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Starbucks is also testing out cold espresso drinks this year.

4 things you should know about Starbucks this week

From technological advancements for vision-impaired guests, to a rare shareholder vote against the executive pay plan, Starbucks had a busy week

During the week of Starbucks’ biannual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, the Seattle-based coffee chain made multiple announcements regarding technological advancements for vision-impaired guests, a new beverage platform, and more. Here are four things you should know about Starbucks this week, including a rare shareholder vote against the proposed executive pay plan.

Shareholders voted against executive compensation

In a rare move, Starbucks shareholders voted against the proposed executive compensation package during the shareholders’ meeting Wednesday, which included $1.86 million payout for CEO Kevin Johnson and $50 million in retention pay first suggested in 2019 if he stays with the company through 2022. Though the vote is nonbinding, according to the Wall Street Journal, it is notable that only 10 S&P 500 companies have had shareholders reject pay resolutions over the past year.

Starbucks noted that the company’s market value has grown by $39 billion since Johnson became CEO in 2017, replacing Starbucks founder Howard Schultz.

“This award – which is earned through exceptional company performance over a period of time – is consistent with our commitment to shareholder value creation and ‘pay-for-performance’ philosophy,” board member and Ulta CEO Mary Dillon told CNBC in a statement.

Comparatively, last year, 84% of shareholders voted for the compensation proposal.  

Challenge Seattle with Starbucks is releasing a vaccine distribution handbook

In January, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced in an unusual move, that the state government would be working with multiple corporations, including Starbucks to help implement and carry out a statewide COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. As a corporate stakeholder, Starbucks helped with “operational efficiency, scalable modeling and human-centered design expertise and support.” 

Now, Challenge Seattle is releasing a playbook detailing best practices that the state has learned from this private-public partnership that can be used as a working model for other cities and states to try.  

The playbook includes an explanation of the partnerships, roles and responsibilities of each partner, station procedures, technology needed, and communication tactics to ensure safe and efficient vaccine distribution.

For example, throughout the project, Starbucks helped with providing communication resources to the Department of Health, adding amazon Connect capability to increase capacity for scheduling vaccine appointments and developing a PSA video for a 15-minute post-vaccination observation period.

Cold-pressed espresso is being tested out this year

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced that the company would be testing out cold pressed espresso in a limited number of stores this year. The drink was initially introduced at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle in 2017 and points to the growing popularity of the Starbucks cold drinks platform.

Starbucks is rolling out large-print and braille menus this summer

Starbucks announced Monday that the company would be introducing large-print and braille menus to all of its restaurants across the United States and Canada starting this summer. The company also introduced a new free service, Aira, that will connect blind and low-vision customers to live trained visual interpreters who will be able to help them make their purchase.

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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