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Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture
By Taylor Clark
More people would give up sex before they'd give up coffee? That's just one of the delicious highlights from this largely positive, but unauthorized, biography of the coffee behemoth
- Starbucks's closest competitor in the coffeehouse market, Caribou Coffee, is just one-twenty-fifth its size. Every 10 weeks, Starbucks opens as many stores as the total number of Caribou outlets.
- Starbucks has had 14 straight years with at least 5% same-store sales growth.
- Contrary to popular opinion, Starbucks increases sales at rival nearby coffeehouses. For example, when it blitzed Omaha with six stores, coffee sales at local joints went up as much as 25%, and more new ones opened shop.
- According to Starbucks, the company pays more for insurance for its employees ($200 million) than it does for coffee beans, yet only 42% of its 125,000-plus workforce has company health insurance—a lower percentage than Wal-Mart (46%).
- The average customer spends $4.05 per visit for coffee; the average fast-food-restaurant visitor spends $4.34 for an entire meal.
- For a cup that costs $3.40, at least 40 cents is profit. When Starbucks bumped the 8-ounce cup off the menu, the 10-ounce "tall" (the new small) increased profits by 25 cents per cup for only 2 cents of added product.
Also this month:
Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil, From Wall Street to Dubai
By Ben Mezrich
Guile, ungodly amounts of money, espionage, spycraft—you'd think these constants of the business world would mean that more novelists would pen page-turners like Rigged. The latest book by Ben Mezrich, author of the math-geeks-go-to-Vegas best-seller Bringing Down the House, is another fictionalized account that charts the converging upward trajectories of two ambitious, self-made entities. A smart-mouthed Brooklynite named David Russo takes a job at the New York Mercantile Exchange and gets entwined with the emirate of Dubai, which has designs on global influence—and the money to buy it. Mezrich occasionally sacrifices depth and detail to maintain his rocket pacing. Most of his characters aren't fully formed, but his testosterone-fueled, ego-inflating world of traders and sheiks is just enough. Well, enough to create a rollicking ride and set up the (inevitable) movie deal.
How Toyota Became #1: Leadership Lessons from the World's Greatest Car Company
By David Magee
Magee, a journalist who in his book Turnaround explored how Carlos Ghosn revived
—Kate Bonamici Flaim
A version of this article appeared in the November 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.