Starbucks Serves Up Hot Breakfast
By George Anderson
Turnabout is fair play. Others, from convenience stores to Dunkin’ Donuts to McDonald’s, are gunning for Starbucks’ coffee business, so why shouldn’t it try to grab some of the
hot breakfast sandwich market it has been missing out on for years?
The company announced it would expand the current number of stores testing breakfast sandwiches from 250 to 600 by October of this year. The chain currently has more than 7,000
company-owned and licensed coffee shops operating in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Starbucks is offering egg and cheese sandwiches on English muffins with trimmings such as peppered bacon and Black Forest ham. It currently sells the sandwiches, which are prepared
off-premise by vendors, in shops in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon. It will add San Francisco and Chicago to the markets testing the sandwiches.
Many believe that Starbucks’ test offers the chain an opportunity to see if it can make a business of breakfast sandwiches without a lot of inherent risk.
Linda Bannister, an analyst with Edward Jones, told The Associated Press, “If Starbucks can get food right, it gives them a whole new leg of growth.”
Starbucks has reported that sandwich sales have increased test store revenues by roughly three percent on average.
Tom Barr, who heads up Starbucks’ food division, is looking for the chain to expand the program even more moving into next year.
Moderator’s Comment: What impact do you think Starbucks will have on the breakfast sandwich market? Is the chain taking a clearly differentiated Starbucks’
approach to the business?
Tom Barr said sandwiches are simply a normal function of Starbucks trying to keep its customers happy. Sandwich choices, according to The Associated
Press report, include “eggs Florentine with baby spinach and havarti, and herbed sausage and egg with aged sharp cheddar.” –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Not just pastries anymore: Starbucks gets serious about breakfast
– The Associated Press/The Seattle Times