NRA Announces Finalists of Operator Innovations Awards

An independent panel of judges has selected the finalists for the National Restaurant Association’s inaugural Operator Innovations Awards. Three finalists in each of five categories–Sustainability, Technology, Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, and Menu Development–will be brought to Chicago for the Association’s 2012 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show this May.

SBUX, Dunkin' Appeal to In-Home Coffee Drinkers

A new study found that American consumers who drink coffee at home rarely venture out to coffee shops or quick serves for their coffee. They are, however, willing to bring the big coffee brands into their homes.

The QSRdna study from CustomersDNA, a marketing and research consulting firm, found that 61 percent of consumers who frequently drink coffee at home never visit a retail coffee shop or quick serve for coffee.

Starbucks is No. 1 Most Socially Engaged Company

Starbucks Coffee Company has been rated No. 1 in a study of the most socially engaged companies, which was released today by advertising research firm PhaseOne.

In addition to Starbucks, the study's most socially engaged brands across three distinct engagement metrics are Audi, McDonald's, Red Bull, and American Express.

The findings from the study were presented at the Advertising Research Foundation's Re:Think event in New York City on March 27, 2012.

Starbucks Plans Store on Columbus Avenue in NYC

The tenant roster at Columbus Square continues to take shape as three major retail tenants became the latest additions to the sprawling mixed-use development project that has brought unprecedented new life to the Upper West Side and turned Columbus Avenue from 97th to 100th Streets into one of the city’s major shopping corridors.

At nearby 805 Columbus Ave., Starbucks Coffee Company has leased 1,200 square feet on the corner of 100th Street, filling the last corner availability at the property, according to Kelly Winick Realty Group LLC associate director.

Starbucks Debuts First Evolution Fresh Store

Four months after acquiring Evolution Fresh, Inc., Starbucks Coffee Company today announced the opening of the first Evolution Fresh store and the transformation of the brand’s look and feel to better reflect the pure, natural ingredients in each beverage and its strategic expansion and growth.

The Bellevue, Washington, store opening and refreshed branding positions Evolution Fresh as a leader in the $3.4 billion and growing cold-crafted juice category, and furthers its commitment to evolve and enhance the customer experience with innovative and wholesome products.

Starbucks Expands Petite Mini Dessert Offerings

Starbucks Coffee Company offers a wide variety of handcrafted espresso beverages that customers can personalize, hot or iced, anytime of the day that is uniquely their own. There are more than 170,000 ways baristas can customize beverages at Starbucks, from a variety of fresh dairy selections to any combination of syrups, toppings, or just by adding extra shots.

Navy’s Dining Program Manager Receives Service Award

Rear Admiral William D. French recently presented the Meritorious Civilian Service Award to Steve Hammel, Dining Services program manager, U.S. Navy, Southwest Region. The award recognizes meritorious service in performance of duty.

“Mr. Hammel’s dynamic leadership and foresight in the area of Dining Services has improved readiness and quality of life for sailors and their families, and has had a positive impact throughout the entire Navy Food and Beverage Program,” states the award citation.

SBUX Places 2012 Bets on Evening, Product Development

Starbucks executives announced during the brand’s first-quarter earnings call that the company increased its net revenues to a record $3.4 billion during the quarter.

Further, global comparable store sales were up 9 percent.

Howard Schultz, CEO of the global coffee quick serve, said during the call that the company will use new retail products and extended dayparts to build on its success.

For example, Starbucks recently expanded its test of beer, wine, and premium food offerings to select stores in the Atlanta and Southern California markets.