Starbucks Announces Wage Increases And Major Global Expansion Plans

Starbucks cups beside coffee beans
Starbucks cups beside coffee beans - Monticelllo/Getty Images

If you already feel like there is no way there could possibly be room for more Starbucks locations in the world, the coffee juggernaut disagrees. The company is fresh off of an impressive earnings report that saw its quarterly income rise to $1.22 billion, a significant increase of nearly $350 million from the same period last year. Starbucks is apparently feeling optimistic enough about the future to announce a massive global expansion plan that could add thousands of international locations. Dubbed the "Triple Shot Reinvention Strategy" in a press release from the chain, the expansion is part of a multipronged effort to grow Starbucks' business through improved efficiency, more stores, better digital service, and more.

The news of the expansion was paired with the company's plan to "reinvigorate partner culture." By the end of the 2025 fiscal year, Starbucks wants to double the hourly income it was paying out in 2020 with higher wages and more working hours. It also plans on revealing a new set of partner benefits and work enhancements in the coming weeks. While any raise for retail workers is a nice thing, it's hard not to see this as a response to the growing union movement at Starbucks. Over 350 stores have unionized over the past few years, and the relationship between the company and its employees has grown combative, with the National Labor Relations Board repeatedly finding that Starbucks has violated labor laws.

Read more: 31 Coffee Brands, Ranked From Worst To Best

The Bulk Of Starbucks' Expansion Plans Are Outside Of The U.S.

Starbucks international location storefront
Starbucks international location storefront - Matt Cardy/Getty Images

In the press release, the brand said, "The strategy builds on the significant business momentum from the past year while laying out a roadmap for how the company will deliver long-term, sustainable growth." The beginnings of the plan were first laid out by Howard Schultz last year, who has since stepped down as CEO of the company. While the first two points in the plan involve "elevating the brand" and "strengthening and scaling digital," the most eye-popping ambition is the stated goal to grow its number of stores to 55,000 by 2030, an increase of almost 20,000 locations globally, which would require opening eight new stores every day. With only about 3,000 of the new stores planned for the U.S., this plan would make Starbucks more of an international brand than an American one.

From a customer perspective, the biggest news may concern digital ordering. Starbucks wants to grow its rewards service membership by 75 million people over five years. While the details here are a little more vague, the company says it's focusing on personalization and customization along with improving the ease of service. This will involve expanding the kinds of rewards customers can earn with partnerships outside the company and teaming with Microsoft to use generative AI for product development. Regardless of employee concerns, ownership clearly sees a bright and profitable future, and the world's third-largest food chain could be on its way to number one.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.