If you were the CEO of Starbucks, what changes would you make and what would be your primary focus?

It’s an open question, leave your ideas in the comments.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Freeow! Chris. That’s a doozy. Lemme see…

    I would stop any further opening of stores. I’d put real machines in each location, and train real baristas how to use them. I’d offer WiFi for free, instead of charging for whatever AT&T contract it is that they use. My focus would be on selling coffee, instead of selling sugar (or sugar substitutes).

    I hope they wouldn’t pay me in shares, because the stock price would probably go down to $1.25 a share after I become CEO. If it stayed in business.

  2. Living wages for coffee producers and world peace.

  3. Starbucks is somewhat stuck. Like you inferred, Michael, if Starbucks did everything you suggest they’d probably flounder.

    That’s why I’d suggest they open up Starbucks Classic locations. These would be branded slightly differently, and be more in line with the dream coffee house with handmade creations, and no sugar drinks. It would be an interesting experiment in reinventing Starbucks, but probably wouldn’t work too well.

  4. David


  5. Pierce

    Offtopic here: it is as if the popularity of Starbucks has, if anything, ‘increased’ the interest in indie coffeehouses at the expense of the Seattle based chain.

    If I were the Starbucks’ CEO: I would scope out the indies while being incognito to find out what makes the latter tick.

  6. Austin

    They do check out the indie joints. We had a guy who was “quality control” saying that he drives around the region and didn’t like to go to starbucks if he could help it and would prefer the local shops.

    I think he was actually scouting locations to see how the local businesses do and how well they could compete with a local Starbucks. No point throwing one in a Safeway if there is a successful shop in town.

    I am with Chris. Similar to the idea of the Walmart Neighborhood Market. I bet it would be a huge success. Run it in the heavy walking traffic areas and areas where you already have a regular Starbucks. Use glasswear, sell real macchiatos, on real machines, with properly trained baristas.

  7. “Walmart Neighborhood Market?” Does that mean Walmart is expanding its war on small business?

    There’s a reason why Starbucks can’t open “classic” locations. They can’t raise their prices without pushing customers to the competitors. Better trained employees are better paid employees, and having real baristi means real training, which is expensive. I suspect that if Starbucks’ margins go down at all, investors will run screaming.

    Another reason: have you seen Starbucks beans? They don’t and won’t compare to a good, small roaster.

  8. mikeftrevino

    RoyaltyFirst off I would change the dress code for all executives to that of medieval lord’s garb. I would then grant them jus primae noctis (law of the first night), droit du seigneur (the lord’s right) on all drinks outgoing. I would then throw wild and bizzare coffee orgies in honor of my divine might.

    Oh, and I’d give myself a raise.

  9. Trevino for CEO of Starbucks in 2008 !!!

    paid for by:
    The committee to elect Trevino

  10. Good Question, Chris. Starbucks will implement most of these suggestions as long as there customers want it. They are very in-tune with the focus group and they do have a huge amount of feedback (see: http://www.ihatestarbucks.com). So, if I was the CEO of Starbucks, I will decide first if I want to be in a coffee business or in a fashion business as He indicated. I will analyze which one of these businesses makes me happier and which one is better for me. If I choose the coffee business I will turn every store in a coffee temple (for real). I will promote in-store roasting with automatic roasters and the latest available technology, I will promote training seminars about countries of origin, roasting methods, Brewing technics Etc.
    By combining true coffee knowledge, extraordinary marketing efforts and improving the customer service, the results will be amazing. I am sure they will change a bit in the years to come; Starbucks is not done teaching some of us a lesson in coffee biz.

  11. Pierce


    There IS the Renaissance Festival between Phoenix and Globe every year; maybe we can elect Lord Trevino there 😛

  12. MikeFTrevino

    LOL Lord Trevino!?!?! More like Trevino the fool.
    BTW Caligula would blush like a chaste schoolgirl if he ever saw what happens during one of the Starbucks Orgies held under my oppresive rule. I had to let you all know this if you want to be a part of my smokin’ hot winning Starbucks team.

  13. I dunno, Lord Trevino has a nice ring to it!

    Hot tubs filled with molten espresso…
    Frap***** scrubs…
    Barista wannabe’s doing your bidding…

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