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Starbucks pizza? Yes, it's true.

09 Dec 2016 709 Views

Starbucks just gave pizza restaurateurs a big and probably unwelcome surprise, announcing that the coffee giant wants a slice of the pie-making business. Starbucks is joining forces with the Italian brand, Princi, next year, when the coffee giant expects to open its own standalone Princi stores in Seattle, New York and Chicago in late 2017 and early 2018, according to a release about the brand's five-year plan, Likewise, it's adding Princi offerings to its menu in some of its newly planned stores. 

The chain's ambitious plan will increase revenue by 10 percent, grow earnings per share by 15 to 20 percent and drive mid-single-digit comp growth each year, while opening 12,000 new stores globally by 2021, said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer. Schultz stepped down last week as CEO to focus on growing the chain's Roasteries and Starbucks Reserve stores. Starbucks last week named Kevin Johnson as CEO.

"Industry-leading innovation is driving our core business and creating further separation from competitors all around the world," Schultz said in the release. "Our Roasteries and Starbucks Reserve stores will further transform — and elevate — the Starbucks Experience we deliver to our customers, and are laying the foundation for our next wave of profitable, global growth."

That foundation includes opening Roastery and Starbucks Reserve stores with extended food offerings for every meal of the day, as well as offering more complex and upscale blends of coffee and other beverages. With the current Starbucks locations pulling in what the company said is about "80 to 90 million customers a week," the brand's alliance with Princi and entry into the pizza marketplace is bound to send some shock waves across the already ultra-competitive food service sector. 

Starbucks said its Roasteries will be the most widely available showcase for the culinary products of its new food partner, Princi, according to the release. The Roasteries are part of the company's so-called "Reserve" stores, and fall under the direction of Starbucks' Siren Retail organization. The company said this arm of operations will "represent a significant growth opportunity for the company in the U.S. and around the world."

Breakfast time

Another part of the five-year plan is extending breakfast as sales of  breakfast items have doubled over the last four years, according to the release.

Next month, it will introduce Sous Vide Egg Bites, wheat-free, low-calorie, high-protein breakfast items. It also plans a spring launch of a certified, gluten-free breakfast sandwich, as well as expansion of its Bistro Box line and a "regional rollout" of organic soups. 

Networld Media