Starbucks in hiring spree fueled by continuing store expansion

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz talks about the company's goal to hire 10,000 military veteran's and military spouses
Starbucks celebrates 25 years since its IPO
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23 March, 2017

Starbucks boasted that it had reached its initial goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses ahead of its 2018 deadline and will be expanding its goal to 25,000 by 2025.

Starbucks created an uproar on social media when it announced in January that it planned to hire 10,000 refugees in its stores worldwide in in response to President Donald Trump's executive order to bar US entry of refugees from several predominantly Muslim countries.

Schultz said that Starbucks' social mission is especially important in 2017, at "a time when hate and violence, both at home and overseas, threaten our shared values". (Leftover products will be donated to Starbucks' FoodShare partnership with Feeding America.) The company has grown its food business 50% since 2013 and plans to double it by 2021, with "strong growth" in lunch products.

Earlier this year, Starbucks announced its plans to hire 10,000 refugees across its global business in 75 countries by 2022.

The announcement came at the company's annual shareholder meeting where Starbucks' outgoing CEO Howard Schultz is also expected to touch upon the company's commitment to hiring refugees. The YouGov Brand Index said the chain's "Buzz score" fell by two-thirds since the January 29 announcement.

In addition, Starbucks is scheduled to open 100 more military family stores throughout the U.S.in the next five years.

"There is zero, absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there is any dilution of the Starbucks brand, reputation or core business as a result of being compassionate", Schultz said in response to a question from Danhof. Starbucks will open 3,400 USA stores and 12,000 global stores by 2021.

The company also surpassed its goal of hiring 10,000 Opportunity Youth.

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The annual meeting was Schultz's last as the company's CEO.

"I have venti shoes to fill", Johnson said. It will begin selling a new line of grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, dubbed "Mercato", in Chicago next month. The items will be made fresh daily, with the night's leftovers going to local food banks.

The company will also be hiring more young people.

Mobile order and payment now represents more than 8 percent of all transactions in Starbucks U.S. locations, and the company has about 9 million mobile-paying customers.

Schultz added that the brand is continuously being recognized for being connected to and trusted by its customers, including being named the country's third-most admired brand by Fortune magazine.

"Certainly, I think transitions from founders are particularly unique and sometimes challenging transitions to execute", he said.

Johnson added, "while some will try to politicize things that we do, for us this is not about politics, it's about principles".

Meanwhile, the chain said it plans to integrate its mobile order and pay platform with Amazon's Alexa and Ford vehicles later this year.


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