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Former True Food Kitchen, Starbucks exec named CEO of Dutch Bros

Dutch Bros operates 754 locations across 14 states.

The chief executive of Dutch Bros is stepping down.

The  fast-growing, drive-thru coffee chain said that Joth Ricci, who has served as CEO since January 2019, will depart at the end of year. He will be succeeded by Christine Barone, who has served as Dutch Bros president since February 2023, effective January 1. The remainder of 2023 will serve as a transitional period for both leaders.

Prior to joining Dutch Bros, Barone was CEO of True Food Kitchen for almost seven years.  Before that, she spent nearly six years at Starbucks, including serving as senior VP, food, evenings and licensed stores. Barone currently serves on the board at Yelp.

The  leadership transition comes as Dutch Bros continues its rapid expansion.  The company, which went public in September 2021, is on track to open at least 150 locations this year. It has set a long-term goal of 4,000 shops in the next 10 to 15 years.  

"Christine is perfectly suited to take on the president and CEO role at Dutch Bros,” stated Travis Boersma, co-founder and executive chairman, Dutch Bros. “Since joining us in February, she's become an integral part of this organization, demonstrating her passion and ability to affect positive change in our business. She has the experience and knowledge to help us scale, as well as a true passion for people. I'm confident she is the best leader to help us in our next phase."

In his statement, Boersma thanked Ricci for helping Dutch Bros transition from a small, regional business “to one on the national stage.”

“He's been key in helping us grow and nurture our people-first culture so we can continue to be a force for good in every community we serve,” he added.

Dutch Bros announced the news about its CEO transition in its second-quarter earnings release. The company reported that sales rose  34.1% to $249.9 million for the quarter ended June 30. It posted net income of $2.8 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

Dutch Bros opened 38 new outposts across eight states during the quarter, giving it a total of 754 locations, a 25% increase from the year-ago quarter.  Of the 38 new shops, 35 were company-operated. 

“In Q2, we delivered 34% year over year revenue growth, driven by new shop openings and 3.8% systemwide same shop sales growth,” stated Ricci. “Within the quarter, we continued to see meaningful company-operated shop margin expansion, driven by significant labor efficiency improvement. This speaks to the benefit of our company-operated model as we were able to effect changes across our shops and then directly benefit from those changes.”

Dutch Bros operated 754 locations across 14 states as of June 30, 2023.

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