How a Small Idea Become a Huge Business
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Starbucks was founded by Howard Schultz in 1985 under the name Il Giornale Coffee Company and changed its name to Starbucks Corporation in 1987. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks operates and licenses more than 8,000 plus coffee shops both here domestically in the United States and internationally.

Company background
The inspiration for the Starbucks company was a Dutch immigrant, Alfred Peet, who had begun importing fine arabica coffees into the United States during the 1950s. Peet viewed coffee as a fine winemaker views grapes, appraising it in terms of country of origin, estates, and harvests. Peet had opened a small store, Peets Coffee and Tea, in Berkeley, California, in 1966 and had cultivated a loyal clientele. Peets store specialized in importing fine coffees and teas, dark-roasting its own beans the European way to bring out their full flavor, and teaching customers how to grind the beans and make freshly brewed coffee at home.

Howard Schultz strongly believed that Starbucks success was heavily dependent on customers having a very positive experience in its stores. This meant having store employees who were knowledgeable about the companys products, who paid attention to detail, who eagerly communicated the companys passion for coffee, and who had the skills and personality to deliver consistently pleasing customer service. Many of the baristas were in their 20s and worked part-time, going to college or pursuing other career activities on the side. The challenge to Starbucks, in Schultzs view, was how to attract, motivate, and reward store employees in a manner that would make Starbucks a company that people would want to work for and that would result in higher levels of performance. Moreover, Schultz wanted to cement the trust that had been building between management and the companys workforce.

One of the requests that employees had made to the prior owners of Starbucks was to extend health care benefits to part-time workers. Their request had been turned down, but Schultz believed that expanding health care coverage to include part-timers was the right thing to do. His father had recently died of cancer, and he knew from having grown up in a family that struggled to make ends meet how difficult it was to cope with rising medical costs. In 1988 Schultz went to the board of directors with his plan to expand the companys health care coverage to include part-timers who worked at least 20 hours per week. He saw the proposal not as a generous gesture but as a core strategy to win employee loyalty and commitment to the companys mission. Board members resisted because the company was unprofitable and the added costs of the extended coverage would only worsen the companys bottom line. But Schultz argued passionately, pointing out that if the new benefit reduced turnover, which he believed was likely, then it would reduce the costs of hiring and training–which equaled about $3,000 per new hire. He further pointed out that it cost $1,500 a year to provide an employee with full benefits. Part-timers, he argued, were vital to Starbucks, constituting two-thirds of the companys workforce. Many were baristas who knew the favorite drinks of regular customers; if the barista left, that connection with the customer was broken. Moreover, many part-time employees were called upon to open the stores early, sometimes at 5:30 or 6 am; others had to work until closing–9 pm or later. Providing these employees with health care benefits, he argued, would signal that the company honored their value and contribution.

The board came round and approved Schultzs plan. Starting in late 1988, part-timers working 20 or more hours were offered the same health coverage as full-time employees. Starbucks paid 75 percent of an employees health insurance premium and, over the years, extended its coverage to include preventive care, crisis counseling, dental care, eye care, mental health care, and treatment for chemical dependency. Coverage was also offered for unmarried partners in a committed relationship. Since most Starbucks employees

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Howard Schultz And Name Il Giornale Coffee Company. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from