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About Starbucks

Starbucks

The first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington, on March 30, 1971, by three partners who met while they were students at the University of San Francisco English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker. The three were inspired to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment by coffee roasting entrepreneur Alfred Peet after he taught them his style of roasting beans. Originally the company was to be called Pequod, after a whaling ship from Moby-Dick, but this name was rejected by some of the co-founders. The company was instead named after the chief mate on the Pequod, Starbuck.

The Starbucks store at 1912 Pike Place. This is the second location of the original Starbucks,
The first Starbucks cafe was located at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971–1976. This cafe was later moved to 1912 Pike Place Market; never to be relocated again.During this time, the company only sold roasted whole coffee beans and did not yet brew coffee to sell.The only brewed coffee served in the store were free samples. During their first year of operation, they purchased green coffee beans from Peet's, then began buying directly from growers.

Corporate governance
Starbucks' chairman and founder, Howard Schultz, has talked about making sure growth does not dilute the company's culture and the common goal of the company's leadership to act like a small company.

In January 2008, Schultz resumed his roles as President and CEO after an eight-year hiatus, replacing Jim Donald, who took the posts in 2005 but was asked to step down after sales slowed in 2007. Schultz aims to restore what he calls the "distinctive Starbucks experience" in the face of rapid expansion. Analysts believe that Schultz must determine how to contend with higher materials prices and enhanced competition from lower-price fast food chains, including McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts. Starbucks announced it would discontinue its warm breakfast sandwich products, originally intended to launch nationwide in 2008, in order to refocus the brand on coffee, but the sandwiches were reformulated to deal with complaints and the product line stayed.

Products
A "Skinny" line of drinks rolled out in 2008, offering lower-calorie and sugar-free versions of the company's offered drinks which use skim milk and can be sweetened by a choice of natural sweeteners (such as Sugar in the Raw, Agave Syrup, or honey), artificial sweetener (such as Sweet'N Low, Splenda, Equal), or one of the company's sugar-free syrup flavors.Starbucks stopped using milk originating from rBGH-treated cows in 2007.

In June 2009, the company announced that it would be overhauling its menu and selling salads and baked goods without high-fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. This move was expected to attract health- and cost-conscious consumers and will not affect prices.

Starbucks introduced a new line of instant coffee packets, called VIA "Ready Brew", in March 2009. It was first unveiled in New York City with subsequent testing of the product also in Seattle, Chicago and London. The first two VIA flavors include Italian Roast and Colombia, which were then rolled out in October 2009, across the U.S. and Canada with Starbucks stores promoting the product with a blind "taste challenge" of the instant versus fresh roast, in which many people could not tell the difference between the instant and fresh brewed coffee. Analysts[who?] speculated that by introducing instant coffee, Starbucks would devalue its own brand.

Coffee quality
Kevin Knox, who was in charge of coffee quality at Starbucks from 1987 to 1993, recalled on his blog in 2010 how George Howell, coffee veteran and founder of the Cup of Excellence, had been appalled at the dark roasted beans that Starbucks was selling in 1990. Talking to the New York Times in 2008, Howell stated his opinion that the dark roast used by Starbucks does not deepen the flavor of coffee, but instead can destroy purported nuances of flavor.The March 2007 issue of Consumer Reports compared American fast-food chain coffees and ranked Starbucks behind McDonald's Premium Roast. The magazine called Starbucks coffee "strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead of open".

Other products
In 2012, Starbucks introduced Starbucks Verismo, a line of coffee makers that brew espresso and regular coffee from coffee capsules, a type of pre-apportioned single-use container of ground coffee and flavorings utilizing the K-Fee pod system.[64] In a brief review of the 580 model, Consumer Reports described the results of a comparative test of the Verismo 580 against two competitive brands: "Because you have to conduct a rinse cycle between each cup, the Verismo wasn't among the most convenient of single-serve machines in our coffeemaker tests. Other machines we've tested have more flexibility in adjusting brew strength—the Verismo has buttons for coffee, espresso, and latte with no strength variation for any type. And since Starbucks has limited its coffee selection to its own brand, there are only eight varieties so far plus a milk pod for the latte.

Former
In 2003, after struggling with fierce local competition, Starbucks closed all six of its locations in Israel, citing "on-going operational challenges" and a "difficult business environment."

The Starbucks location in the former imperial palace in Beijing closed in July 2007. The coffee shop had been a source of ongoing controversy since its opening in 2000 with protesters objecting that the presence of the American chain in this location "was trampling on Chinese culture."

In July 2008, the company announced it was closing 600 under-performing company-owned stores and cutting U.S. expansion plans amid growing economic uncertainty. On July 29, 2008, Starbucks also cut almost 1,000 non-retail jobs as part of its bid to re-energize the brand and boost its profit. Of the new cuts, 550 of the positions were layoffs and the rest were unfilled jobs. These closings and layoffs effectively ended the company's period of growth and expansion that began in the mid-1990s.

Facilities
Free Wi-Fi Internet access varies in different regions. In Germany customers can get 2-hours of free Wi-Fi through BT Openzone, and in Switzerland and Austria customers can get 30 minutes with a voucher card (through T-Mobile).

Since 2003, Starbucks in the UK rolled out a paid Wi-Fi based on one-time, hourly or daily payment. Then, in September 2009, it was changed to a 100% free Wi-Fi at most of its outlets. Customers with a Starbucks Card are able to log-on to the Wi-Fi in-store for free with their card details, thereby bringing the benefits of the loyalty program in-line with the United States.Beginning in July 2010, Starbucks offers free Wi-Fi in all of its US stores via AT&T and information through a partnership with Yahoo!. This is an effort to be more competitive against local chains, which have long offered free Wi-Fi, and against McDonald's, which began offering free wireless internet access in 2010. On June 30, 2010, Starbucks announced it would begin to offer unlimited and free Internet access via Wi-Fi to customers in all company-owned locations across Canada starting on July 1, 2010.

Advertising
In 2006, Valerie O'Neil, a Starbucks spokeswoman, said that the logo is an image of a "twin-tailed mermaid, or siren as she's known in Greek mythology".The logo has been significantly streamlined over the years. In the first version, which was based on a 16th-century "Norse" woodcut, the Starbucks siren was topless and had a fully visible double fish tail.The image also had a rough visual texture and has been likened to a melusine.In the second version, which was used from 1987–92, her breasts were covered by her flowing hair, but her navel was still visible. The fish tail was cropped slightly, and the primary color was changed from brown to green, a nod to the Alma Mater of the three founders, the University of San Francisco.In the third version, used between 1992 and 2011, her navel and breasts are not visible at all, and only vestiges remain of the fish tails. The original "woodcut" logo has been moved to the Starbucks' Headquarters in Seattle.

At the beginning of September 2006 and then again in early 2008, Starbucks temporarily reintroduced its original brown logo on paper hot-drink cups. Starbucks has stated that this was done to show the company's heritage from the Pacific Northwest and to celebrate 35 years of business. The vintage logo sparked some controversy due in part to the siren's bare breasts, but the temporary switch garnered little attention from the media. Starbucks had drawn similar criticism when they reintroduced the vintage logo in 2006.The logo was altered when Starbucks entered the Saudi Arabian market in 2000 to remove the siren, leaving only her crown, as reported in a Pulitzer Prize-winning column by Colbert I. King in The Washington Post in 2002. The company announced three months later that it would be using the international logo in Saudi Arabia.

In January 2011, Starbucks announced that they would make small changes to the company's logo, removing the Starbucks wordmark around the siren, enlarging the siren image, and making it green.

Parodies and infringements
Starbucks has been a target of parodies and imitations of its logo, and has used legal action against those it perceives to be infringing on its intellectual property. In 2000, San Francisco cartoonist Kieron Dwyer was sued by Starbucks for copyright and trademark infringement after creating a parody of its siren logo and putting it on the cover of one of his comics; later placing it on coffee mugs, t-shirts, and stickers that he sold on his website and at comic book conventions. Dwyer felt that since his work was a parody it was protected by his right to free speech under U.S. law. The case was eventually settled out of court, as Dwyer claimed he did not have the financial ability to endure a trial case with Starbucks. The judge agreed that Dwyer's work was a parody and thus enjoyed constitutional protection; however, he was forbidden from financially "profiting" from using a "confusingly similar" image of the Starbucks siren logo. Dwyer was allowed to display the image as an expression of free speech, but he can no longer sell it.[135] In a similar case, a New York store selling stickers and T-shirts using the Starbucks logo with the phrase "Fuck Off" was sued by the company in 1999. An anti-Starbucks website, starbuckscoffee.co.uk, which encouraged people to deface the Starbucks logowas transferred to Starbucks in 2005,but has since resurfaced at www.starbuckscoffee.org.uk. Christian bookstores and websites in the US are selling a T-shirt featuring a logo with the siren replaced by Jesus and the words "Sacrificed for me" around the edge.

Protests
There have been calls for boycott of Starbucks stores and products because it has been wrongly claimed that Starbucks sends part of its profits to the Israeli military, but such allegations are based on a hoax letter attributed to the President, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz, who is Jewish and supports Israel's right to exist. He is a recipient of several Israeli awards including "The Israel 50th Anniversary Tribute Award" for "playing a key role in promoting a close alliance between the United States and Israel."

The hoax letter claiming that Schultz had donated money to the Israeli military was actually written by an Australian weblogger, Andrew Winkler, who has admitted fabricating the document. Starbucks responded to these claims, widely circulated on the internet, stating that "Neither Chairman Howard Schultz nor Starbucks fund or support the Israeli Army. Starbucks is a non-political organization and does not support individual political causes." The protests against Starbucks derived from the Winkler letter were not the first; earlier protests occurred in June 2002 in Cairo, Dubai and Beirut universities in response to Schultz's criticism of Yasser Arafat.Starbucks has been a regular target of activists protesting against Israel's role in the Gaza War over the claims.

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