Break's car parks and as a constant feature of new EG Group site proposals.


Starbucks can be found at most Welcome Break and Extra motorway services. They are: [view on a map - Download KMLrefine search]

Motorway Drive Thrus

Starbucks drive thru.
A Starbucks drive thru.

Welcome Break are now building separate drive thru units, with the following currently open: [view on a map - Download KML]

A-road Services

A-road Drive Thrus

Former Locations

Starbucks has been removed from the following signposted service areas:

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