New York -- Starbucks Corp. is expanding its drive-thru format, the chain said in its first-quarter earnings call. According to company officials, more than half of the approximate 1,500 new locations it plans to open in the United States during the next five years will be drive-thrus.
Starbucks plans to remodel about 1,400 U.S. locations in 2013. Roughly 500 of those locations will receive a major overhaul.
“Drive thrus create incremental revenues and profits compared to traditional stores and represent a fast-growing and highly profitable format for Starbucks, comprising just over one-third of our U.S. company-operated stores but contributing nearly 45% of our U.S. retail profit,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said. “We are investing in this high-margin store format with innovations that will elevate the customer experience of our brand by enhancing drive-thru efficiency and consistency of service.”