Who doesn’t love a good, old cup of their favorite coffee beans first thing in the morning to wake them up and get them ready for the day ahead? People all over the world enjoy coffee and for many different reasons.
While some are hooked on the rich and flavorful taste, others prefer to drink it for its stimulating effect. Some simply drink it hot as a way to keep warm. The earliest instance of people drinking coffee relates back to the 15th century.
Since then, coffee has evolved in a big way. There is now a whole range of different coffees available pretty much anywhere to tickle your taste buds. And much of this is down to coffee shops and coffee franchises like Starbucks.
History of Starbucks
Starbucks has been around since 1971 and is now one of the world’s largest and most popular coffee franchises. The American coffee company started out as a single outlet in Seattle, Washington, selling only roasted coffee beans, although the company did offer free samples to its customers to begin with. By the mid-‘80s the coffee house had expanded its operations to six different locations within Seattle and the following year saw the first ever Starbucks open outside the city. By the end of the ‘80s, there were 46 stores scattered across the Northwest and Midwest.
In 1992, at the time of its initial public offering (IPO), there were 140 Starbucks outlets in existence with a market value of $271 million. In 1996, the very first international Starbucks opened in Tokyo, Japan. A year later, an outlet opened in the Philippines. In 1998, Starbucks was introduced in the United Kingdom. The next ten years was the busiest ever in terms of growth for the coffeehouse chain. By 2008, there were more than 16,000 Starbucks outlets in operation around the world. Now, just over 40 years after the brand was first developed, it has more than 26,500 outlets under its belt.
As well as all kinds of fabulous coffee there’s a range of other delightful treats available for purchase at Starbucks locations. These include various teas and fresh juices, La Boulange pastries, hot and cold sandwiches, and snacks such as chips and crackers. At participating grocery stores, you’ll find certain Starbucks branded products including cold bottled coffee drinks and ice cream.
The Starbucks Franchise
While the Starbucks Franchise can be very profitable if you work hard at it, there are some things you should be aware of. First, the Starbucks Franchise is only available in selected countries across the world. Unfortunately, the USA is not one of them. Another thing to bear in mind is the costs involved. If you do manage to find a franchise opportunity in your selected country, the average Starbucks franchise costs are around $315,000, although you will have to first demonstrate liquid assets of around $700,000.
There are some other things to bear in mind that come in addition to the Starbucks franchise costs. If you do get through the company’s strict screening process, you’ll then need to secure a location. Then, once that’s been approved you’re ready to join the team. Upon joining the Starbucks family as part of your warm welcome, you’ll receive extensive training in the form of the Starbucks immersion program. Here, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the business and how to best make a success of your franchise. Finally, the company is only really looking for those that can take on multi-unit franchises. Ideally, they are looking for 20 stores within five years from each franchise.
The Expansion of Starbucks Licensed Stores
If franchising is not available in your chosen country, it may be possible to open a licensed Starbucks store instead. Having your own licensed store is very similar to that of owning a franchise in many ways. With both, you get to operate under the Starbucks brand and sell Starbucks branded products. With licensing, however, it’s all your own equipment, all your own staff, and it’s up to you to deliver all the training.
It all began in 1991 when the company decided to allow Host Marriott to open outlets in various outlets and trade under the Starbucks name. Then, hospitals, grocery stores, and colleges began to follow suit in licensing. Now, nearly half of all the Starbucks in the US are licensed.
In becoming a licensed Starbucks store there are various benefits immediately available including a readymade, tried and tested menu; ongoing support from some of the best coffee experts in the world; an assortment of merchandise to start you off; and all the equipment, training, and support you need. And you get to trade under the very successful name of Starbucks.
Downsides to Licensing
As with any good thing, there are always a few bad points to balance out the books. And while licensing as a whole can be a very good way to make money, we’d be lying if we said there weren't any negatives to consider. So, the following are a few of the downsides to licensing:
The Starbucks name is huge—as too are its specialty coffees—and is in almost every location you can think of from shopping malls to grocery stores and banks to airports with customers from all walks of life. You can almost guarantee that unless you’re in the middle of nowhere, sales will be high. By becoming a Starbucks franchise or operating your own licensed Starbucks will make you a great deal of money as long as you have some idea as to what you’re doing. So, if you’ve got the time, the cash, and the business drive to really go for it, what are you waiting for?