In his keynote speech to NRA Show attendees Sunday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz addressed the importance of balancing social responsibility and customer service with efforts to grow same-store sales.
Schultz first joined Starbucks in 1982, when the chain had only four stores. His dream was to create “the kind of company that our parents never got to work for,” he said. When the company went public in 1992 with 125 stores, it was the beginning of a long period of success for the coffee chain, during which “everything we touched turned to gold.” But speedy growth coupled with the nation’s unstable economy eventually led the company to put most of its efforts into growing same-store sales and stock prices. “The company began to measure and reward the wrong things,” Schultz said.
In 2008, Schultz gathered all of Starbucks’ store managers for a meeting in New Orleans, during which he laid out his plan to bring back the focus on strong customer service and community engagement on which the company had been founded. (read more…)
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The National Restaurant Association’s NRA Show in Chicago kicks off Saturday with an anticipated 58,000 attendees from all 50 states and 100 countries, and a trade show floor featuring an array of exhibitors showing off new products from more than 900 categories including beverage, food, uniforms, equipment and furniture.
The show’s four-day agenda includes a keynote from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and a talk and book signing with Anthony Bourdain, along with a slew of sessions and features aimed at addressing hot topics in the industry, including health care, sustainability and nutrition.
The Affordable Care Act puts health care on the front burner for restaurant companies as they navigate new rules and work to calculate the costs. (read more…)
Sons and daughters across the country will honor mom this weekend with brunches, lunches and dinners to celebrate Mother’s Day. Some 80 million Americans have plans to dine out for the holiday, according to a survey by the National Restaurant Association. About one-third of respondents said they’ll celebrate at steak, seafood or barbecue restaurants, 24% will choose American cuisine, 21% will opt for ethnic cuisine — with Italian topping that list — and 19% are headed to buffet restaurants.
The National Retail Federation expects Americans to splurge a bit on consumer electronics for mom — in addition to flowers, candy and cards — and they’ll also spend about $3.5 billion on outings and meals including brunch and dinner.
This year, the holiday, historically the busiest one on the calendar for dining out, may be even more important for restaurants seeking to melt the deep freeze of the first quarter and warm up to what they hope will be a busier spring and summer, as the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. (read more…)
During the closing keynote speech of Partnership for a Healthier America‘s Building a Healthier Future Summit on Childhood Obesity in Washington, D.C., first lady Michelle Obama spoke about the necessary steps to ensure a healthier future for America’s youth. ”Slowly but surely,” she said, “we are beginning to turn the tide on childhood obesity in America.” The first lady cited heartening statistics: Obesity rates for elementary-school students in Mississippi — the most obese state in the U.S. — have fallen 13%, and, “rates are also falling in cities … like Philadelphia and New York, and in California as well.”
Though these numbers mark a step in the right direction, Obama made it clear there is much more work to be done when it comes to improving the health and habits of America’s children. She issued a call for change on all levels, from the largest food companies to the harried parents who are responsible for getting food on the table each day. (read more…)