Trouble Brewing for Starbucks

coffee steam 1, by flickr user waferboard, licensed by Creative Commons.

Totally worth the risk.

Studies have shown that up to 2 cups of black coffee per day can have a positive effect on the human body. Well, those days may be over. A non-for-profit group in California has filed a lawsuit against a number of coffee companies, including Starbucks, about health warnings on all products solid within the state. A little known chemical in coffee, acrylamide, can apparently cause cancer. Acrylamide is created during the brewing process when coffee beans are roasted. Though many experts agree that the actual risk of getting cancer from coffee is incredibly low, a judge ruled that Starbucks (among other companies) failed to include any type of warning or information of risk on cups of coffee sold. Read More

Corporate Executives Stand Tall On Worker’s Shoulders

Despite the current upswing in revenue, large American corporations have decided to keep employee wages uncomfortably low while corporate profits increase.  Of the 12 companies that are paying their American employees the least, 7 are in the restaurant industry.  These include, McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Starbucks, Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster), Dine Equity (Applebee’s, IHOP), and Yum! Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC).  These companies are within the confides of the law with the nation’s minimum wage regulations, but these employees are getting less bang for their buck than they should.  The current minimum wage is worth 30% less in terms of purchasing power than it was in 1968.  The other offenders of this immoral salary situation are national retail giants like Walmart, Target, and Sears.  Being compared to Walmart is rarely a good thing.  In this scenario Walmart is an especially bad company, since it is pretty well known that the Walmart CEO, Mike Duke, makes more in one hour than one of his employees makes in an entire year.

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Credit Will Do “Fine”

Too Much Credit, by flickr user Andres Rueda, licensed under Creative Commons

Credit Problems Stacking Up?

The likes of Target and Starbucks are about to enter round 2 of the heavyweight fight against Visa and Mastercard.  The settlement, which is roughly $7.2 billion, will bring an end to 7 years of litigation concerning the credit card companies themselves and big merchants, such as Target, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart.  The large merchants are protesting the proposed answer over “swipe fees” that they are ordered to pay in return for granting their customers quick service to their credit cards.  The underlying issue is that the nearly 8 million merchants are saying the deal is unfair for them, claiming the credit card companies are in bed with the banks and are focused on monetizing with no regard for business.  The economics of the settlement are also in question, as well as the $550 million tied up in a preliminary deal between the two parties poised to stop the bleeding.

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