The foundation for the sale of higher-end products will be the development of more Starbucks Reserve Roastery stores, caffeine cathedrals that Schultz has likened to a magic carpet ride. But only four more locations are in the works (just one, in Seattle, is currently open). The vehicles for the upmarket blitz will be Starbucks Reserve stores, which fill a gap between street-front cafes and the Roasteries, with a more ambitious food menu than either. Reserve units will feature sweet and savory Italian items from Princi, the upstart bakery-cafe that Starbucks is developing in the United States.
Stand-alone Princi cafes will be developed in Seattle, New York City and Chicago during the second half of 2017, Starbucks said.
Starbucks cafes are also getting a menu update. New products include a certified gluten-free breakfast sandwich and an a.m. item, Sous Vide Egg Bites, that apparently can be eaten on the go. Stores will offer an organic soup specific to their region. Corporate vowed to double food sales growth in the next five years.
Management said it intends to find more partners in Stars Everywhere, the program that allows frequent Starbucks guests to spend their rewards points in other retail businesses. Loyal customers of those businesses can similarly redeem their giveback credits at a Starbucks.
And the coffee chain will update its smartphone app next year to include voice recognition ordering for some iPhone users early this year, with the availability broadened as the year progresses.