Seasonal Offerings Drive Sales at Starbucks

Here’s a closer look at how the QSR succeeds in owning its calendar to increase traffic.

December 04, 2023

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte returned to stores in August, and its 2023 holiday menu launched last month.

A report released by stated, “Starbucks excels in driving traffic to its venues during otherwise unremarkable times through recurring seasonal menus and special promotions. The company demonstrated its mastery at owning the calendar earlier this summer through its ‘WinsDays’ deals, which offered Starbucks Rewards members 50% off cold drinks when ordering through the app on Wednesdays. The promotion drove traffic to the chain during the typical midweek lull and may have gotten visitors excited about the main event later in the month—the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

According to, Starbucks experienced its most successful Pumpkin Spice Latte launch in recent years with a 25.1% increase in visits on the day of the launch.

The launch of the holiday menu in November caused a surge in foot traffic at Starbucks locations. However, the QSR experienced a relatively subdued Red Cup Day, an event following the release of the holiday menu where customers who purchase a beverage off the holiday menu receive a complimentary reusable red cup.

According to, in 2020, 2021 and 2022, daily visits during Red Cup Day jumped by 74.4%, 65% and 81%, compared to the daily visit average during the five weeks preceding Red Cup Day each year, respectively. In 2023, Starbucks also experienced a surge in numbers but smaller than previous years at 31.7%.