The founder and returning head of Starbucks has announced plans to turn the flagging operation around by taking it back to its intimate coffee-house roots, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. CEO Howard Schultz is ditching the chain's profitable morning sandwich line after listening to advice from baristas who complained that the smell of the food was overpowering the aroma of coffee and detracting from the Starbucks "experience."
Schultz also said the chain would shut down 100 under-performing outlets and slow down the rate of new ones opening in the US. He hopes expansion abroad will offset a weakening US economy and revive Starbucks' slumping share price. Schultz said the sandwiches would be replaced by a healthy breakfast alternative: one that "wouldn't dilute the integrity or romance of coffee."