Inked and Pierced

In October, coffee giant Starbucks revised its employee appearance policy that marked some body adornments off limits. The news gave the industry a moment to consider the links between employee dress and branding and morale.

Starbucks baristas previously could not display any facial piercings or tattoos. “I think revisiting that policy is quite smart, because their brand is much more about creativity and free flow of ideas than their current strict appearance policy denotes,” says Leeann Leahy, president of The VIA Agency, a marketing consultancy.

SBUX Next 5 Years: More Mobile Ordering, Food, Alcohol

Starbucks Coffee Company chairman, president, and chief executive officer Howard Schultz and other company leaders detailed Starbucks five-year strategic growth plan today at its biennial Investor Day, hosted at the company’s Support Center in Seattle for the first time in a decade.

One Customer to Win Free Starbucks for Life

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Starbucks is offering customers the chance to gift themselves the ultimate prize: Starbucks for life.

From now through January 5, customers who pay using a Starbucks Card or their Starbucks mobile app, can enter the Starbucks “It’s a Wonderful Card Ultimate Giveaway” for a chance to win one of 482,000 instant prizes, and 10 customers in the U.S. will win the ultimate prize of Starbucks for life, which is one free food or beverage item from participating stores every day for the next 30 years.

2014’s Top 9 Stories

The stories that made this year one of the most eventful in industry history.
Quick service brands make impact on restaurant industry with big news events.
Taco Bell made a splash in 2014 with its breakfast menu, which included the Waffle Taco. Taco Bell

It’s fair to say that 2014 has been as eventful a year for quick-service restaurants as the industry has seen in quite a while. Changing demographics and sharper competition have sparked a variety of innovations, but also exposed some weaknesses. And the unrelenting march of technology is changing the restaurant business landscape, particularly when it comes to mobile phones.

Starbucks Announces Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

Starbucks invites customers to shop for Black Friday deals at participating stores in the U.S. Starting in select stores on Thursday, November 27 and going through Cyber Monday (December 1) while supplies last. Purchase the Verismo 580 by Starbucks System in Champagne for $59 (regular price $119). A premium at-home brewing system, the Verismo machine allows you to craft Starbucks brewed coffee, espresso, lattes, and chai tea consistently and conveniently one cup at a time. And, with its sleek and compact design, the Verismo system makes the perfect addition to any kitchen.

Starbucks Brings Back Thanksgiving Blend

When the leaves start to fall, Starbucks looks forward to the annual tradition of taking time to celebrate the season with Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend.

Anthony Carroll, a manager on Starbucks coffee team, has created hundreds of blends for Starbucks in his 19 years with the company. “Back in 2007, we first started to explore the idea of a special coffee for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Carroll says. “We approached the challenge through a culinary lens, and we thought it was a great opportunity to collaborate with award-winning Seattle chef, Tom Douglas.”

Power Up

The rise of wireless phone chargers in quick-service establishments could turn the casual consumer into a loyal, repeat customer. These sleek mats are either placed on or built into a table and provide guests with the convenience of charging their mobile devices by simply placing the phone in a special charging case on top of magnetic induction technology.

Starbucks Unveils Digital Innovations for Holidays

Starbucks Coffee Company unveiled a roadmap of innovations to its more than 2,000 district managers at the Starbucks Leadership Experience conference in Seattle. The company shared several customer initiatives to further transform and elevate the Starbucks Experience in Holiday 2014 and beyond.