Starbucks Rolls Out New Initiatives

Pick-up café concept will cater to on-the-go customers. Plus, the company leans heavily into automation to increase customer interaction.
September 10, 2019

SEATTLE—Most Starbucks cafés haven’t changed in a decade, but CEO Kevin Johnson is revitalizing the store’s format in several ways, the first of which is by opening a pick-up café in New York City, according to BNN Bloomberg.

Opening this fall, busy coffee-drinkers on the go can order in advance and avoid lines. The concept is built off of the chain’s Starbucks Now stores in China that enable customers to order on their phones and collect items in a specialty “express” shop without waiting. If successful, the concept could roll out to Boston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

But more changes are also coming.

CNBC reports that 12,000 store managers from the U.S. and Canada were in Chicago last week at Starbucks’ Leadership Experience—the first conference for employees since 2014. While there, Johnson announced several changes in the pipeline for the company’s 15,000 stores. Key of which include:

  • Mental health initiatives: Store managers will receive training by Mental Health First Aid, a program that “teaches laymen how to help someone with a mental illness.” Plus, employees will have access to a meditation app, Headspace.
  • Reducing “remedial tasks”: In 2020, the company plans to automate, reduce or eliminate an additional 17 hours of tasks each week. This includes creating digital schedules and automated inventory systems so employees can spend more time interacting with customers and planning in-store community events.
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