Starbucks Looking To Drastically Increase Food Sales

Students working toward their culinary certificates have no doubt already fueled a few late night study sessions with delicious caffeinated beverages from the popular chain Starbucks. In fact, it seems that many people seem to view the cafe as strictly a place to purchase coffee, despite the fact that the company has increasingly prevalent food sales. According to Reuters, though, the coffee conglomerate has announced plans to bolster its U.S. sales that go far beyond the traditional cup of joe. In fact, it seems as though food will be a key factor in the development initiative.

Investors meeting
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Starbucks held its annual investors meeting on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 in Seattle, where they announced ambitious goals for driving revenue from new sources. According to the report, the company announced a five year plan centered on the idea that they must innovate beyond coffee in order to achieve its fiscal goals. Specifically, Starbucks is hoping to double its annual food sale revenue within the U.S. by 2019. This would bring the total revenue driven by food to more than $4 billion annually, if successful.

Of course, in order to accomplish this, Starbucks plans to bring a great deal of new items to its list of culinary offerings. The business has experienced a considerable amount of success with its morning coffee and pastry items, so its new focus will be on expanding consumer traffic in the afternoons and evenings. its intend to do so by beginning to offer food and alcoholic beverages in more of its stores in the evenings. By 2019, Starbucks hopes to make these products available in nearly a quarter of its more than 11,000 domestic stores.

Risk and reward
Numerous analysts have been quick to point out that an expanded menu may not be the fastest or most foolproof route to higher revenue. As the raw amount of menu items that its offer has grown in the past few years, the coffee company has also experienced a slow in the growth of domestic traffic at its franchises. Internally, the believed cause of this is a general decrease in time spent in sedentary storefronts by U.S. consumers. Starbucks is also currently developing a mobile ordering interface aimed at simplifying the coffee purchasing process.

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