Howard Schultz believes Starbucks needs to improve its US operations.

Howard Schultz believes Starbucks needs to improve its US operations.

Schultz encouraged executives to spend more time with their cafe employees after the company’s dismal earnings were revealed. He wrote on his LinkedIn account that he was questioned by “people inside and outside the company” about his belief that the US operations of the chain are the “primary reason for the company’s fall from grace.”

“The stores must have an obsessive concentration on the consumer experience as seen from the perspective of a retailer. The stores hold the answer, not the data,” wrote Schultz.

He recommended that in order to “once again make it the uplifting experience it was intended to be,” Starbucks “reinvent” the mobile ordering and payment features of the app.

He added that Starbucks’ approach needed to be “elevated with coffee-forward innovation that inspires partners, creates differentiation in the marketplace, and reinforcing the company’s premium position.” This may have been a subtle jab at the company’s current products, such as its new selection of spicy drinks.

In September of last year, Schultz announced his resignation from the Starbucks board of directors. This was the first stage in a gradual departure that would ultimately see him step down as CEO for the third time in March 2023. He is still among Starbucks’ biggest stockholders.

Starbucks’ current CEO, Laxman Narasimhan, whom Schultz assisted in selecting, announced last week’s second-quarter earnings as “disappointing.” For the first time since 2020, same-store sales declined for the business, which resulted in a reduction in its sales projection for the entire year.