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Entries in Starbucks (37)

Wednesday
Jan042012

Starbucks to Hike Prices in the Northeast, Sunbelt

Starbucks Corporation(SEATTLE) -- If your a fan of Starbucks coffee, get ready to dig deeper into your pockets because the price of their java is going up in certain regions.

The Seattle-based coffee chain is hiking up prices at Northeast stores and locations in the Sunbelt, although California and Florida are spared for now.

Starbucks says the costs of "coffee, fuel and other commodities" are rising so they have to pass the increases onto their customers.

According to the company, some items will increase by an average of 1 percent.  Tall brewed coffees in New York City, for example, will cost 10 cents more.  Other items, like grande brewed coffees, will not go up in price.

These latest prices increases follow ones that already affected Starbucks stores last November in the Pacific Northwest, California, the Midwest and Hawaii.

Economists believe these changes could hurt Starbucks, which has been on the rebound over the past year after the recession changed the coffee drinking habits of consumers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct032011

Starbucks CEO Announces Initiative to Create Jobs

Mario Tama/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz hopes customers in more than 6,500 stores will leave his establishments with not only drinks in their hands, but also red, white and blue bracelets on their wrists.

Schultz announced Monday that the "Create Jobs for USA" initiative, in partnership with the Opportunity Finance Network, a collection of community lenders, will use donations to make loans to local businesses that have difficulties securing financing.

Starting Nov. 1, Create Jobs for USA will begin accepting donations online and in Starbucks stores. Every donor who contributes $5 or more will receive a bracelet inscribed with the word "Indivisible."

"The country is not in a crisis. This is an emergency," Schultz told ABC News. "There is a tremendous problem with small businesses in America getting access to credit....Right now we can't wait for Washington. Businesses and business leaders have to recognize that we have a shared responsibility in trying to make a difference."

The Starbucks Foundation will donate $5 million to kick off the Create Jobs for USA Fund and, according to the Opportunity Finance Network, each $5 donation will allow for $35 in financing from community lenders. The network estimates that one job will be created for every $21,000 in loans or about $3,000 in donations.

"The division in America right now is that there is a crisis of confidence with regard to our economy," Schultz said. "There's no division between business leaders and workers. The division is between what's going on in Washington and the fact that Americans who need solutions are not getting it."

"I would beg [Washington], I would get on my hands and knees and say put your feet in the shoes of Americans who are being left behind and wake up and understand you took an oath of office to represent the country, not personal ideology."

Schultz said the people he has met in his stores inspired him to take action.

"I began to see someone at one of our local stores in Seattle very often," Schultz told ABC News. "I walked up to him and I said, 'I just noticed you're here every day. Thank you for coming to Starbucks.'"

The middle-aged man pulled Schultz aside and within five minutes began crying. He said, "I come here every day because I have nowhere else to go."

"These are the kinds of stories that I think motivated me to say, 'I got to do something. I've got to do something,'" Schultz said. "[Create Jobs for USA] is what came out of it and I think it's a damn good idea."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep202011

Starbucks Sued for Spy Cam in Bathroom

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A Norfolk, Va., man has sued Starbucks after his 5-year-old daughter found a "spy cam" in one of its bathrooms in Washington, D.C., making this at least the third such incident this year for the coffee chain.

William Yockey, 28, is asking for $1 million for negligence, failure to supervise employees, breach of privacy and failure to inspect facilities in a timely manner.

Yockey told ABC News that he and his family were sightseeing in Washington in April when the little girl had to use the bathroom. They chose a Starbucks in Penn Quarter, blocks from the National Mall.

One of the restrooms was closed, so Yockey and his daughter used the unisex one. Yockey described the bathroom as "filthy" with paper towels strewn about.

While washing her hands, Yockey said that his daughter turned to him and said, "Daddy, there's a camera."

She was staring at a small Colby digital video camera, and Yockey said it was recording. Yockey went to the manager, who appeared surprised, and called the police. As they waited, the manager offered Yockey coffee, which he refused.

Police found the device under a U-shaped drain pipe in the restroom and confirmed that it was on and recording. It's unknown who left the device and police are investigating.

Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz said the company responded appropriately.

"We, as a company, take our obligation to provide a safe environment very seriously," he said. "When we were alerted, we called the police."

"It's embarrassing, humiliating even today," Yockey said. "Every father feels the same way about his little girl. [The recording] could have been all over the Internet. She could have been violated."

This isn't the first time that Starbucks has had problems with cameras in its restrooms. A man was arrested in May for placing a camera in a California Starbucks restroom and recording more than 40 women. In June a man was arrested for putting a camera in a Starbucks restroom in Florida. In 2009 in New York, a Starbucks employee was caught spying on people in bathrooms with a camera.

Starbucks' Hilowitz said such incidents are "extremely rare" in the context of the company's 17,000 stores.

But Yockey's lawyer, Hank Schlosberg, and his client were less upset about the camera than the maintenance of Starbucks' facilities.

"There is no excuse for this. Any place which allows itself to have bathrooms has to do inspections for health purposes," Schlosberg said. "To say that they're not responsible to clean their bathrooms is criminal."

Hilowitz said company policy dictates how often bathrooms are inspected.

Yockey, however, said that one Starbucks told him that "they clean it when they get around to it."

There is no trial date set, although a court has rejected Starbucks' motion to dismiss the case.

Yockey said that the incident did much to change the way he views public facilities. He can't walk into a restroom without meticulously checking the entire area.

"It's not safe to use the bathroom in public anymore apparently," Yockey said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep082011

Starbucks CEO: 'We Can't Wait for Washington'

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who recently made a call to action for his "fellow concerned Americans" to boycott campaign contributions, said it is up to U.S. business leaders to help get the country out of its "crisis of confidence."

"We can't wait for Washington," he said.  "Business leaders are going to have to galvanize their own constituencies and do everything they can to demonstrate confidence in the economy, and I think that can be contagious."

In an interview with ABC's Nightline, Schultz talked about his loathing of Congress and the administration in, what he called, the "tragic conclusion" of the debt ceiling deal.

"I don't recognize what's coming out of Washington," he said.  "I'm just asking in the most respectful way.  You took an oath of office, all of you, to represent America, not ideology, not one constituency over another.  We have serious problems right now."

He added it was U.S. business leaders' "responsibility" to help increase consumer confidence, especially through job creation.  For his own company, Schultz said, he plans to remodel 1,700 Starbucks stores in the next year, and try to open up 200 new stores.

But the lack of a long-term agreement on the debt ceiling deal -- Congress and the administration still need to agree on $1.5 trillion more in budget savings by the end of the year -- is a direct link, he says, to the faltering economy.

"Most business people today are not going to invest in the uncertainty that exists in America," he said.  "That uncertainly is directly linked to the debt ceiling."

A registered Democrat, Schultz wouldn't openly criticize President Obama or any specific member of Congress, but said there was a disconnect between Washington and the needs of the U.S. people.

"My biggest concern is that America is drifting towards mediocrity and that people don't recognize -- and by people I'm meaning Washington -- don't recognize the sense of urgency and the fact that I don't think this is a crisis anymore.  I think it's an emergency," he said.

The Starbucks CEO said his campaign started with a call-to-action memo to his 200,000 employees and 50 other CEOs, which, he said, sparked encouragement for him to keep going.

He then officially launched his campaign in August with full-page ads and his website, Upwardspiral2011.org, calling upon people to boycott any further political contributions until the national deficit is reduced, as first reported by The New York Times.  Schultz held a teleconference Tuesday night, where he said 130,000 people participated in a discussion about issues with the economy.

Schultz said 140 CEOS have now joined his pledge.  They include CEOs from the NASDAQ, AOL, J.C. Penney and the New York Stock Exchange.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep072011

Zagat Survey Ranks Top Fast Food Chains

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Subway is considered the most popular “Mega” fast food chain, while Starbucks finds itself rated the number one “Quick Refreshment” stop, according to Zagat’s latest annual National Fast Food Restaurant Survey.

The survey divided restaurant chains into four categories: Mega Chains with over 5,000 outlets; Large Chains with up to 5,000 outlets; Quick Refreshment outlets that focus on specific food items such as beverages and ice cream; and Full Service outlets.  The survey involved 6,064 diners.

Here are the results, listed in order:

Popular Favorites
-- Mega Chains: Subway, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell
-- Large Chains: Five Guys, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger
-- Quick Refreshment: Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Culver’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Cold Stone Creamery

Top Overall Rated Chains
-- Mega Chains: Wendy’s, Subway, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC
-- Large Chains: Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Papa Murphy’s, Panera Bread, Chipotle
-- Quick Refreshment: Pinkberry, Red Mango, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Culver’s, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Zagat also asked respondents to name the best fast food chain for a variety of categories.  Their answers are listed below:

-- Burger: Five Guys
-- Fried Chicken: KFC
-- Grilled Chicken: Chick-fil-A
-- Fish: Long John Silver's
-- French Fries: McDonald's
-- Coffee: Starbucks
-- Milkshakes: Dairy Queen
-- Ice Cream/Custard: Ben & Jerry's
-- Smoothies/Frozen Yogurt: Red Mango
-- Breakfast Sandwiches: McDonald's
-- Salads: Panera Bread
-- Value Menu: McDonald's
-- Overall Value: McDonald's
-- Child-Friendly: McDonald's
-- Drive-Thru: McDonald's
-- Wings: Buffalo Wild Wings

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep062011

Starbucks CEO Invites Americans to Take Part in 'Call-in Conversation'

Mario Tama/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- "We are better than this."  That's the message Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wants Congress and America to hear, according to full page ads in The New York Times and USA Today, where Schultz invites "concerned Americans" to take part in a teleconference Tuesday night to address what he calls the "pervasive failure of leadership in Washington."

Schultz has made no secret lately of his disgust with what he deems an unacceptable level of partisanship and political wrangling in Congress.

"For every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer," Schultz said.  "We cannot let this stand."

Last month, Schultz asked fellow business leaders to boycott campaign contributions until both parties reached a bipartisan deal on debt.  He also urged them to invest in projects that will create jobs, and help kick start the sluggish economy.

In his ad, which comprises an open letter, Schultz claims that more than 100 CEOs have answered his call and have pledged support on both fronts.

Schultz's call to action hasn't stopped with business leaders.  He claims in the past few weeks he's been inundated with letters from ordinary Americans expressing their frustration with the lack of improvement in their circumstances.

"Some feel they have no voice," he writes.  "Others feel they no longer matter.  And many feel they have been left behind."

Their stories spurred Schultz to this latest endeavor, outlined in the letter: a national 'call-in conversation,' scheduled for Tuesday.

The conversation, detailed on www.upwardspiral2011.org, will be led by Schultz and hosted by the non-partisan group No Labels.  Their goal, as outlined on the website, is to combat what they say is hyper-partisanship in politics, and to make the movement "a powerful voice and counterweight to ideological extremes."

Schultz invites "concerned Americans" to join the teleconference, which will be streamed online, and is scheduled to last 90 minutes starting at 7.30 p.m. ET.  Schultz will sit on a panel with founders of No Labels, as well as economic experts and political strategists from both ends of the spectrum -- and callers will be allowed to ask questions.

The goal, according to Schultz's letter, is to "send a message to today's elected officials. ... That the time to put citizenship ahead of bipartisanship is now."

Jim Olson, vice president of corporate communications at Starbucks, says they expect as many as 50,000 callers to join the teleconference.  He says Schultz hopes a groundswell of support will help shift Congressional focus from bipartisanship, to citizenship.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug262011

Facebook Users 'Check in' to Starbucks More than Any Other Restaurant

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Facebook has just released stats from its “Places” feature, showing Starbucks is the location users “check in” to the most.  The feature allows users to “check in” from locations such as restaurants to let their friends know where they are.  Facebook is doing away with the feature.

Starbucks benefits from offering some 17,000 locations Facebook users can visit, but having a large number of sites doesn’t automatically translate into more Facebook user visits.  Buffalo Wild Wings has approximately 700 locations, but it ranked higher on the list than McDonald’s, which has some 32,000 locations worldwide.

Here are the top 10 locations Facebook users have checked into:

1. Starbucks
2. Buffalo Wild Wings
3. Chili’s
4. Applebee’s
5. McDonald’s
6. IHOP
7. Denny’s
8. Olive Garden
9. T.G.I. Friday’s
10. The Cheesecake Factory

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

Business Leaders Respond to Starbucks CEO's Pledge to Boycott Campaign Contributions

Starbucks Corporation(NEW YORK) -- It's far from a stampede of support yet, but a few business leaders are getting behind Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's pledge to stop all campaign contributions to incumbents until they create a long-term debt deal.

"Right now our economy is frozen in a cycle of fear and uncertainty. Companies are afraid to hire. Consumers are afraid to spend. Banks are afraid to lend," Schultz wrote in a letter dated Aug. 15 to officially launch his campaign, as first reported by The New York Times.

"The only way to break this cycle of fear is to break it. The only way to get the country's economic circulatory system flowing again is to start pumping lifeblood through it," he wrote. "That is why we today issue a second pledge. Our companies are going to hire. We are going to accelerate growth, employment, and investment in jobs."

Nasdaq OMX Group CEO Bob Greifeld forwarded Schultz's letter to all the companies listed in that exchange.

"I think that Howard's idea is a great one, and I have told him that he can count on me," Greifeld wrote in his email to those companies. "At NASDAQ OMX, we will also continue to invest in the future by hiring and focusing our efforts on job creation."

Duncan Niederauer, CEO of the NYSE Euronext, also sent Schultz's email to the 3,000 CEOs in that exchange.

"I am bullish on the state of corporate America, and the millions of jobs which support this powerful network," Niederauer wrote in his email forward to those companies. "Now is the time for corporate leadership, and for the collective voice of our CEOs to be heard. It is my hope that our leaders can put politics aside and focus on generating long-term sustainable growth driven by the private sector."

Greifeld and Niederauer were not available for comment.

Schultz has donated $27,900 to political candidates from 2007 to 2011, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' website, OpenSecrets.org. The most recent donation was to Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who was not immediately available to comment.

Schultz's pledge kicked off as Michele Bachmann clinched the Republican Iowa straw poll for the presidential nomination and the candidates try to woo donors across the country.

A Starbucks spokeswoman said the response has been "positive," though she said she could not provide additional names of CEOs who back the plan.

Requests for comment from AT&T, FedEx, United Parcel Service and Lockheed Martin, some of the largest corporate campaign contributors from 1989 to 2010 according to the Center for Responsive Politics, were not immediately returned.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Robert Reich, former Labor Department secretary under Bill Clinton and professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, said Schultz's pledge may not be enough to be politically influential.

"He should have gone further and asked all other CEOs to end all campaign contributions, period," Reich told ABC News. "They're corrupting our politics and are not even in the interest of shareholders."

Michael Beckel, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, told ABC News that it may be too early to tell whether Schultz's pledge may change behavior in Washington. The majority of large campaign contributors between 1989 and 2010 were in fact associations and unions, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

Starbucks CEO Urges Companies to Forgo Political Contributions

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The head of Starbucks says that U.S. corporations shouldn't donate a "grande" or anything for that matter to political campaigns.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is appealing to his counterparts to forgo any contributions to the president and Washington lawmakers until they sit down and figure out how to shrink the budget deficit.

In an email sent to business leaders, Schultz wrote that President Obama and Congress need to "deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people."

Until then, the 58-year-old chief of the nation's largest coffee shop operation says that politicians shouldn't count on corporate donations.

Meanwhile, Schultz is also encouraging other CEOs to accelerate hiring to help revive the foundering economy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul012011

Sonic, Burger King Among Restaurants to Serve Alcohol

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Certain orders at some fast food chains around the country will require patrons to present their ID's.  Fast food restaurants such as Sonic, Burger King and Starbucks are selling beer and wine to increase business, according to USA Today.

USA Today reports that two Sonic restaurants in South Florida will start selling booze following the recent launch of Burger King "Whopper Bars" in Miami, Las Vegas and Kansas City.  Various Seattle Starbucks locations are also adding alcohol to the menu.

But critics of the move to offer adult beverages say it could threaten safety.

"Fast food plus past alcohol equals fast drunks," Michele Simon of the Marin Institute, an alcohol industry watchdog group, told USA Today.

Others say it is too risky to sell alcohol to patrons who may afterward drive home from the fast food establishments.

But the chains see the sale of these beverages as a new opportunity, hoping to drive slow evening business and give customers new set of menu options.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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