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.

Siren Song

Like the melodic tune of a mythical fish-tailed woman luring in unsuspecting sailors on the open ocean, the siren of Starbucks’ famous logo beckons the masses toward a promise of quality, of familiarity, of a ubiquitous yet iconic American coffee experience. Part muse, part marketing tool, she sings of an experience upon which a quick-serve empire was built and continues to grow.

Frappuccino Happy Hour Returns to Starbucks

Frappuccino Happy Hour returned to Starbucks May 1–10. Customers can visit a participating Starbucks store from 3–5 p.m. to enjoy half-priced Frappuccino blended beverages, any flavor and any size. From May 6-10, My Starbucks Rewards members can enjoy an extended Frappuccino Happy Hour until 6 p.m. when paying with a registered Starbucks Card.

There are many ways to customize a Frappuccino blended beverage at Starbucks. Guests can select from a variety of milk or soy and choose any combination of syrups or toppings to create a beverage that is uniquely yours.

Starbucks Kicks Off 4th Annual Global Month of Service

Starbucks announced the launch of its 4th annual Global Month of Service, with Starbucks employees, customers, and community members once again coming together to help contribute more than one million community service hours per year by 2015. This program supports the advancement of Starbucks Global Responsibility Goals, which were designed to help make communities stronger through ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship, and community engagement.