Starbucks recently announced plans to add 2,000 new U.S. stores over the next three years. The locations include pick-up stores, drive-through only locations and delivery-only locations. The coffee giant said the expansion will enable the company “to meet customers whenever and wherever they want," reports Globest.com.
Starbucks also says it plans to spend $450 million over 2023 to modernize existing stores in North America with new equipment and technology. The company says it will “increase efficiency and reduce complexity” for store employees.
New equipment will include a dispenser system that reduces the time it takes employees to make customized drinks from 86 seconds to 35 seconds, the company said. In addition, the company plans to introduce new methods for brewing coffee that are not as labor-intensive as its current process.
The emphasis on improving efficiency by making it easier for baristas to serve up a growing menu of beverages (two out of every three drinks Starbucks sells are customized) comes as Starbucks responds to a growing movement by employees who are dissatisfied with working conditions to organize, reports Globest.com.
In the past year, 236 of the company’s 9,000 company-owned U.S. stores voted to unionize. In May, Starbucks pledged to make a $1 billion investment to improve wages and training for its workers, and to assist them with financial needs like student loan debt.