Howard Schultz really turned me off the brand when he virtue signaled and said that Starbucks would hire 10,000 muslim refugees. Hey Howie - how about all of our military veterans who need work? How about our citizens who need work.
Some good news from The Seattle Times:
Owner of coffee and bagel chains buys Panera, adding to food challenge for Starbucks
Starbucks has been struggling for years to pull off its ambitious plan of selling more food.
That task just got tougher. JAB Holding’s $7.2 billion acquisition of bakery-cafe chain Panera Bread on Wednesday vaults the investment firm into the exact same lunch business that Starbucks is trying to penetrate.
While Starbucks has been attempting to improve its fare for years, it has yet to establish itself as a legitimate dining spot. Panera, meanwhile, has been fueling growth with a menu of chicken-tortilla bowls, flatbread sandwiches and Fuji apple salads.
Now, with JAB’s backing, it could compete globally with Starbucks and enlist the holding company’s roster of coffee offerings, like Peet’s Coffee, and brands such as Krispy Kreme.
I have always liked Panera's food - if Bellingham didn't have a kick-ass local bakery (looking at you Avenue Bread), I would be eating there a lot more often. As it is, Panera is one of my go-to places when on the road. I really like that JAB has kept a hand's off approach to their acquisitions - the corporate culture has been preserved and that makes their stores unique and a delight to shop at.