The foundation for the sale of higher-end products will be the development of more Starbucks Reserve Roastery stores, the caffeine cathedrals that outgoing CEO Howard 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 the previously revealed Starbucks Reserve stores—the cafelike sales outlets for what’s roasted (and worshipped) in the Roastery units. The concept fills a gap between street-front cafes and the shrinelike Roasteries, with a more ambitious food menu than either. The 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.
Retrofits to conventional Starbucks stores
Higher-quality (and -priced) coffees will also be sold through traditional Starbucks branches—after they’re tweaked through the addition of a Starbucks Reserve “experience bar.” The company didn’t divulge many particulars, but said the bars will be featured in about 20% of Starbucks’ regular units.
More (and more ambitious) food
Starbucks cafes will also get a menu update, executives revealed. New products will include a certified gluten-free breakfast sandwich and an a.m. item that apparently can be eaten on the go, Sous Vide Egg Bites.
The stores will also offer an organic soup that’s specific to their region.
Executives vowed to double their sales growth from food during the next five years.
Continued emphasis on building loyalty
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.
The chain also plans to adopt a gifting program in China. Users can send one another a credit for a drink from Starbucks.