Starbucks CFO: Curbside expansion key to customer retention

Starbucks has added curbside pickup to 800 U.S. stores, with plans to more than double that number to about 2,000 in the next couple of months, CFO Pat Grismer said this week during the JPMorgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant and Leisure Conference. The company is also testing and planning to deploy handheld point-of-sales at the drive-thru to improve wait times, Grismer said.

With more people working from home, demand at the drive-thru, especially in the suburbs, has increased and resulted in longer lines. Both of these efforts are expected to reduce wait line rejection, Grismer said. Confronted with a long drive-thru line, customers can still place an order through the mobile app and pull into a curbside parking spot, which also takes pressure off the drive-thru.

With Starbucks not expected to recover from sales declines for another six months in the U.S., the company is prioritizing its off-premise channels, especially those offering contactless experiences. About 3% of its company-owned restaurants are also closed, mostly in central business districts and large metropolitan areas, Grismer said.

Source: CFO Dive

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