Starbucks Debuts Fizzio Sodas, Shaken Iced Teas

Just in time for the warm weather, Starbucks will unveil a selection of new beverages, with the addition of Fizzio Handcrafted Sodas and Teavana Shaken Iced Teas. Fizzio Handcrafted Sodas are carbonated fresh and debut in three flavors– Spiced Root Beer, Golden Ginger Ale, and Lemon Ale.

Each Fizzio soda contains no artificial flavors, no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup, and has 100 calories or less in a Grande size. The new Fizzio sodas will be available at select Starbucks locations in the U.S.   

The Alternative to New Products

Q: We're committed to offering a streamlined menu, so we don't want to introduce a bunch of new products. What other options do we have for creating news to promote our business?

A: Great question, especially in light of recent reports that suggest the quick-serve category has become so saturated with new products that brands are reaching the point of diminishing returns.

Starbucks, Duracell to Offer Wireless Phone Chargers

Duracell Powermat and Starbucks announced that they have begun a national rollout of Powermat wireless charging in Starbucks beginning with stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. The companies will expand Powermat to additional major markets in 2015, with a full national rollout in Starbucks company-operated stores and Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars planned over time. Initial pilots in Europe and Asia are expected within the year.

Starbucks' Mugs Showcase Band of Outsiders' Style

Starbucks marks its fifth designer mug collaboration with a collection of two limited edition Starbucks Double Wall Ceramic Mugs created by Scott Sternberg, founder and designer of Band of Outsiders.

Designed exclusively for Starbucks, the contemporary mugs combine Starbucks style with Band of Outsiders’ approach to design. The Band of Outsiders for Starbucks Limited Edition Designer Ceramic Mugs will be available online at on June 10, and in participating Starbucks retail locations in the U.S. and Canada on June 24.

Starbucks Invests $3 Million in China for Youth Development

Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, founder of the Starbucks Foundation, Howard Schultz, announced a total of $3 million investment in China by the Starbucks Foundation spanning three years, including $1.5 million to the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF), following his meeting with Hu Qili, Chairman, China Soong Ching Ling Foundation.

The Tipping Point

Operators debate whether a gratuity option at the point of sale is right for their brand.
Quick service chains consider adding tipping function to point of sale.
Jersey Mike's new point-of-sale terminal gives franchisees the option of adding a gratuity request to customers' orders.

While tipping has never been a customer expectation in the limited-service restaurant industry, some chains have implemented gratuity options with their new, higher-tech point-of-sale systems, like counter payment terminals or mobile apps. But not every brand is certain whether tipping is appropriate in the category.

Starbucks Initiatives Unite NFL Player and Marine

Seahawks' D'Anthony Smith (left) and Jamel Felix.

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Together, a U.S. Marine sergeant and a Seattle Seahawks player realized how much they have in common as they discussed their career paths.

Military veteran Jamel Felix has been learning about job opportunities within Starbucks, and Seahawks defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith was among seven players who spent some free time over the past few weeks job shadowing people in various departments at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.