Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of decades, you've probably heard of Starbucks. After all, it's been around since 1971, and, as of 2012, there are 17,572 locations around the globe. Besides its unique sizing system (Tall! Grande! Venti!), there are plenty of other interesting things to learn about this leader of the gourmet coffee revolution. Check out the 10 most fascinating facts below.
1. There are over 87,000 drink combination possibilities.
We knew they had a big menu, but 87,000 options? In 2008, the company included this number as part of a full-page advertisement in two national newspapers. Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Passe explained how they came up with it to a Wall Street Journal blogger: "If you take all of our core beverages, multiply them by the modifiers and the customization options, you get more than 87,000 combinations."
2. The Cinnamon Chip Scone has more calories than a Quarter Pounder.
In addition to its coffee prowess, Starbucks is a mega pastry vendor. John Moore, who was a corporate marketing manager at Starbucks in 2002 and now writes the Brand Autopsy blog says, "If taken solely as a retailer of pastries, it would be the largest in the U.S." Unfortunately, some of those delicious pastries come at a high price (to your waistline). For example, the Cinnamon Chip Scone contains 480 calories—70 calories more than the McDonald's Quarter Pounder sandwich.
3. The Starbucks name has literary inspiration.
According to Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, writtenby Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, the conglomerate was named after Starbuck, a character in Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick. This nautical theme extended to the company's logo as well, which Schultz said was inspired by a 16th-century Norse print of a "two-tailed mermaid, or siren."
4. Smiling is part of an employee's job description.
This little tidbit was relayed by Marissa Bea, who has worked at Seattle and New York City locations over the past three years. "The employee handbook, called 'The Green Apron,' talks about connecting, discovering and responding, smiling… as a way to bond with customers," confirms Moore.
5. Starbucks opens two or three new stores daily.