Starbucks

Top Fast-Casual Trends for 2011

Continued Commodity Pressures

Many of the forces that caused the crazy commodity price increases several years ago are still at work: concerns about supply, rising energy costs, growing worldwide demand, and financial speculation through recently developed financial instruments. As most restaurateurs have neither the means nor knowledge to protect ourselves through contracting things out, we will continue to feel this inflationary pressure throughout 2011 and beyond.

Starbucks Twice as Good as McDonald's in Media Impact

Media measurement technology firm General Sentiment released its newest brand analysis, the Fall 2010 Fast Food Industry Report. The report highlights the brands that made the most significant media impact online between September and November. Despite declining nearly 20 percent since the summer, Starbucks still topped General Sentiment’s Impact Value rankings, more than doubling the totals of second and third place brands McDonald’s and Burger King.

Giant Leap Forward for Starbucks and Its 2015 Goal

 

Starbucks’ ambitious goal to have 100 percent of its cups be reusable or recyclable by 2015 may have just gotten much easier. The company announced a successful test with paper cup manufacturer International Paper and pulp mill Mississippi River Pulp that used recycled cups from stores to create new cups.

The six-week pilot test was the result of an idea brewed up at the company’s second Cup Summit, held earlier this year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Starbucks Charts the Course for Future Success

Starbucks detailed strategies for its next phase of growth at the company’s biennial Investor Conference. Building on its continued strength in attracting global consumers to its stores and growing its business in that critical channel, Starbucks senior leaders outlined plans to create a multifaceted, global consumer brand and the significant potential to achieve a greater share of the nearly $145 billion world coffee market with a renewed focus on innovation and expansion.

2010 in Review

Reporting by Blair Chancey, Sam Oches, Daniel P. Smith, Robin Van Tan, Barney Wolf & Lori Zanteson

1. BK Sold to Brazilian Investors

Becoming the decade’s biggest restaurant buyout, No. 3 burger chain Burger King Corp. was acquired by 3G Capital, a New York firm backed by Brazilian investors, for $3.3 billion in September. —BC

2. The Food Truck Obsession

Starbucks Joins the Canlis Birthday Game in Seattle

Most birthday celebrations do not last 50 days or invoke a city-wide chase. But brothers Mark and Brian Canlis, owners of Seattle restaurant Canlis, are shaking things up.

To celebrate their restaurant's 60th birthday, the brothers signed 50 original menus from 1950. They hide them in various locales throughout Seattle, send out a clue via the @Canlis Twitter account and Facebook page, and wait for the first person to locate the menu. The game continues with one menu per weekday until December 11, the restaurant's birthday.

What to Do About Waste

A look at how some restaurants are cutting down.

When New York City–based burger concept 4food opened its first location in August, the media buzz it generated mostly stemmed from its innovative use of technology and social media. Plasma TV screens adorn its walls, including one that scrolls customer tweets. iPads are used to order food. And diners can save their specialized burger orders to an online database, available for anybody to order in the future—an act that credits the customer with 25 cents on later 4food visits.

The Price is Complicated

Setting the right price points is no easy task. In today’s post-recessionary economy, product pricing is particularly tricky because consumers’ perception of value is confounding and seems to shift constantly. People will camp out overnight for the chance to buy a $499 iPad, but you can’t seem to spark any interest in a $4.99 burger combo.

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