starbucks: Tata Starbucks ahead of pre-pandemic numbers in terms of top line: CEO

“We have been cash profit and we continue to be cash profit,” says
Sushant Dash, CEO, Tata Starbucks

Has higher raw material prices impacted the business?
We have seen 7% to 8% inflation on coffee. For us what is more important is to provide the right value to the consumers and to give them the right experience in terms of what we want. We keep a lookout in terms of inflation and in terms of where it is going. So, we will keep a watch on that and see what we need to do. For us, the focus has always been about the consumer and about giving them the right experience.

Customers were ready 10 years ago as well with those serpentine queues outside. How have footfalls been of late? What is the average spend per consumer? Has that now increased?

Post Covid, the numbers have been good. Last year, we closed at a growth rate of around 76%. Our Q1 results saw a growth of 100 plus percent. So footfall has been sequential growth quarter on quarter. We have grown quite a bit in terms of the numbers post Covid.

In terms of the average ticket size, growth has come on the back of multiple innovations that we have done – be it in terms of a food programme, be it in terms of the drinks that we have launched, in terms of limited time offers – be it Vegan, be it Bacon that we have launched for the first time in Mumbai. Those are some of the things that have driven our ticket sizes and they have increased.

For the standalone Starbucks outlets, are you enjoying profitability now? Are you on the verge of breaking even or has that happened?

We have been cash profit and we continue to be cash profit, so yes.

You flagged off inflation. Then there was the impact of a black swan event like the pandemic. How were revenues impacted and have you gone back to pre-Covid level now and what has been the inflation impact?

The pandemic did affect us but it also taught us a lot of good things. We did a lot of things which will help us to take the business forward, delivery being one of them. In terms of both consumer behaviour and our learning, post pandemic, our business has grown sequentially. We are ahead of our pre-pandemic numbers in terms of top line and that is the good news.

Inflation has been a reality across all segments and that is something that is true for us also. We have seen inflation to the extent of 9% to 10%.

So will you be cutting prices?

We will keep evaluating and I have always said this I think and it is true for the Indian consumer also is the value that you give and it is the total package in terms of the product and experience. We will keep evaluating that.

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