Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
It seems like the name Starbucks is almost synonymous with coffee. The chain is the global leader in coffee sales, with a 40% share in the U.S. coffee shop market alone. Starbucks is so popular that almost everyone has an opinion about their coffee, whether they steer clear of the relatively high prices and noted “burnt” taste, or they’re the first to flock in the doors when the fall menu arrives to claim a coveted Pumpkin Spice Latte. We’ve compiled a few interesting facts about Starbucks that you might not know, so grab a cup of coffee and let’s dig in.
The 11 Fascinating Starbucks Statistics & Facts:
- Starbucks just celebrated their 50th anniversary in March 2021.
- The first location was in a rented storefront near Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, Washington.
- For the first ten years, Starbucks only sold beans, not beverages.
- The mermaid on the logo is actually a siren.
- There are now 32,000+ stores in 80 different countries.
- China is the second-largest Starbucks market globally.
- As of September 2022, cold drinks accounted for 75% of the sales.
- The average Starbucks store sells 600 cups of coffee a day.
- Baristas make $12.47 an hour on average.
- If you work at Starbucks, you can earn your first bachelor’s degree for free.
- The classic seasonal favorites Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Mocha just turned 21.
History Statistics & Facts
1. Starbucks just celebrated their Fiftieth anniversary in March 2021.
On Tuesday, March 30, 1971, the first Starbucks opened its doors in Seattle, Washington. However, there were no bleary-eyed customers sipping cappuccinos at this location, which only sold coffee beans and equipment. Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl were the original founders.
2. The first location was in a rented storefront near Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, Washington.
The location of the first store inspired the name of Pike’s Place, the medium roast we enjoy today. The first beans were actually sourced from Peet’s coffee and roasted onsite. Operating as a store instead of a cafe, this location only sold roasted coffee beans to take home and brew yourself. However, if you visit today, you’ll find that there are still no chairs or tables, but you can order your favorite beverage like you would at a modern Starbucks.
3. For the first decade of the business, Starbucks only sold beans, not beverages.
Howard Schulz originally joined Starbucks as the director of operations and marketing in 1982. There were four locations at the time, and the business was booming, but they still didn’t sell drinks. When Schulz returned to Starbucks after visiting Italy a year later, he had a vision to transform the store into an Italian-style cafe like he had seen in Milan. The original founders weren’t thrilled about his plan, so he left them alone to start his own coffeehouse venture. However, they sold the business to him in 1987, and he was finally able to implement his ideas. Within a few years, Schulz had built thousands of Starbucks stores across the globe.
4. The mermaid on the logo is actually a siren.
(Design Bro, Atlas Obscura)
The siren has undergone a few makeovers since she first appeared on the Starbucks logo fifty years ago. Although it’s not as obvious now with her green and white color, modest apparel, smiling face, and lovely hair, she’s definitely not an innocent mermaid. In the earlier brown logos, she’s depicted as a bare-breasted siren with a large, oval belly and two tails that are provocatively split down the middle.
Allegedly, the idea was borrowed from a Norse woodcutting from the 17th century. Baldwin, Bowker, and Seigl wanted to convey a seafaring theme in their store, especially considering how international trade is vital to the coffee industry. Even the name Starbucks came from their shared love of Moby Dick. However, the mysterious siren has been spotted in medieval murals in Europe in places such as the cathedral in Pesaro, Italy.
No one knows whose culture she originally belongs to. The medieval church used her in their bestiary, pictures of beast-like creatures who had virtues and vices to watch for. The siren, though lovely, was supposed to serve as a warning not to succumb to temptation.
Starbucks Sales Statistics
5. There are now 32,000+ stores in 80 different countries.
Starbucks is now the largest coffee chain in the world. Perhaps surprisingly, Panera Bread rates #2. However, there’s no actual competition. In 2021, Starbucks made $29.061 billion in gross annual sales. While Panera Bread might be the runner-up, they made $2.8 billion, which is trifling in comparison. Additionally, Panera Bread only has store locations in the U.S. and Canada, while Starbucks serves 80 countries worldwide.
6. China is the second-largest Starbucks market globally.
Even so, China has fewer than 5,000 stores. In a September 2022 meeting, Starbucks executives announced that they plan to double the number of Chinese locations in the next three years, bringing the number close to 9,000 by 2026.
7. As of September 2022, cold drinks accounted for 75% of the sales.
Maybe surprisingly, the Italian-style cappuccinos and lattes that propelled the chain to fame in its early days are now making up a marginal percentage of the sales. In 2022, cold drinks such as the Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam were accounting for nearly ¾ of the sales. This shift is probably due to the rise of Gen Z and Millennial generations who are now the most frequent visitors at Starbucks.
8. The average Starbucks store sells 600 cups of coffee a day.
(The Commons Cafe)
That’s nearly triple the average cafe amount of 230 cups a day! Starbucks reportedly sells over 4 billion cups annually. Of course, not every Starbucks location is equally successful. For example, since drive-thru sales account for 50% of the orders, it’s reasonable to assume that the in-store locations at Target and in your local mall probably aren’t as profitable as strategically placed drive-thru locations right off a busy road.
Employees & Culture
9. Baristas make $12.47 an hour on average.
While $12.47 is the average, there’s a wide range depending on the position and the state of employment. For example, you’ll earn more in California where the minimum wage is $15 an hour, compared to Georgia where you can legally earn as little as $7.25 an hour. Also, Starbucks has expressed an interest in raising salaries to the $15-$23 range within the next year for everyone.
10. If you work at Starbucks, you can earn your first bachelor’s degree for free.
One of the best perks about working at Starbucks as compared to other chain coffee shops is that you have the opportunity to go to college for free. As long as you work in the store at least part-time, you can earn your degree online through their partnership with Arizona State University. There are over 100 undergraduate programs to choose from. The best part is there’s no contractual agreement, so you can leave Starbucks as soon as you graduate and not owe a penny.
11. The classic seasonal favorites Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Mocha just turned 21.
In 2001, Peter Dukes introduced the idea of holiday drinks as a way to attract people to the cafe. The following year the Peppermint Mocha enjoyed a favorable debut, and the Pumpkin Spice Latte rolled out in fall 2003. Not only did it work for Starbucks, but other coffee shops have also since tried to emulate their ideas in their own cafes. In the rising Tik Tok culture, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has been branded into its own acronym PSL, and is now associated with the beginning of autumn.
Frequently Asked Questions About Starbucks
Is Starbucks the largest coffee chain in the world?
Yes! Starbucks owns 32,000+ stores globally. Approximately half of the stores are located in the United States. Starbucks has basically no serious competition in the United States, where they own 40% of the coffee market’s shares. China has the second-largest number of stores, with 5,000 currently in business and an estimated 4,000 more on the way in the next three years.
What’s the best-selling drink at Starbucks?
While we don’t know the specific product that sells the most, cold drinks make up the largest group of sales. Drinks like cold foams and iced lattes accounted for 75% of the sales in 2021.
What countries still don’t have Starbucks?
Howard Schulz drew inspiration for the global chain from his travels to Milan, Italy. However, this country has given Starbucks the boot until recently. The first Italian location opened in 2018, and the first location in Verona finally opened in 2022. Other places that have expressed hesitation about letting the green siren through their borders include Croatia, Estonia, and most of continental Africa. Additionally, Starbucks functioned for two years in Israel between 2001-2003, but then the stores closed due to operational conflicts with the ongoing war in the Middle East. There are approximately 50 stores in Australia, but these were mostly poorly received by the residents and haven’t made a large profit.
Given the global fascination with coffee, Starbucks has made a name for itself by prioritizing reaching different places with its many stores across 80 countries. Although their cafes were inspired by Italian coffeehouses, their drinks have a decidedly American twist that departs from the ordinary while giving a nod to traditional macchiatos and cappuccinos. Maybe that’s why different generations for the last few decades have made this coffee chain their favorite choice.
Featured Image Credit: kevs, Unsplash