Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz presided over the company Q2 earnings call earlier this week at which he announced plans for a $1 Billion investment in revised 2022 OPEX/CAPEX for such items as additional employee investments, more training, replacing equipment, building new stores and planning new sales platforms. This is the largest mid-year flex-up in discretionary corporate spending of any company that our restaurant analyst, John Gordon, knows of in his long history with the industry. And Schultz advises that there will be a detailed action discussion with employees on needs that will be fixed and the issues and pros and cons of unionization. Starbucks’ actual Q2 numbers were acceptable: the company missed adjusted earnings by only one cent and revenue was at expectations. North American and US Same-Store Sales were positive 12%, composed of plus 7% ticket and plus 5% traffic. They did not release North America store margins but it is estimated at 20.1%. Schultz concluded they have plenty of sales demand, but their ability to process sales was problematic. He said the “equipment now was wrong” given the shift to 80% cold beverages. Post Pandemic business trends continued with suburban and rural stores having the strongest comps, followed by outer city stores with drive-thrus, while inner-city stores in Central Business Districts have yet to not recover. Schultz reported that cold beverages are now 80% of the beverage mix, that the food attachment is at an all-time high and the active 90-day Loyalty card membership increased by 17% year over year to 26.7 million. Schultz spoke at length on the union challenges and how that culture would be less beneficial for employees. Reportedly, 50% of hourly employees or stores were online listening to the call. Of particular note to Dunkin operators, Schultz stated unequivocally that Starbucks needs to build more stores.