Following McDonald’s Lead, Starbucks Is Increasing and Diversifying Its Menu Options

A growing trend among many large restaurant chains is the expansion of their menus to include a wider variety of items. While this movement initially appeared mostly among “traditional” fast food restaurants, such as McDonalds and Burger King, its has caught on more recently with alternative chains, most notably Starbucks. In recent years, Starbucks has increased the number of items on its menu, from 181 in 2009 to 255 items today.

Not everyone agrees with Starbucks decision to diversify, and they don’t need to search far within the restaurant industry to understand why. The large restaurant chain Burger King recently made the decision to slow its menu diversification due to the fact that its customer service was suffering. With too many products on the menu, customers needed to wait longer for their orders. Since shifting their approach away from diversification, Burger King reported a 3.6% percent growth in same-store sales during the third quarter.

Countering this, Starbucks executives say that the increase in menu offerings has not affected its productivity (which it defines as the number of transactions per hour). While they do note that the overall rate of growth has slowed, they cite the broad retail-traffic environment as the major contributing factor, not an increase in the number of menu items. In order to ensure service is fast and efficient, Starbucks has begun experimenting with online ordering and payment options, allowing customers to send in their order and payment in advance, bypassing a line and picking up their order when they arrive. This, along with the potential for delivery options in the future, may help make Starbuck’s expanded menu a welcomed success. 


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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