Dutch Bros names Christine Barone president

The former CEO of True Food Kitchen and ex-Starbucks executive will take over company operations as it targets 4,000 locations.
Dutch Bros
Christine Barone, the former Starbucks executive and True Food CEO, will become Dutch Bros president. / Photograph: Shutterstock.

Dutch Bros, the fast-growing chain of drive-thru beverage shops, on Monday named industry veteran Christine Barone its new president.

Barone most recently served as the CEO of the health-centric casual-dining chain True Food Kitchen. But she is no stranger to the coffee business, having previously served in various positions with Seattle-based Starbucks.

Barone will start with the Grants Pass, Ore.-based Dutch Bros early next year and will report to Joth Ricci, who remains CEO.

She will take over company operations of the brand, which is one of the fastest growing chains in the U.S. and has plans to grow to 4,000 shops over the next 10 to 15 years. Dutch Bros cited Barone’s knowledge of the coffee and service industries and its digital marketing expertise, saying it’s “crucial” to its next phase of growth.

“She’s a well-respected industry leader known for her incredible strategic and operational skills,” Ricci said in a statement. “As we look to the next phase of our brand story, we’re committed to bringing in best-in-class leadership to help us scale and grow.”

According to a federal-securities filing, Barone will get a base salary of $625,000, signing bonus of $900,000 and can receive an annual cash bonus of 100% of her base salary.

Barone will join one of the industry’s hottest companies. Dutch Bros was founded in 1992 and operates 641 locations, already 100 more than it operated at the end of last year. The company has been rapidly expanding its drive-thru shops, which sell a selection of espresso-based beverages, energy and other drinks.

She has been chief executive at True Food since 2016 and before that worked with Starbucks, most recently as SVP food, evenings and licensed stores.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


As restaurant tech consolidates, an ode to the point solution

Tech Check: All-in-one may be all the rage, but there’s value in being a one-trick pony.


Steak and Ale comes back from the dead, 16 years later

The Bottom Line: Paul Mangiamele has vowed to bring the venerable casual-dining chain back for more than a decade. He finally fulfilled that promise. Here’s a look inside.

Consumer Trends

Fast food has lost its reputation as a cheap meal

Years of price hikes are driving consumers to grocery stores and even full-service restaurants, which are now viewed by some as a better deal.


More from our partners