Starbucks will sell salads to increase sales

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Looking to expand its afternoon traffic and increase food sales, Starbucks Corp. will start selling curried chicken and Asian sesame-noodle salads that cost about $6 at its U.S. stores.

The Seattle-based coffee-shop chain plans to offer four or five varieties of salads at 4,400 company-owned cafes in 22 U.S. cities, spokeswoman Tricia Moriarty said. It already offers some chef salads and garden salads, she said.

Tricia Moriarty said, "It's a fresh approach to lunch. It's to offer our customers more lunch options."

If each store sells seven or eight of the new salads a day, it would increase sales at older locations by 1 percent, Sharon Zackfia, an analyst with William Blair & Co., wrote in a note Friday. The company is working to accelerate sales after two consecutive years of slowing profit growth.

Starbucks said that it will stop selling soft drinks made by Jones Soda at company-owned stores in the U.S. to make room in its coolers for more food.

Stores also will take up to three more salads based on tastes in those regions. In Seattle, for example, stores also will carry white chicken curry with couscous, albacore tuna penne and Asian sesame noodle salads, Moriarty said.

Moriarty declined to disclose how much revenue would be gained by adding salads, but she said stores that offer lunch, on average, generate an additional $30,000 in sales per store per year.

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