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Starbucks founder returns

What Would You Change About Starbucks?

How does an international company — whose stock fell 50 percent just last year — begin to make a comeback? Starbucks' solution is to bring back their big shot. As of Monday the founder of the company, Howard D. Schultz, has returned as chief executive with hopes that he'll turn the company back around.

Aside from sales suffering due to typical economic forces, Mr. Schultz said the company that had started as “quintessentially entrepreneurial” is now “soft." He admitted that Starbucks no longer focuses on the customer and his intent is to concentrate on the "customer experience."

McDonald's is busy gearing up their brand new teams of baristas to make you a cheaper latte this Fall, and Starbucks will need to prove they're worth your extra cash. If you were in Mr. Schultz's shoes, what changes would you implement for the suffering chain?

Join The Conversation
shopping42 shopping42 9 years
I love starbucks-i wouldn't change a thing- -- i tend to stop more as the weather warms up-i just go home and make my own starbucks coffe-
laurengeorge laurengeorge 9 years
I really do not like Starbucks. Their prices are too high and they are too impersonal. I wish they could actually wear normal stuff... not like black pants and a black polo. I'd love to just see them wearing something normal like jeans and a polo maybe. The drinks are not made correctly. They just made up their form of these drinks. It's so infuriating.
nippy916 nippy916 9 years
i do agree on the free wifi. I myself am a barista and I love my job.I would love for them to decrease the prices. I do feel that it is a bit much.It is for the quality.I am excited that Howard stepped back. I am however scared of the Mcdonalds espresso plan. BUT starbucks is so much more than do you want fries with that. its all about the experience. I love to make my customers feel at home. I also love my benefits. that is something Mcdonalds just does not offer.
ditorres ditorres 9 years
a couple of people said it ... free wifi!!!! starbucks is supposed to be about the experience, free wifi would aide in that.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
onabanana onabanana 9 years
OH and McD. is terrible! Even if their coffee has gotten better I will never support them! They treat their employee like Cr*p and they are part of the National Restaurant Association, which is one of the leading lobbying groups that lobby Congress to keep minimum wages down. Their food is poison and terrible and they perpetuate the bad business model.
onabanana onabanana 9 years
You know people complain a lot about SB, but they also complain a lot about fair wages and health care. But If you want farmers to get a fair price for coffee and if you want employees to have health care then it all adds up. SB also gives their employees stock options. They're actually a really good company to work for. They're also good for mom and pop shops. I read an article recently that stated that when SB moves into a community and next to an existing shop, they actually bring in lots of business for their neighbors. Coffee bean and tea leaf is one of those companies and is where it is today because a SB moved next door when the company had only one store.
blingbling blingbling 9 years
Someone mentioned the great benefits starbucks employees get - and I'm sure that's part of what you pay for with the higher price. Just remember that if you're paying for cheap coffee it might be because the employees have no bennies or that the coffee is not fair trade. Personally I support companies that support their employees. Be aware of the wal-mart mentality in this country today. I think Starbucks should concentrate more on educating the consumer about what a great place it is to work, about ititiatives starbucks takes to ensure its growers are paid fairly and that their coffee is produced in an environmentally friendly manner - and yeah, start a recycling program! It's good business to be green these days.
DametoBlame DametoBlame 9 years
well honestly, i remember as a young girl, my brother working at one of the (then) few starbucks. Back then the coffee actually TASTED fresh.. not old, burnt or sweetly covered up. It's not enjoyable anymore, the GOOD coffee was then a treat.. now just a lame waste of money. Its too overpriced for the poor quality.
cheersdahlin cheersdahlin 9 years
...starbucks is not any more expensive than ANY other coffee shop in America.
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
Tim Hortons' coffee sucks. But they have great donuts and bagels and yogurt. They really need to stick to that, though. Haha, and I'm Canadian.
angelinemarie angelinemarie 9 years
dear starbucks: i love you.
ladytinker ladytinker 9 years
I love my starbucks; but, no I don't get one everyday. I agree the prices are alittle high but has anyone complaining about prices bought a gallon of milk lately? A gallon of milk is almost a $5.00 a gallon so with milk prices high, gas prices high...yes, a drink is alittle pricey. The starbucks I go to has great customer service; but the drive thru could be alittle faster...sit in line a little longer then I like. Yes, they need to come up with more great hot and cold expressos that are lighter in calories but with a great taste. Ladytinker
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
The price definitely needs to be lowered. And they need to stop blaming gas/energy costs for the need to raise food prices. Starbucks sells CDs and mugs and other things-- why not increase their profit margin on those? McDonald's coffee was rated higher than Starbucks in a consumer survey, so that will be a lot of people who will leave them if they can get better-tasting coffee at a cheaper price from McDonald's.
Carri Carri 9 years
Of course the prices are way too high, but there's more to it than that. Starbucks is too loud and too dark, IMO. I used to like going to Starbucks to have a nice cup of coffee but now it's almost like they want you to grab your coffee and run. And have you ever noticed that it's always freezing in Starbucks? I feel like they don't even want me to stay in there.
emalove emalove 9 years
The only thing I'd change about Starbucks is their prices...their coffee is perfection to me.
longhorn_sugar longhorn_sugar 9 years
i don't drink starbucks bc in the back of my mind, i'm afraid i'll look like britney spears!
lifebeautiful lifebeautiful 9 years
i personally love starbucks, but it always looks cut from a cookie louis, charlotte, atlanta, even in germany they all look the same. there are so many talented artists in every city/state...starbucks should buy from them, or exhibit their art instead of having the same large prints up on the walls. i also heard from my friend who worked in starbucks in germany that the pastries are shipped to them from the US (frozen)....if that is true why not have local bakeries bake their pastries, that sounds much more cost effective to me. I have been to quite a few different starbucks, and I would love it if they would all add the same amount of about having small measuring cups so that it tastes the same wherever you go...I have had some overly sweet lattes.... and at they definitley need Wifi!!! my husband and I go to coffee shops only once in a while, as a treat, and if we take our laptop with us we are choosing a different cafe...because of wifi that said i still love starbucks, but going there will remain a treat.
caroled2 caroled2 9 years
One word, tea. I'd go to starbucks all of the time but I don't drink coffee. I know they have tea but they should promote it more. Also there is a Starbucks by me that has an outdoor seating area that is just FILTHY. It is over run with smokers and people with the dogs. I always cross the street rather than have to walk in front of it. I don't think that' very good for their image.
cmwheeler cmwheeler 9 years
The ceo is right about the customer service bid - I'd start a policy of having specific nights for groups, like a moms night, or study group night. I haven't lingered at a starbucks for quite a while, 'cause it's so full of teens. I know - the soccer moms rule everything, but they are the biggest consumer of designer coffee, why not cater to them?
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Oh yeah, one more thing, their drinks are SO FATTENING!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Woah, dam cabaker, you make a helluva good point! :)
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Whats this? McDonalds is opening a coffee shop? Or they're just selling lattes? *$ could lower their prices. I dont go there cos I cant afford it.
karempot karempot 9 years
starbucks have become a luxury for me now.. before when i didn't factor in the "Latte factor" and just kept drinking their designer coffees i didn't realize just how much i was spending for their coffee.. now i only go there as a treat for myself when i really deserve it otherwise i drink caffe d'vita (a mixed drink) heck it's no white choc mocha but it's good enough for my fix. i also enjoy drinking mcdonald's premium coffee. i have to admit, it doesn't taste bad. it's so rich in taste and pretty affordable, too. i miss tim horton's. oh how i love their donut holes.. i stayed in vancouver for a month to study law.. too bad they don't have them here in los angeles (or do they? i have to google that) another option for me is coffee bean, but i don't drink their coffee as much as i love their teas.. wait, what was the question again?
rebekahburder rebekahburder 9 years
I rarely stop in at Starbucks. It's not local, and it's cheaper to buy great beans and make at home. We're currently brewing Cafe El Indio. Love it.
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