On its earnings call on Tuesday of this week, Starbucks reported respectable earnings, beating both expected revenues ($22 million) and EPS ($.22 EPS, GAAP basis) for Fiscal Quarter 3. In the US, it has regained most of its prior position with same-store sales plus 10% versus Q3 in 2019 (plus 83% versus 2020). Virtually all of that gain was the average ticket – finally posting positive on traffic. In the Americas, the average store EBITDA year to date was 29.6% of sales. With a new CFO in place, the format of the call changed dramatically: more openness on key performance indicators (KPI), numbers, and projections, as well as more operational details. Cold beverage mix soared to 75% of sales (results in higher ticket, of course); they are getting tremendous rural and suburban sales gains but central business district stores are just starting to improve. They project that the very high average ticket will moderate as single beverage customers return and reported that 80% of the store transformation projects to smaller/newer/DT have been completed. Frequency is their number one customer acquisition problem and with the labor shortage, the company reported that 70% of staff are new employees. Consequently, they have gone back to basic customer service training and adding new ovens and handheld devices to improve throughput. They project adding another 500 new US units through 2022, most likely in the Central and Mountain zones.