- Christine Barone is joining Dutch Bros as president and will report to CEO Joth Ricci starting in Q1 2023, the company announced Monday.
- Barone served as CEO of True Food Kitchen since September 2016 according to her LinkedIn profile. She was a Starbucks SVP for food, evenings and licensed stores from 2011 to 2016, giving her extensive experience in the coffee sector.
- Barone joins Dutch Bros as the company targets dramatic growth. The coffee chain, one of the largest brands in the American coffee sector, plans to reach 4,000 units in the next 10 to 15 years.
Barone will guide Dutch Bros’ aggressive growth. “Her hands-on leadership, deep knowledge of the coffee and service industries, and digital marketing expertise will be crucial,” the company said in its statement.
According to Dutch Bros Q3 2022 results, the chain now has about 641 units in 14 states after opening 103 stores in the first nine months of 2022 and is targeting another 150 openings next year.
The company, which focuses on drive-thru coffee and espresso drinks, went public to much fanfare in the summer of 2021. That singular focus on drive-thru drinks has helped keep costs low for new developments because of the limited footprint needed and has helped restaurant margins stay high.
The company’s aggressive development strategy had run into some difficulty as supply chain snags, construction delays and increased costs make project completion less predictable.
True Food Kitchen, the company Barone led as CEO before joining Dutch Bros, also was focused on developing small units and growing its storecount. Barone helped that company develop an ambitious development plan, which included expanding into new markets and a proposed launch of a fast casual brand. This experience in development and brand growth may prove of value to Dutch Bros.