Starbucks zeroes in on waste reduction

The coffee giant says it loses $500 million each year to waste.

Starbucks is doubling down on its waste-reduction efforts, laying out plans to cut its waste costs by about 15% over the next 18 months.

The coffee company loses about $500 million each year to waste, executives revealed during a recent earnings call.

“That figure will always be significant because product availability combined with our strict product quality requirements inherently result in a certain amount of waste in our business model,” CEO Kevin Johnson said during the call.

Lower-performing units typically have the highest amount of waste, Starbucks executives said.

“We’re going after each one of those stores to improve their waste performance by store–very detailed work,” Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer said during the call.

Recently, Starbucks has targeted stores that generate the highest amount of waste as a percentage of sales with training focused on bakery pull-to-thaw processes.

Waste reduction is also being considered as Starbucks develops its Mercato line of grab-and-go salads, sandwiches and snack boxes, Brewer said.

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


Trend or fad? These restaurant currents could go either way

Reality Check: A number of ripples were evident in the business during the first half of the year. The question is, do they have staying power?


Starbucks' value offer is a bad idea

The Bottom Line: It’s not entirely clear that price is the reason Starbucks is losing traffic. If it isn’t, the company’s new value offer could backfire.


Struggling I Heart Mac and Cheese franchisees push back against their franchisor

Operators say most of them aren't making money and want a break on their royalties. But they also complain about receiving expired cheese from closed stores. "Don't send us moldy product."


More from our partners