Will the Former CEO of Starbucks Run for President in 2020?

The 2016 presidential election proved that Americans are willing to vote for out of the box leaders for president.

Since President Donald Trump was elected, this has inspired multiple successful entrepreneurs who aren't necessarily politicians to consider running for president. Mark Cuban, Chris Rock, and Oprah Winfrey have all said or have been rumored to be contemplating running for office.

Before the 2016 presidential election, there were reports that the CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz was going to run for office. In an op-ed for "The New York Times," he said he would not be running because he still had work to finish with the coffee brand.

However, he didn't say that he wouldn't run in the future. Now that Schultz has stepped down from his CEO role at Starbucks, will he run for president in 2020?

In a recent interview with the "NYT," he said he is focusing on promoting his new book before making the decision to run. But over the weekend, in a "60 Minutes" interview, Schultz said if he does run he will run as a "centrist independent."

"We're living at a most-fragile time, not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what's necessary on behalf of the American people and are engaged, every single day, in revenge politics," said Schultz to "CBS's" Scott Pelley.

Both members of the Democratic and Republican parties were quick to criticize the former Starbucks executive's statements over the weekend.

"If he enters the race, I will start a Starbucks boycott because I’m not giving a penny that will end up in the election coffers of a guy who will help Trump win," said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, who also called Schultz' potential run a "vanity project."

Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, expressed similar sentiments and called his run a stunt that would be "about one person: Howard Schultz."

President Trump also chimed in.

"Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!" tweeted Trump Monday morning.

But the more important question is, does this restaurant industry leader have what it takes to run the U.S. government? Starbucks is the fourth biggest fast-food chain in the world, but does this mean Schultz has got the chops to be the head of state and head of government of the United States of America?

Read more about Schultz' potentially throwing his hat into the ring for president in 2020 at "NBC News" now.

We went into the Foodable vault and found this video below from 2015 following Starbucks' failed "Race Together" campaign. This campaign was intended to encourage coffee shop discussions of race between the Starbucks' baristas and customers but was quickly shut down only after a week. Back then, the brand was also experimenting with third-party delivery services. Watch the video below to learn more.

Fast forward to today and Starbucks coffee delivery isn't wildly popular but is available on Postmates in most cities. The delivery charge is $5.99, which basically doubles the cost of one Starbucks beverage. Is this why coffee delivery has yet to take off?

10 Food & Beverage Leaders to Watch in 2019

It’s that time of the year again, where everyone reflects on the year before and plans their goals for the next year.

A leader in the food & beverage industry has unique challenges, but a smart leader never stops learning and soaking up insights.

With that in mind, Zenreach recently released a list of thought leaders in food & beverage to follow to stay informed about the latest trends in the foodservice sector.

This list includes our own Paul Barron, Foodable's CEO, executive producer, and editor-in-chief, along with other entrepreneurs in the business.

The Food Critic and Podcast Host Soleil Ho also made Zenreach's list. This 31-year old is making a difference with her podcast Racist Sandwich, which covers social justice issues in the industry. As the Zenreach blog writes Ho exposes industry problems like as "cultural appropriation, male dominance in the kitchen and culinary authenticity." Ho also is the new food critic for the "San Francisco Chronicle."

Although Gary Vaynerchuk doesn't only cover topics pertinent to the restaurant industry, he is a marketing and branding mastermind who lands on Zenreach's list. He helped grow his family's wine company from a $3 million business to a $60 million business in just a few years by incorporating video content with the channel Wine Library TV. This entrepreneur and speaker has interviewed many of the industry's best too, including Jon Taffer and Danny Meyer.

Zenreach also lists restauranteur David Chang and restauranteur and restaurant industry consultant Aaron Allen. Learn more about these thought leaders at the Zenreach blog now.

We also have a few others to add-on to this list.

The CEO: Clare Reichenbach

Clare Reichenbach |   The James Beard Foundation

Clare Reichenbach | The James Beard Foundation

At the beginning of 2018, the coveted James Beard Foundation named Clare Reichenbach its CEO. Even though she has no culinary experience, she has a long career leading organizations. She was the founder of CJJR Consulting, a business network and was the former EVP Strategy and Business Development for BBC Worldwide North America. Her goal at the JBF is to extend "awareness of the foundation and bringing it greater global recognition through programs dealing with education diversity, women’s issues and childhood nutrition," writes "The New York Times."

The Builder: Sam Fox

This restaurateur launched Fox Restaurant Concepts, a group that now has almost 50 restaurants across the U.S., including Zinburger, Wildflower, and Tucson's Blanco. Fox has been a James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurateur 11 times.

The Rule Breaker: Erik Oberholtzer

Foodable has been following Oberholtzer's career for years now. As the co-founder of the fast casual Tender Greens, he has taken a hands-on approach to make the chain a success. Oberholtzer, along with his partners even dug ditches for the chain's first store's plumbing. The chain is backed by Danny Meyer, who even said in 2015 "that I wish I'd thought of it myself." There are now 29 Tender Greens stores in California, New York, and Massachusetts.

The Trailblazer: Ethan Brown

Brown is the CEO of the plant-based company Beyond Meat that has emerged as a leader in this space. Brown spent his childhood on a farm where he developed the mindset to change of the way the world eats meat. Beyond Meat went public at the end of 2019 and the company's products are now available in 11,000 grocery stores across the country.

We recently sat down with Brown to talk about his company and the booming plant-based market. Listen to the recent episode of The Barron Report below.

The Comeback Artist: Brian Niccol

This industry veteran was hired by the struggling chain Chipotle in early 2018 to help the former fast casual darling to recover. Niccol was formerly the CEO and marketing mastermind of the brand Taco Bell. In 2018, Chipotle's store sales gradually climbed and the company's shares spiked 50 percent. Niccol has directed the chain to upgrade its mobile app and in-store technology. He has also made it his mission to "build a culture of accountability," as he said in July. In 2019, Chipotle rolled out new menu items to cater to those on restrictive diets with the Keto Bowl and Whole30 bowl. With Niccol holding the reins, 2019 is expected to be the year Chipotle makes its official comeback.