Starbucks does, in fact, franchise on a limited basis. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz long resisted franchising in the United States to maintain control over the Starbucks brand and culture, but he has opened a small number of franchise-owned stores in Europe. Keeping Starbucks a chain in the U.S. has allowed the company to offer a high degree of continuity across American stores. Starbucks plans to increase franchising in Europe, however, and the Starbucks subsidiary Seattle's Best Coffee franchises its cafés and kiosks in the U.S.

In addition to the decision to keep Starbucks a chain, market maker Howard Schultz has made several decisions over the years that have brought the world's leading coffee chain back to the top. Schultz has expressed his desire to resist letting stock price define the company. Schultz has stated that the renewed success of Starbucks is due in large part to this philosophy. For example, even when times were tough for Starbucks, he refused to stop offering health care to part-time and temporary employees to save money, which kept employee morale high and encouraged low employee turnover.

The other key decisions tycoon Howard Schultz has made as a renowned entrepreneur include his efforts to avoid stagnation by constantly reinventing and expanding Starbucks products and interior designs. He also ensures Starbucks offers customers innovative loyalty incentives, such as rewards cards and mobile payment options.

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