How do you say, "I'll have a light roast" in Chinese?
It's likely those very words are heard more than a few times a day in China, where Starbucks now boasts nearly 1,300 locations. After slowly building a presence in China for roughly 16 years, the company is now finally seeing real progress, CEO Howard Schultz told CNBC on Friday.
"The real breakthrough for us is our core customers today are Chinese and we are beginning to breakthrough on the morning ritual," Schultz said on "Squawk on the Street." "Our success to date in China has been without the morning ritual. Once that comes, the volumes and success of the company is even going to be greater."
Starbucks' success in China can be credited to the company's culture and relationship with its employees, as well as the government, the coffee chain's top boss said.