Starbucks Corporation announced it appointed Kevin Johnson as president and chief operating officer. Johnson has been a Starbucks board member since 2009, and will now take a central operating role effective March 1.
Brand reputation, values-centered leadership, and ethical sourcing are components of a new online Retail Management Degree that Starbucks and Arizona State University (ASU) created for partners who are part of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.
Starbucks Coffee Company chief operating officer Troy Alstead, a 23-year veteran of the company who also served for many years as the company’s chief financial officer, as well as leading the operations and development of Starbucks international business and its Europe, Middle East, and Africa business unit, is taking an extended unpaid leave from the company. Alstead’s last day in his current role will be March 1.
Coffee isn’t just a convenient caffeine jolt for Americans anymore. A recent Harris Interactive survey found that consumers are willing to travel for a good cup of Joe; 60 percent of respondents said the primary coffee shop they visit is not necessarily the closest one. Sixty-six percent of Millennials, Americans ages 18–35, indicated they would travel longer for their favorite coffee.
Starbucks introduced a new core espresso offering with the launch of the Flat White handcrafted espresso beverage, available at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Soda sales aren’t exactly bubbling at restaurants these days. In fact, they’ve been declining for years. Despite that, there’s fizz remaining in carbonated beverages as operators look toward craft sodas, new technology, homemade beverages, and creative concoctions to put effervescence into their sparkling libations.
“We’re seeing a lot of craft soda products available in the market, although it’s still very small,” says Joe Pawlak, beverage expert and senior vice president at Chicago market research firm Technomic Inc.
As customers finalize their holiday shopping, Starbucks anticipates record purchases of Starbucks Cards on December 24, citing the trend for customers to push their gift card purchases later and later. Last year, more than 2 million Starbucks Cards were purchased in the U.S. and Canada on Christmas Eve, representing nearly 1,500 cards purchased per minute.
When news that more quick-serve and fast-casual restaurants were experimenting with alcohol beverage service emerged in the last decade, many operators and experts followed it with a skepticism chaser. Analysts warned that costly liquor licensing, regulatory details, and staffing issues were just a few hurdles that could offset any potential sales of a few stiff drinks.
It’s that time of year. Time to look back and reflect upon the brand developments in quick service from the past year—from the surprising to the exciting and the defining—that seemed most important. Innovation and growth are a couple of the common themes among the top fast-food brand stories of 2014.
Starbucks Coffee Company announced the opening of its first Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, nine blocks away from its original store in Pike Place Market.