TIME Companies

Starbucks CEO Asks Baristas to Be ‘Sensitive’ to Customers as Stock Market Plunges

Stephen Brashear—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz speaks during Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting on March 18, 2015 in Seattle.

"Our customers are likely to experience an increased level of anxiety and concern"

The CEO of Starbucks asked his employees to be especially sensitive to customers because of the stress they may be feeling over the plunging stock market.

In an email to his 190,000 employees, Howard Schultz wrote, “Today’s financial market volatility, combined with great political uncertainty both at home and abroad, will undoubtedly have an effect on consumer confidence and perhaps even our customers’ attitudes and behavior. Our customers are likely to experience an increased level of anxiety and concern…Let’s be very sensitive to the pressures our customers may be feeling, and do everything we can to individually and collectively exceed their expectations.”

Schultz has made a reputation for himself as a CEO who cares, emphasizing his commitment to improving society and launching initiatives to accomplish this goal—including the “Race Together” campaign that asked baristas to write that phrase on cups and discuss America’s racial issues with customers, a move that some criticized as tone-deaf.

“I can assure you that we will continue to lead and manage the company through the lens of humanity” Schultz wrote in his email on the market, “doing everything we possibly can to continue to make your families proud of our company and all we stand for.”

[Washington Post]

Read TIME’s cover story about Howard Schultz, ‘Starbucks For America’

MONEY freebies

10 Great Birthday Freebies

Photograph by Hermann Platzer—Getty Images

From a tasty breakfast to dessert on the house.

You really don’t have to pay much to eat, drink or be merry on your birthday. And there are even some gifts that are yours to pick up if you sign up for a club or emails. A few other offers require only that you present identification showing that it’s your birthday. But know that restaurants and retailers are ready to wish you —or your child (and even your pet in some cases) — happy birthday with something special.

Here, we’ve tried to highlight some that are available to most of the country, but it’s smart to check for local/regional deals as well. Those can be valuable. (Example: Georgia residents can get into the Georgia Aquarium for free with a valid ID showing it’s their birthday, a value of nearly $40.) Here are a few birthday freebies that you can get simply for marking another year.

1. Perfume/Cologne

You can get a regular-size Aveda “Pure-fume” product, worth up to $25, just for notching another year (assuming you’ve registered on their site). The voucher comes by postal mail, so you’ll need to give your address (and some lead time).

2. Restaurant Dinner (or Fast Food)

You’ll need some company to use this one, but you didn’t want to celebrate alone anyway, did you? Benihana will send you a $30 gift certificate. It’s not good for alcohol, and it’s not good for weekends. If your kids 12 and younger also like Benihana, there’s a Kabuki Kids program for them. Or, you could go get a birthday burrito at Moe’s (no additional purchase required). Too many places to mention offer free dessert or appetizers. A search engine can help you find out if a favorite restaurant of yours offers freebies. We’ve even heard of restaurants that don’t (officially) offer birthday freebies giving a free meal to a regular customer who asks.

3. Movies

We don’t actually know what Cinemark will give you (a “special birthday coupon”) but if you like going to the movies, you have nothing to lose because it’s a free surprise if you subscribe to their weekly email. We know for sure what Redbox will give you, though. Sign up for the Redbox Play Pass and receive a free one-day birthday rental.

4. Breakfast or Sub With an ID

Walk into Denny’s or Firehouse Subs on your birthday with your ID, and know that you won’t be paying. At Denny’s, you can get a Grand Slam breakfast, and at Firehouse a medium sub is on the house.

5. Coffee Drink

Whether you frequent Starbucks (using a My Starbucks Rewards card) or Caribou (using Caribou Perks) there’s a barista who is ready to make you a complimentary beverage on your birthday.

6. Decadent Fruit

More From Credit.com:

TIME Starbucks

This Is The Day Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Will Hit Stores

Starbucks Price Hike
Gene J. Puskar—AP

There will reportedly be 'early access' for certain customers

Labor Day, which falls on Monday, Sept. 7, is already a national holiday. But for Starbucks fans out there, Sept. 8 might as well be one, too. That’s because that Tuesday is the national release of the coffee chain’s wildly popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, according to NBC.

There will reportedly be “early access” for certain customers, according to the NBC report, citing staff members.

Love it or hate it, or love to hate it, the latte has been a boon for Starbucks sales. But this latte won’t be like those consumed in years past. In fact, as Fortune recently wrote, the beverage has a new recipe that includes real pumpkin and no caramel coloring.

“After hearing from customers and partners about ingredients, we took another look at this beverage and why we created it so many years ago,” wrote Peter Dukes, director of espresso Americas for Starbucks, in a blog post. The prior version was made with “warm fall spices with delicious flavor of pumpkin pie,” he wrote.

According to NBC:

In the past, Starbucks has granted early access based on rewards status or completion of an online scavenger hunt. In previous years, certain cities have gotten it earlier after residents placed the most votes to get them ahead of the rest of the nation.

This timeline is a shift of a more than a week from last year’s early access date of August 26 and later than last year’s nationwide launch of Sept. 2. Labor Day, which is traditionally a harbinger of autumn activities, also falls later this year. Like last year, PSL’s official launch is slated for the day after the holiday.

TIME Food & Drink

There’s Bad News For Pumpkin Spice Latte Lovers


Patience is a virtue, they say

You’re going to have to wait a little longer this year to get your fix of Starbucks’ iconic fall beverage, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. While last year the latte was available in stores starting August 26, this year, fans will have to wait until Sept. 8, CNBC reports.

The news will surely devastate fans who’ve been expecting to have a PSL in their hand on Sept. 1, the unofficial beginning of fall.

This has been a buzzy few days for the polarizing latte. Last week, Starbucks announced that they tweaked the classic recipe. They’ll now be adding real pumpkin, which has upset PSL-purists and excited PSL-skeptics, who never understood why the drink had “pumpkin” in its name without containing pumpkin.

For those who refuse to wait that extra week to get their hit of sweet, caffeinated autumn goodness, try making your own version at home. Or, simply enjoy the prolonging of summer.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME California

Customer Finds Hidden Camera in Starbucks Bathroom

Starbucks China
Zhang Peng—LightRocket/Getty Images A Starbucks cafe in Sanlitun, China on Aug. 8, 2015.

The restroom was used by both genders.

Police arrested a man after a customer found a hidden camera the restroom of an Orange County, Cali. Starbucks.

The suspect has been identified as Melcher Carrillo Alvarado, who confessed to the crime, authorities said.

A customer came upon the video camera on Friday after noticing a blinking blue light beneath a shelf. She found a camera, described to be the “size of a large marker,” pointing towards the toilet and used paper towels to remove it in order to preserve fingerprints. The single-person bathroom is used by both genders.

“You just never think it’s going to happen to you,” the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told NBC Los Angeles. “Once that device hit the floor and I saw the light, I immediately knew it was something, it was a camera.”

Investigators are currently trying to identify the people who were filmed with the camera.


Guess What Starbucks Just Added to Its Pumpkin Spice Latte?

No, it's not latte. And it's not spice.

Coffee giant Starbucks announced this week that when it brings back its seasonal favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte this fall, the beverage will actually contain pumpkin.

Previously, the concoction had contained no pumpkin, but instead spices associated with pumpkin pie.

Also as part of the PSL reformulation, the drink will no longer be made with caramel food coloring, the company explained in a blog post.

Instead, the PSL will contain what the company calls “Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce.” Here’s Starbucks’ ingredient list for that:

Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto…, Potassium Sorbate …, Salt)

The PSL’s spice topping will comprise cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove.

Although the company said the change came in response to feedback from customers and partners, at least one customer was disappointed with the new formula. Referring to the condensed skim milk in the Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce, commenter “JenSwift” wrote

As a vegan I am crushed I can’t have this. I was so hopeful when I read the announcement that you’d reformulated it. When I still drank dairy this was my favorite drink. I will love you forever when you make a vegan Pumpkin Spice flavoring.

Read next: Starbucks Just Released an App Update That Lets You Skip Waiting in Line


McDonald’s Is Now the Top Choice for ‘Breakfastarians’

McDonalds To Offer Its Breakfast Menu All Day Long
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images A McDonald's Egg McMuffin.

Ronald McDonald has been waiting for good news like this

There are at least 1,000 Americans who call themselves “Breakfastarians,” meaning they eat breakfast twice a day. Not only do they exist, but they also have been surveyed, and the results are in: this breed of breakfast devotees trust McDonald’s to deliver the goods, with 41% of respondents saying they were considering it for their next meal, which is, presumably, breakfast.

That’s good news for the long-sagging Golden Arches, which will introduce all-day breakfast this fall, according to Reuters. Don’t just ask the Breakfastarians. In the U.S., one quarter of McDonald’s sales and 40% of its profits flood in before 11 a.m.

According to the survey — which was conducted by YouGov BrandIndex — Subway and IHOP earned silver and bronze with 34% and 32% of the respondents, respectively, considering the restaurant for their next meal. Burger King and Starbucks won over 27% and 26% of hearts, respectively, while Denny’s and Dunkin Donuts were tied for 25%. Wendy’s, KFC, and Chick-Fil-A finished off the top ten.

McDonald’s might have to wait until the fall to see if Americans who only eat breakfast once a day have the same preferences.

TIME Starbucks

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Is About to Change

Starbucks Coffee Emerges As Largest Food Chain in Manhattan
Stephen Chernin—Getty Images

Coffee giant has shared a full ingredient list

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is undergoing a big transformation this fall. The popular espresso-based drink has a new recipe that will use real pumpkin and no caramel coloring.

The coffee giant, which had previously disclosed nutritional information for the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but wasn’t as forthcoming about the ingredients in the beverage, on Monday shared more details about what goes into the drink. Starbucks shared a full ingredient list to give customers more clarity about how the popular beverage is made.

“After hearing from customers and partners about ingredients, we took another look at this beverage and why we created it so many years ago,” wrote Peter Dukes, director of espresso Americas for Starbucks. The prior version was made with “warm fall spices with delicious flavor of pumpkin pie,” Dukes shared in the post.

The changes were announced by Starbucks’ Twitter handle for the beverage, @TheRealPSL. That handle has nearly 82,000 followers.

There is also a savvy marketing strategy behind the Starbucks announcement that is especially on trend today. People want to know more about what they are eating and drinking, and major food and beverage companies are responding by sharing any major changes to the formulas behind some of the biggest brands. The Pumpkin Spice Latte will remain an indulgent treat even with the additional details about how it is made now public. But Starbucks will likely only gain fans by being more transparent about how the drink is made.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte generates outsized excitement becasue the beverage is Starbucks top-selling seasonal drink of all time. Last year, Starbucks made headlines when it announced it would release the drink earlier than the company had in the past.

TIME Starbucks

Starbucks Has a Plan For Evenings: Wine, Beer, and Small Plates

A Starbucks store is seen in New York
Eric Thayer—Reuters

Plans have been underway since 2010

Starbucks is a beverage giant mostly known for selling that morning cup of coffee. The chain has spent years working on a plan to give customers a reason to visit at night, too.

USA Today points to the effort by Starbucks to accelerate efforts to sell wine and beer at the company’s restaurants. Starbucks has confirmed it has applied for liquor licenses at several hundred additional locations throughout the U.S. in recent months, with plans to have most of the stores selling beer and wine by the end of the year.

Starbucks will also sell small plates such as bacon-wrapped dates at two dozen new locations across the U.S., Starbucks told the newspaper.

The strategy makes sense on several fronts. Though Starbucks tries its best to sell food, it essentially remains a beverages company. Roughly 73% of revenue derived at company-operated locations comes from beverages — a mix of coffee, teas, and new offerings such as smoothies and handcrafted sodas. But go into any Starbucks in the evening and there are often far shorter lines and fewer people than in the morning, as the need for that caffeine jolt really dips in the later hours of the day.

Starbucks has a lot of prime real estate in urban markets — so it would make sense it would want to leverage those locations for a night occasion. The company has been testing the concept since late 2010, when Starbucks tried serving wine and beer in a handful of Seattle and Portland locations. It has since expanded testing to other markets. Other restaurant concepts are trying the reverse strategy. Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, for example, has made a big push into breakfast.

MONEY Sports

10 Insanely Rich Pro Athletes Humbled by Financial Ruin

It's shocking how quickly sports stars can make--and lose--a fortune.

When Vin Baker was a 20-year-old center on the unheralded University of Hartford basketball team, Sports Illustrated called him “America’s Best Kept Secret.” Recently, it was widely reported that the former pro basketball star, who earned $100 million during 13 NBA seasons, is broke and currently in training for a managerial position at a Starbucks franchise in Rhode Island.

At first glance, Baker’s financial hardship seems incomprehensible: He managed to deplete that massive fortune only 10 years into his retirement from basketball. In fact, Baker’s situation is disturbingly common. According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 78% of former NFL players face bankruptcy or financial stress within two years of retirement. That same article reported that the rate of NBA retirees going broke within five years of leaving the court was as high as 60%. The NBA says that figure was overblown and pulled out of thin air; according to an NBA union survey, within 10 years of retiring 6% to 8% of players had lost huge amounts of money or were having trouble making ends meet.

In any event, everyone acknowledges that the finances of pro athletes and retirees is a source of serious concern. Students of behavioral economics may not be surprised to learn that basketball players who demonstrate a preference for long-range, low-percentage three-pointers seem especially likely to run into financial problems when they retire.

Poor financial literacy, ill-chosen accountants and other financial advisors, high-risk investing, gambling addictions, divorce, cultures of lavish spending, and much else have led countless professional athletes to bottom out financially over the years. MONEY has put together a list of ten of the most famous flops, from the professional boxing leagues to the WNBA, as living proof that even the biggest of fortunes can have a short shelf life.

READ NEXT: This NFL Millionaire Lives on a $60K Budget to Save for the Future


  • Mike Tyson

    Mike Tyson
    Christian Petersen—Getty Images LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 11: Former boxing champion Mike Tyson in attendance during the UFC 189 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 11, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Tyson was just 20 in 1986 when he nabbed the record for the youngest boxer to become a WBC, IBF, and WBA champion. During the long career in the ring that followed, he fought in over 100 professional matches, held the heavyweight championship more than once, and earned more than $400 million. Yet Tyson declared bankruptcy even before he retired in 2003.

    Where did all the money go? A 2003 New York Times article on the filing claimed that Tyson “spent with the type of aggressiveness that once characterized his early round knockouts”—on everything from jewelry and limousines to Siberian tigers. Tyson claims crooked promoters didn’t help: In 1998, he filed a $100 million suit again his former promoter, Don King, claiming King had cheated him out of tens of millions over the course of the ’90s.

  • Allen Iverson

    Allen Iverson
    Jesse D. Garrabrant—NBAE/Getty Images

    In spite of his relatively tiny stature for an NBA player (Iverson measures about 6 feet), this former shooting guard was once the league’s MVP, not to mention one of the highest-earning basketball players in the world. During his 2008-2009 season with the Detroit Pistons, Iverson’s salary was just under $21 million.

    But when Iverson’s wife Tawanna filed for divorce in 2010 after eight years of marriage, a different financial picture came to light. Iverson was apparently broke, in debt, and incurring monthly expenses—rumored to include the cost of buying new clothes when he traveled to avoid carrying luggage—that greatly exceeded his earnings. At a 2012 divorce proceeding, Iverson reportedly pulled out his pant pockets and shouted at his wife, “I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger!”

    Still, as recently as May 2015, Iverson has denied that he’s in financial straits. And the 11-time All-Star has a Reebok-funded “rainy day” trust fund worth $30 million, though he can’t access it until 2030.

  • Diego Maradona

    Diego Maradona
    Paolo Bruno—Getty Images

    One of two recipients of FIFA’s 2000 “Player of the 20th Century” Award, Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona is considered one of the best soccer players of all time. He’s been paid accordingly, setting the world record for soccer team transfer payments twice, and, for a recent coaching gig for Dubai-based team Al Wasl, earning a salary of nearly $3 million per year.

    Unfortunately, the same success can not be claimed for Maradona’s management of personal finances. The Italian government claims that he owes $50 million in unpaid taxes from his time playing for Napoli from 1984 to 1991. So far, all Maradona has coughed up is some expensive jewelry, a sign that he may not be the ideal candidate to replace disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

  • Antoine Walker

    Antoine Walker
    Mona Shield Payne—AP

    A three-time NBA All-Star and NCAA and NBA champion, Antoine Walker earned just north of $108 million over the course of his 13-year NBA career.

    But Walker matched his big earnings with financial decisions that were questionable at best. The 6-foot-9 baller reportedly never wore the same designer suit twice, and said he was lending financial support to 70 different friends and family members at the height of his spending. In 2009, Walker was arrested for writing over $1 million in bad checks to Las Vegas casinos.

    Walker filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, and has since teamed up with Morgan Stanley, where, as a consultant for Morgan Stanley Global Sports and Entertainment, he’ll provide insight to financial advisers and clients. “Gone In An Instant,” Walker’s documentary about his financial downfall, is scheduled to be released later this year.

  • Lenny Dykstra

    Lenny Dykstra
    Getty Images—Getty Images

    More than a decade after his 1985-1996 Major League Baseball career had ended, this former Mets and Phillies star seemed to be on top of his financial game.

    In 2008, Dykstra listed his net worth as $58 million; a year before that he dropped $18.5 million on a mansion in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He even had his own website for investing ideas (“Nails Investments”), a magazine geared towards athletes’ high-end lifestyles (Player’s Club), and a financial advice column on TheStreet.com.

    But in 2009 Dykstra, claiming to be a victim of mortgage fraud, lost his house to foreclosure and filed for bankruptcy, listing less than $50,000 in assets and $10 to $50 million in liabilities. In 2012 he was sentenced to 6.5 months in prison for bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, and money laundering.

  • Sheryl Swoopes

    Sheryl Swoopes
    Terrence Vaccaro—Getty Images

    WNBA salaries are notoriously lower than those in the NBA—in 2014, the maximum league salary was $107,000—but Swoopes, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA MVP, earned over $50 million by becoming the first female basketball player to lend her name to a sneaker: the Nike Air Swoopes.

    Unfortunately, a series of bad investments and unscrupulous lawyers and agents led her to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2004. In 2009, when Swoopes was 37 and was cut from the Seattle Storm, she was so poor she couldn’t afford to pay rent.

  • Darren McCarty

    Darren McCarty
    Christian Petersen—Getty Images

    Generally speaking, NHL players don’t make quite as much as the stars in other professional sports. But you’d think that McCarty, a four-time Stanley Cup winner who earned more than $15 million during his 15-season career as a tough-nosed “enforcer” on the ice, would have been comfortable in retirement.

    Instead, McCarty reportedly fell under the influence of drugs and gambling, and filed for bankruptcy in 2006, before his NHL career had even come to an end. Later, he was also accused by the IRS of failing to pay his taxes. In 2012, McCarty was featured in a couple of episodes of TruTV’s “Hardcore Pawn”—less than three years after retiring, he was working at the pawn shop featured in the show.

  • Dorothy Hamill

    Dorothy Hamill
    Getty Images

    Even decades after winning a gold medal for figure skating in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, Dorothy Hamill was one of the nation’s most popular athletes. A 1993 survey by the Sports Marketing Group of Dallas placed her popularity above that of Michael Jordan. When she signed a $1 million-a-year contract to skate for the Ice Capades—a franchise she would later come to co-own—her financial future seemed set.

    And yet America’s favorite figure skater was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996, blaming her estranged husband for steering her into bad business decisions. Hamill continued to tour, perform on TV, and in 2007 published a New York Times bestselling memoir A Skating Life: My Story.

  • Terrell Owens

    Terrell Ownes
    Jason LaVeris—Getty Images

    Over 15 seasons as a standout NFL wide receiver (1996-2011), Terrell Owens was known for his athleticism and emotion on the field, as well as a wide array of end zone celebrations after scoring touchdowns. But unlike his football record, Owens’ finances left little to celebrate.

    Despite an estimated $80 million in career earnings, Owens was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2012, citing bad investments, a collapsed housing market, and some $50,000 of monthly child support payments.

  • Michael Vick

    Michael Vick
    Jim McIsaac—Getty Images

    As a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Jets, Michael Vick surpassed $100 million in career earnings—pretty amazing considering he spent nearly two years of his prime playing days in prison on charges related to a dog-fighting ring.

    While in jail, in 2008, Vick filed for bankruptcy protection and convinced his creditors to restructure his debt. By living on a budget of $300,000 since his release from prison, Vick has reportedly managed to pay back almost all of the $18 million he owed at the time.

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