Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of decades, you've probably heard of Starbucks. After all, it's been around since 1971, and, as of today, there are 16,300 locations around the globe. Besides its unique sizing system (Tall! Grande! Venti!), there are plenty of other interesting things to learn about this leader of the gourmet coffee revolution. Check out the 10 most fascinating facts below.
1. There are over 87,000 drink combination possibilities.
We knew they had a big menu, but 87,000 options? In 2008, the company included this number as part of a full-page advertisement in two national newspapers. Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Passe explained how they came up with it to a Wall Street Journal blogger: "If you take all of our core beverages, multiply them by the modifiers and the customization options, you get more than 87,000 combinations."
2. The Cinnamon Chip Scone has more calories than a Quarter Pounder.
In addition to its coffee prowess, Starbucks is a mega pastry vendor. John Moore, who was a corporate marketing manager at Starbucks in 2002 and now writes the Brand Autopsy blog says, "If taken solely as a retailer of pastries, it would be the largest in the U.S." Unfortunately, some of those delicious pastries come at a high price (to your waistline). For example, the Cinnamon Chip Scone contains 480 calories-70 calories more than the McDonald's Quarter Pounder sandwich. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.
3. The Starbucks name has literary inspiration.
According to Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, written by Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, the conglomerate was named after Starbuck, a character in Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick. This nautical theme extended to the company's logo as well, which Schultz said was inspired by a 16th-century Norse print of a "two-tailed mermaid, or siren." Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
4. Smiling is part of an employee's job description.
This little tidbit was relayed by Marissa Bea, who has worked at Seattle and New York City locations over the past three years. "The employee handbook, called 'The Green Apron,' talks about connecting, discovering and responding, smiling… as a way to bond with customers," confirms Moore. Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.
5. Starbucks opens two or three new stores daily.
In his 2007 book Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture, Taylor Clark reported that six new Starbucks locations opened around the world every day and that this was all part of Schultz's plan to reach a total of 40,000 stores worldwide. The growth would eventually decrease-primarily due to the recent mortgage and financial crisis-to "two-plus stores" a day, according to Starbucks president of Global Developments, Arthur Rubinfeld.
6. The tables are designed with solo diners in mind.
The small tables are circular so there don't seem to be any "empty" seats and customers dining alone don't feel-or appear-lonely. "In environmental psychology, the round table is much more comfortable and informal for individuals, as well as groups of people, to sit at," says Rubinfeld. He adds that Starbucks will soon be unveiling a new table shape: round with one straight edge that allows tables to be pushed together to make room for four people. Photo by Nelson Cupeles.
7. Most stores are decorated according to one of three templates.
Store interiors are meant to reflect the character of the surrounding neighborhood. "Having a locally relevant design aesthetic is important," says Rubinfeld. The three themes to choose from are Heritage ("worn wood, stained concrete or tile floors, metal stools and factory-inspired lighting"); Artisan ("exposed steel beams, masonry walls, factory casement glass and hand-polished woodwork"); and Regional Modern ("bright, loft-like, light-filled spaces punctuated with regionally inspired furniture and culturally relevant fabrics"). There's also a fourth option, Concept, which is used in "unique" stores designed to "explore innovations within the coffeehouse."
8. There's a secret size not on the menu.
The 8-ounce cup called the "short" may not be listed as an option, but it's known as the "kid's size," according to Moore. He adds, "It's what the kid's cocoa is served in." Starbucks may soon be adding a size larger than the venti to its iced drink menu. According to the blog Starbucks Gossip, Starbucks was testing out a 31-ounce cup size called the "trenta" in Phoenix as recently as March of this year.
9. The posted hours aren't exactly true.
Though the store hours differ per location-some open at 5 a.m., others 8 a.m.-Starbucks abides by the "10-Minute Rule," according to Moore. The rule requires each store to open its doors 10 minutes before the posted time and close 10 minutes following the closing time. "This is just to provide good customer service, as there's almost always a customer waiting for a Starbucks to open," Moore says. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Original Article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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