10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Starbucks

(Last Updated On: February 24, 2015)


With a stock market value of $51.6 billion, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world today, by far from Costa Coffee, its closest rival. As of last count, Starbucks has a total of 151,000 full-time employees employed in 20,519 stores located in 65 countries and territories. Out of these stores, over 13,000 are located in America, more than 1,900 in China, and over 900 in Japan. In fact, there was a time when Starbuck was opening an average of two stores every day
Nonetheless, even with such a big number of employees and stores, there are still a couple of astounding facts that the normal person – or even the regular Starbucks customer – has no idea of. Listed down are ten interesting facts about Starbucks that will give customers something new to discuss the next time they go to their favourite coffee shop to enjoy a cup.

10. Starbucks supports the legalization of same-sex marriage

IN the start of 2012, Starbucks was one of a lot of famous companies from the Washington area that supported a state measure the legalize same-sex marriage. To be more specific, Starbucks said in a statement they released,

Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. Starbucks strives to create a company culture that puts our partners first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion.

The National Organization for Marriage received 22,000 signatures in favour of Starbucks boycott, in response to Starbucks’ show of support for the legalization of same-sex unions. But advocates of same-sex marriage countered that show of force with 640,000 of their own in support of Starbucks’ position.

9. Starbucks was founded by two teachers and a writer

Three students met up at the University of San Francisco in 1971, and they finally ended by being a writer (Gordon Bowker), a history teacher (Zev Siegl) and an English teacher (Jerry Baldwin). After some time, Alfred Peet, a coffee roasting entrepreneur who was the owner of Peet’s Coffee & Tea, taught the three the way he roasted high quality coffee beans. That made Bowker, Siegl and Baldwin to get involved in the coffee business. During the first year of their business operation, the three friends bought coffee beans from Peet’s shop, and the three friend actually purchased Peet’s in 1984. Currently, however, they are no longer directly involved with Starbucks after having left the company and sold their shares are different times after that.

8. Starbucks was almost named “Cargo House” or “Pequod”
According to Starbucks co-founder Gordon Bowker, he and his friends were desperately near to naming their organization Cargo House until Terry Heckler, one of Bowker’s partners in an advertising agency, said that words starting with “st” were strong ones. Bowker then thought of a list of “st” words, and somebody found the old mining town of Starbo in a map of the Cascades and Mount Rainier. That wound up helping Bowker to remember a character in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, which thus, helped him to remember Pequod – the name of a doomed ship in the novel. That caused on Heckler to react, “Nobody’s going to drink a cup of Pequod!” Later, while on a brainstorm session, the founders concluded that they would rather name their brand after Pequod’s first mate, Starbuck.

7. The original Starbuck logo showed a suggestively posed mermaid with exposed breasts

The Starbucks logo is one of the most instantly recognizable ones around the globe, however who is that lady in it? Actually, despite the fact that the latest incarnation of the logo doesn’t make the fact so self-evident, the woman is really a sixteenth century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed siren. Furthermore with respect to the association between a siren and espresso, the organization’s name was inspired by a fictional whaler, so a mermaid isn’t that distant from the nautical topic. Maybe, Starbucks plans to link its coffee with the irresistibly seductive powers of a siren. By and by, the organization has decided to conceal the siren’s uncovered bosoms and her suggestively situated twin tails, which were noticeable in the first tan hued adaptation of its logo.

6. The first Starbucks didn’t sell ready-to-drink coffee

The first ever Starbucks shop, found at 2000 Western Avenue in Seattle, Washington was opened on March 30, 1971. Surprisingly, brewed coffee was not sold by this store, as the founders of the company were originally planning on selling roasted whole coffee beans and coffee-making equipment in their company. In fact, the only brewed coffee found in the store was free samples given away to encourage tasters to buy the store’s equipment and beans.
Later, when Howard Schultz was hired as the Director of Retail Operations after about a decade of Starbucks being open, he decided that Starbucks should be selling brewed coffee, not just machines and beans. However, the owners disagreed. This made Schultz start his own chain of coffee bars in 1986 called Giornale. Finally, Schultz bought Starbucks, changed the name of his two Giornale shops to Starbucks, and started expanding the company quickly.

5. Starbucks spends more on the healthcare insurance of its employees than on its coffee beans

When Howard Schultz came back in 2008 as Starbucks CEO, the company looked keenly at its expenses and made the goal of reducing $600 million out of it. That showed the company’s expenses on health insurance for its employees, which added up to a whooping $300 million – more than Starbucks used on coffee beans. Nonetheless, in spite of being urged to drastically decrease the amount or remove it altogether, Howard refuse to dilute employees’ benefits. He decided to shut down 600 stores instead, 80% of those stores having been open for a period of under two years. In fact, when a shareholder called Howard and criticized his choice of not cutting expenses on employees’ health insurance, he said to the investor that if he felt so confident about his position, he should sell his stock. (The investor didn’t sell.)

4. The Starbucks Trenta contains more liquid than the average human stomach can hold.

Before, Starbucks sold beverages in the following sizes: Short (8 ounces), Tall (12 ounces), Grande (16 ounces) and Venti (20 ounces). Already, some customers saw that Venti was too large to finish off, however, Starbucks introduced the Trenta (meaning “thirty” in Italian) in 2011, this is a astounding 30.9-ounce sized version of the company’s drinks. And if science is to be believed, a Trenta cannot be gulped down by anyone. This is because a normal human adult can only hold 30.4 ounces of liquids. But of course, Starbucks customers are famous of staying at the store for a lot of hours (and take bathroom breaks in between), so it is probable that there is actually a market for this gigantic beverage.

3. Starbucks is a market-testing a beer-flavoured latte

Starbucks has brought in all kinds of flavours to keep its menu fresh and exciting. During the last halloween seasons, for example, the pumpkin spice lattee was brought in and it gained a good popularity. But a beer-flavoured latte?
Yes, a Dark Barrel Latte – a beverage with a “savory toasty malt” flavor – is being introduced in Florida and Ohio stores. Alcohol lovers should not get too excited; no alcohol is found in the drink, it is instead consisted of “a blend of espresso, dark caramel and chocolaty stout-flavoured sauce and freshly steamed milk” and comes iced, hot, or as a Frappuccino. Even so, alcohol-guzzling individuals might have something to look forwards as Starbucks has announced that they will begin selling beer and wine in some of its locations.

2. A Venti Starbucks Coffee has more than five times than the caffeine of a Red Bull

According to research done, a healthy dose caffeine for an average adult is 400 mg a day. Well, with 415 mg of caffeine, the Starbucks Grande coffee has more than that recommended daily allowance mentioned above. And how does that compare to Red Bull? An 8.4 fl. oz. serving of the energy drink has only 80 mg of caffeine.
However, the more important question is: Is all that caffeine bad for you? Well, the answer is determined by who you ask. A lot of studies have claimed that too much caffeine aids to heart disease, hypertension, and pancreatic cancer, but other studies show that caffeine really has many important health benefits. What that is not mentioned though, is that taking 10,000 mg of caffeine at once is dangerous. But that amount would need more than 25 cups of Venti Starbucks coffee.

1. Starbucks’ profit margin in China is higher than in other countries

Yes, it is true: The 1,909 Starbucks stores located in China makes more money per cup than anywhere on the planet. To be more specific, a cup of Starbucks coffee at the price of $3.81 in London cost the same as $4.81 in Beijing, which is a cost difference of about 26%. During the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, the profit margin in Africa and the Middle East was 1.9% and 21.1% in the Americas. In the Asia-Pacific region and China, however, Starbucks profit margin was around 32%.
While Starbucks explains the price difference by saying that market drivers and operating costs in China are different from other regions, Chinese business observers point out that there is little difference in material costs across regions. To add on, Starbucks’ daily operating costs are obviously lower in China than in America. Looking at this point, Wang Zhendong, Director of the Coffee Association of Shanghai, commented, “Starbucks has been able to enjoy high prices in China, mainly because of the blind faith of local consumers in Starbucks and other Western brands.”