Streams

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chairman, president, and CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz, explains why he returned as the CEO eight years after he stepped down from daily oversight of the company. He discusses his mission to return to Starbucks' core values in order to restore its financial health and soul. He tells his story in Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, which gives an account of how Starbucks struggled and recreated itself in the midst of the financial crisis.

Guests:

Howard Schultz

Comments [34]

Peter Talbot from Harrison, NJ

If this is the braintrust behind Starbucks I can't wait to open up local competition. What a self-serving, repetitive and colorless efficiency expert: no sense of the history of the coffee house or anything else for that matter. I like Starbucks coffee, but after this interview, Mr. Schultz has lost at least one customer.

Apr. 04 2011 03:19 PM
melonbarmonster

Oh please SB is not that bad. Some of their premium seasonal blends especially are quite tasty. But this is some BS. I don't want to hear a commercial for SB. SB has lost it and they are brainwashed on their own product. I never go there if there are options.

Apr. 01 2011 03:12 PM
Frank Rose from Cusco, Peru

<<Walking the interviewee through talking points>>
Have you listened to Leonard interview an author before? This is nothing new.

<<One big commercial>>
Again, have you listened to the show before? Every author who comes on is trying to sell their book. That's why they're on the radio.

Mar. 31 2011 08:24 PM
Kurt from Princeton

I don't "get" how anyone likes the taste of Starbucks coffee. I literally think there's something wrong with people who find it palatable.

Mar. 30 2011 09:01 PM
Mary from Bronx

Lenny--
I'm shocked! You're enabling Schultz to present one big commercial for Starbucks. Where are your typically incisive, probing questions? For example, ask about their targeting thriving community coffee shops and trying to push them out.
Service is slow at many Starbucks because the servers stand and talk with each other instead of the customer. The only place for good service at a Starbucks is at Barnes & Noble.

Mar. 30 2011 12:54 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Not to brag, but there are at least five Starbucks within five blocks of my apartment building and I've never been in any of them. I much prefer to support "the little guy," thank you very much.

That way, to quote Mr. Schultz, "everybody's a winner."

Mar. 30 2011 12:42 PM
Adrienne from Manhattan

I will admit that this interview is changing how I view Starbucks. I am learning lots. I didn't realize they had healthcare for all employees, for example.

Regarding the Starbucks that are licensed - like the ones Mr. Lopate asked about in grocery stores or airports - I wonder if Mr. Schultz has stopped by the NYU Starbucks at Washington Square East lately... it's by far the worst Starbucks I've ever been to. Where's the quality assurance there? Walking a mere 3 blocks to another Starbucks is worth it for the better experience.

Mar. 30 2011 12:39 PM
Georgina from Ramsey, NJ

That was a GOOD Starbucks advertisement!
I hope they gave a good donation to WNYC!

Mar. 30 2011 12:38 PM
Andy B. from NYC

<SARC>So good to come to WNYC where you can take a break from corporate marketing talk </SARC>

Mar. 30 2011 12:36 PM
tea drinker

Please ask him to confirm if SBucks is going to buy Peets.... I hope the answer is NO.

Mar. 30 2011 12:35 PM
Susan

Charbucks,
First time I taisted Charbucks I spit it out, I thought something was wrong with it.

Mar. 30 2011 12:34 PM
ag

has the posting of calorie counts in NYC affected sales or what's being offered?

Mar. 30 2011 12:34 PM
Chad from Brooklyn

How much coffee does starbucks actually sell these days. I go to a starbucks near Brooklyn College and it takes forever to get a small black coffee because everyone is ordering what look like blended ice cream sundaes.

Mar. 30 2011 12:33 PM
Adrienne from Manhattan

I will admit that this interview is changing how I view Starbucks. I am learning lots. I didn't realize they had healthcare for all employees, for example.

Regarding the Starbucks that are licensed - like the ones Mr. Lopate asked about in grocery stores or airports - I wonder if Mr. Schultz has stopped by the NYU Starbucks at Washington Square East lately... it's by far the worst Starbucks I've ever been to. Where's the quality assurance there? Walking a mere 3 blocks to another Starbucks is worth it for the better experience.

Mar. 30 2011 12:33 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Not to knock your guest, but the business world is incredibly boring.

Mar. 30 2011 12:31 PM
steve from Englewood

Please stop. This is one big commercial for Starbucks. Mr. Schultz sounds like he's reading from his book. Please stop.

Mar. 30 2011 12:30 PM
Yawwwwnnnnn

Lenny, you're walking him through all of his talking points. Innovation, hand-crafted drinks, emotional engagement...blah, blah, blah.

I'm tuning out now.

Mar. 30 2011 12:30 PM
Ace from Bensonhurst

Please, please, can't we have some ketchup for our breakfast sandwiches?

Mar. 30 2011 12:28 PM
Ciro in NJ from Garfield, NJ

The hard thing to find, in Manhattan, is a Starbucks with a public restroom.
Apparently, SB opens mini locations that don't meet the minimum seating to require restroom access.
Last October I was denied access to a restroom in a 47th St store, off peak, and was directed to McDonald's two blocks away.
When I tried contacting the regional manager,to voice my concerns, my calls were never returned.

Since that experience I have greatly reduced my Sb visits.

Mar. 30 2011 12:27 PM
Melody from Nyc

Good coffee doesn't need milk and sugar.

Mar. 30 2011 12:26 PM
Robert Plautz from New York, N.Y.

Could you ask Mr. Shultz if he sees any problem with employer based health care being used as an argument against government base national health which I believe is the only equitable and efficient way of providing health care to all citizens, regardless of employment status. Or does Mr. Shultz believe that there should not be government based health care but employer based?

Also, could he comment on the
fact that employees of Starbucks are typically young and therefore the premiums he pays are relatively low. Could Starbucks afford to pay health care benefits live General Motors, Ford, etc.
Thank you,
Robert Plautz
New York, N.Y.

Mar. 30 2011 12:26 PM
Orla

P.S. I must agree with the earlier comment that Pike Place is a big disimprovement, despite classifying myself as a fan overall.

Mar. 30 2011 12:25 PM
George Nyeki from Kenya

Starbucks buy coffee from developing countries where farmers are always exploited by brokers - Coffee bought for cheap.. Does Starbucks support programs that help farmers in any of these countries - if so which ones?

Mar. 30 2011 12:24 PM
Mary Carroll from Hawthorne, NJ

I have tried to drink Starbucks coffee but I can't get enough milk in the cup to get rid of the "burnt" taste! Is that from over-roasting?

Mar. 30 2011 12:24 PM
Orla from manhattan

Howard is losing a sale by doing this interview; I'm too intrigued to go out for my Americano! Starbucks is the one form of corporate colonization I let slide because its product is superior and Starbucks deserves credit for bringing coffee culture to the U.S. When I came here in the nineties there was no where to savour a coffee, Parisian style.

Mar. 30 2011 12:22 PM
Judith Shapiro from Manhattan and Rosemont, PA

Since Howard Schultz is claiming that Starbucks has not lost its "soul", or its distinctive identity and values, one may wonder whether the company really had to buckle under to the NRA in terms of allowing weapons in stores where the local laws do not themselves prohibit it.

Mar. 30 2011 12:22 PM
Jen from Harlem

How does he respond to the portrayal of Starbucks in the documentary film Black Gold which posits the company consistently undermines poor Ethiopian farmers?

Mar. 30 2011 12:21 PM
zelina

please ask him how they are taking responsability for the contribution of waste and harm to the planet that starbucks has contributed. i look in the trash on any given corner and its full of dead trees and unrecycled plastic tops

Mar. 30 2011 12:21 PM
jin from Brooklyn

My starbucks ...fav drink....tall 180 degrees, no foam soy mocha...I I have learned never say extra hot ...that is a vague notion...my coffee is still warm.... and No foam because the barista tries to give me a cup of foam after steaming to 180.

Mar. 30 2011 12:21 PM
Anna from Staten Island

I'm not a Starbucks fan per se, but I'll take Starbucks over Dunkin' Donuts coffee any day! Dunkin' often tastes burnt to me, and I can usually "fix" a starbucks cup I'm not happy with...
(that ultimate oatmeal is awesome and affordable, too)

Mar. 30 2011 12:20 PM
John Valdez

Starbucks bought out the Clover coffee machine company. What is the status of rolling those machines out to their stores? Or did they buy the company so other coffee shops couldn't get hold of the Clover?

Mar. 30 2011 12:20 PM
sasha from Brooklyn

Can I say those new bars sometimes pull very weak shots for the most part....one barista had the audacity to say I should order a double. What? why should I pay more... still loeve ny sbux ;-)

Mar. 30 2011 12:17 PM
CL from NY

Total "handcrafted" BS.

Mar. 30 2011 12:15 PM
Sonny Burke

I have not had a cup of Starbucks coffee in over two years and I can tell Mr. Schultz exactly why I stopped going to his stores. A while back they decided to serve only their Pike Place blend after 11 in the morning. It probably simplified ordering and improved profits, but I HATE that blend of coffee.

Tastes differ, some people may like that blend, but I think they plunged head first into these things assuming that customers would follow them in any direction.

Mar. 30 2011 11:49 AM

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