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January 31, 2008

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seventysix [76]

Do it, Howie! We love you!

From partner to partner,
seventysix [76]

Lou Sussler

Good Move.

fuwalda

I wonder how many managers are NOT going to bonus after losing the revenue they'd have gotten from the breakfast sandwiches. MAYBE corporate will adjust the budgets and target sales goals for those stores to compensate, but Starbucks has never been very good at that sort of thing.

My guess is there's a lot of really nervous managers right now. Which isn't to say this is a bad idea (I don't know. We don't have them in my region.), just that I hope those managers get whatever bonuses they deserve.

Frankly, if your store isn't profitable, even if they do pull the sandwiches out of the stores, the staff should not receive a bonus.

It's just like executive management. If the company doesn't make a profit to its investors, none should take bonuses.

Things happen, even some things not in the control of the store managers. That said, though, even when uncontrolled things happen, companies should not adjust down revenue targets for bonuses. If that was the case, everyone would get a bonus. It's not fair to stick to your projected numbers.

That's a disservice to the company's investors and investors are co-#1 priorities (with customers).

The order of priority is investors & customers mutually, executive management, mid-level management, and then store employees.

If none of the top of that list "bonus," either through dividends (for the investors), better customer service and products to enjoy (customers), bonuses (for executives and mid-level managers), then no one in the store should benefit until the previous conditions are met.

flaubert

Bonuses are not based on profitability but on meeting budget. The budgets will likely be adjusted to account for the change once the sandwhiches are removed if nothing is put in their place.

Just because a store doesn't meet budget doesn't mean they are not profitable...

anasm1234

Good move. But all the new stores in my district that have recently opened have had warming ovens installed in anticipation of sandwiches. Hope they can return unused oven, or this is a HUGE capital write-off, which is a one time hit, but should be right around the time of the next bean stock buy in price.

SEADAVE

Makes perfect sense to me. Take on McDonald's with drive-thru service and hot breakfast sandwiches then when McDonald's fights back with espresso coffee service roll over and play dead. Good job, Starbucks.

I feel pretty good about this. In central Ohio, the sandwiches haven't started yet and I was worried all along that the warming program might cause the company to go in the wrong direction. Starbucks knows coffee and I'm glad Howie is bringing it back to the basics.

Ken

I'm not a partner, so excuse any ignorance here, (I work at a bank), but what is the annual sale's for an average store? Is $35,000 a year hit going to be a huge % of a stores sales? Why wouldn't they adjust any goals in sales, profit or budget to reflect the fact that they are cutting out that portion of their sales, if it is indeed that significant? That seems pretty business 101 to me?

I. Am. Legendary.

The sandwiches REAAAKK!! This is a good move.

If Howard can work on getting some food items that are healthy and smell appetizing and complementary to coffee when warmed... we're in big business again!

ok, the picture at the top of this thread looks like it has been on my dash board for a week in the middle of the summer! ( I live in Phoenix mind you)Are they any good? Likes just like an egg McMuffin?

DallasSM

As a store manager whose bonus probably does hinge on getting the warming platform, I say kill the ovens anyway. We have to make some tough choices as a company right now and worrying about one or two quarters of manager bonuses is not the way to go. We need to take the money for warming and put it into our facilities and more importantly our partners. The ovens were taking us down the path to being McBucks eventually. There is no amount of money worth watering down your brand that much. We are a coffee company and we need to put our resources toward making the best coffee experience we can right now.

luvalmond

A partner from another store brough over a spinach wrap and a ham, cheese and egg sandwich for us to try. Well when heating up the spinach wrap, it smelled fine, like food. But when I heated up the ham & cheese one...it smelled (to me) EXACTLY like fermeldahyde from when I dissected frogs in high school. No joke.

 barista jack

I THINK WE CAN MAKE A HUGE IMPROVEMENT IN OUR FRAPPOCCINOS, WE SHOULD ADD THE ESPRESSO TO WHATEVER BASE MAY HAVE TO BE PRE-MADE, DILLUTING AN ESPRESSO POWER IN THE FRAP BASE JUST DOESNT CUT IT. WHEN I WAS ON VACATION. I FOUND A COFFEE SHOP ON THE PREMISES OF OUR RESORT, I ORDERED WHAT I THOUGH WOULD BE THE CLOSEST THING TO A COFFEE FRAP, HE HAND MAKE THIS DRINK WITH MILK, AND FRESHLY PULLED ESPRESSO, IT WAS EXCELLENT, IF OUR DRINKS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE KNOWN FOR THEIR COFFEE SMELL, FLAVOR AND APPEAL, LETS BRING COFFEE BACK INTO THE PICTURE, ALSO WARMING UP THE LIGHTING IN THE STORES, MAYBE THROW BACK IN A FEW MORE COMFY CHAIRS, GIVE THE STORE SOME MORE CHARACTER, THESE ARE LOW COST IDEAS WHICH MAY HELP. I FIND ALOT OF THE PARTNERS I WORK WITH JUST DONT CARE, THEY HAVE NO INTEREST IN COFFEE, JUST A JOB AND SOCIALIZING, EVEN THOUGH I GIVE 110% TO TRY MY BEST, THESE FEW MAKE US ALL LOOK BAD. IT'S HARD TO DO IT ALONE. I THINK ALOT OF THEM ARE TOO YOUNG, AND ALWAYS WAITING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO _______ FILL IN THE BLANK, THEY DONT CARE ABOUT DIRTY TABLES, DIRTY COFFEE BAR, QUALITY DRINKS, MOST OF THEM DONT EVEN DRINK COFFEE , SO THEY DONT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD DRINK AND A BAD ONE, AND IT REFLECTS WHEN THEY MAKE THEM..

Peaches

Barista Jack,

Are you new to the internet? Never write in all caps. Whatever argument you are trying to make in your post is completely nullified by your caps lock.

Jim Romenesko

I thought people learned in the 1990s that use of ALL CAPS IS SCREAMING and it shouldn't be done.

 barista jack

NO PEACHES!!! IM NOT NEW TO THE INTERNET. and who decided writing in caps was screaming, i type the whole thing then realised it was in caps, take a chill pill. when was it taught in the 1990's that caps were screaming? show me the documents. why is it that you dont focus on whats said, you just focused on the font?

 barista jack

I guess Peaches is king of the message board. when were the elections? i must have missed them

 barista jack

From what I have been told, 40 breakfast sandwiches need to be sold per day in order for them to be considered profitable, like anything else, people complained we didnt have them yet,before we got them, and im sure they will complain after they are gone. The market has changed,as long as people keep refering to Starbucks as home of the 5.00 coffee. we are going to get negative press, we dont have a coffee that cost 5.00, yet i rarely hear partners correct this on these boards. As I screamed before according to King Peaches. alot of partners arent coffee drinkers. how would they know what to reccomend to try to gain new customers who have an appreciation for what we offer

Tim

Wow, you typed for a whole ten minutes without realising you were in Caps mode?

You must be a claw (two-finger) typer that stares at his keyboard until he's finished. :p

Tim

And actually, Barista Jack, we do have several menu items that meet or exceed $5 on their own. Venti frappuccini, venti white mochas, just to name two...

 barista jack

I understand that Tim, but those are not coffees, those are espresso drinks. reporters call us home of the 5.00 coffee. there is a major difference. These reporters never mention that for a 5.00+ venti white mocha, customers are not charged for extra white mocha, or extra whipped cream, or if they want carmel on top. or 2 cups of whipped cream for the kids at no cost .that is what our customers are paying for. just wait until McDonalds realizes how expensive milk is, and how particular people are. are they going to accomidate temperature request? 2 pumps of 1 sypup, 1 1/2 pumps another syrup,3 splenda, 2 equals. half soy, half 1% milk? then splitting 1 beverage into 2 cups and not charging for it. this is the service we sell. but the 5.00 coffee is just too broad of a general statement

Dustin

I see your point Barista Jack but I have tasted the espresso/milk fraps on campus here in Colorado and they suck. I used to drink our frappacinos all the time but I recently went on a diet. Occasionally when I do have one it brings me back to when frozen drinks could be good and addictive.
In my opinion, espresso does not taste good in a frappacino. That is just my opinion and I welcome anyone to customize their drink the way they want it.

I share your passion for coffee and try to emphasize to other people that it is the most important thing we offer customers but at the same time I realize most of our partners don't drink coffee and it is not on their highest list to describe it to everyone. I know that sounds cynical but its the best response I got.

ensenadajim

Only the small minded would make a statement saying that your argument is nullified by your use of all caps. Whatta crock of elitism.

Starbucks's is first and foremost about ROI to its investors, then, - and only then, about its customers.


jim

Ugh

Barista Jack still in the 90's with his lingo as well...CHILL-PILL ANYONE??

It sounds to me that the sandwiches are being pulled because they're not profitable. $673/week vs. machines, xtra labor, higher ingredient costs. A loser (but they are excellent!).

Also, when your CEO starts blaming macroeconomics, you know you're really in trouble.

Hey, I heard Caps-Lock is like Cruise Control for Cool People.

As to the management bonus. Its not just sales that effect a manager's bonus. Labor and COGS factor into that too. My store almost NEVER meets its Budget (because the budget has not reflected the fact that they opened 2 more Sbux within 2 miles of my store) however I bonus every quarter because I can control my store's labor as well as keep my COGS under control. Get rid of the breakfast sandwiches (I dont have them anyway)! I want to know are they going keep installing ovens? My store is due for a remodel next year and I hope and pray that they're not gonna keep shoving ovens into stores and just let the existing ones phase out as the stores get remodeled (so within 8-10 years since most warming stores got the oven with their remodel)

Also! When your CEO starts blaming macroeconomics!!! You KNOW you're really in TROUBLE!!! Stop copying meeeeeeee!!! lolz

.

Welcome to the Internet, Jack.

All caps is considered screaming.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22all+caps%22+screaming+netiquette

jeff

Dear 12:46PM - Did I copy you? I'm sorry - great minds!!

A different subject - Why would they make Jim Donald sign a non-compete? I think Starbucks would be better off if he did go to a competitor.

SoCalSnowBunny

Wow, this thread is really making partners look ugly. I think barista jack made a great point. I think there are alternative arguments to his point. If we could just act like grown ups for two seconds, and have open dialouge rather than personally attacking people on this site, it might be fruitful.

I'm thinking that at least the "other" site greenapronbook.com is starting to provide what this site has not...

Holden Caufield

Can we please review the cleaning products used on the ovens. The oven cleaner which is used gives off a horrible odor in the store when one is cleaning the store for the night, and the smell is re-created in the morning when the ovens are started up again.

The smell permeates the store and makes me want to gag. I believe I am getting cancer every time I pass that oven with the cleaner burning inside.

HOWARD, Please review our cleaning products and our commitment to partner's health. OSHA should really be investigating it.

almostanasm

HALLELEIGHYA!

(yes, i cant spell, and yes, its in caps, because i want to shout it to the world!)

I am so so SO happy since hearing the news this morning.

Thankyou Howie, thank you thankyou thankyou.

And ditto the comment above from Holden- the cleaning products are *nasty*.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Are we still going to be allowed to order pre-packs for iced coffee or will be ordering bullets of that too. If we get bullets, then I want bullets of Kenya which is an amazing iced coffee.

jjcoffee

Ken,

As a Shift Supervisor, I can tell you that the Average store makes around $3,000 a day. This places most stores grossing roughly $1 Million a year. Multiply that by 14,000 stores, and there ya go!

Javaccino

Me Happy.

Not only the smell and the taste, but, I like the idea of being able to concentrate more on coffee. It'll be one less thing in the juggling act when we only have two partners on the floor and get hit by a surprise rush.

i say espresso!

I think this is just we need to do! I've been saying it from the minute we got these dang sandwiches. I work at a really small cafe store and making one sandwich makes the WHOLE entire place smell really reallly horrible. sometimes it even smells like poop. often customers will say, "ew what's the smell??" I don't think when something makes your store smell really bad that it's a good idea to keep around.

also, barista jack needs to get out of here - seriously - you're what is wrong with this company - all this negativity towards other partners needs to go!

deusx

I am very excited that the breakfast sandwiches died before invading the Columbus/Central Ohio market. After having been in a store in another state with the ovens blasting with ham smell filling the store, I found it ironic that partners still couldn't wear perfume or cologne..for fear of disturbing the smell of coffee.

I think that while the company refocuses on it's core values, branching out sensibly with things that compliment but don't eclipse the brand are necessary and a wise move.

The company should limit food offerings beyond pastries and bagels to grab and go items. Salads, Fruit cups, cold wraps and premade cold cut and cheese plates. These require no labor other than stocking(possibly done by the supplier) and do not interfere in the normal business flow on the barista side of the counter.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

I think Barista Jack should be allowed to stay. People should be allowed to freely say what they want to say. Its something called freedom of speech and expression. Its why people can burn the American flag and Senator Obama can spout some rhetorical nonsense. This is an open society. This is America. We don't live in an Islamofascist theocracy (no names mentioned of course).

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL
PRIMUS INTER PARES
STARBUCKS REBEL ALLIANCE
AIM SN: BOSTONSTARREBEL

i say espresso!

while freedom of speech is what america is about fighting for the sake of fighting and causing a ruckus doesn't really fix anything or help to solve any problems. saying your opinion is just fine but outright attacking people isn't.

javajohn

There's nothing in the announcement made yesterday that suggests any kind of reversal of fortune for Starbucks or its shareholders. Closing 100 poorly performing stores isn't going to make a bit of difference to the bottom line; nor is the elimination of a steadily growing business: breakfast sandwiches.

What ails Starbucks isn't the smell of breakfast sandwiches in the stores; it's the homogenization of the cafe experience. There isn't anything special about them anymore and they long stopped celebrating the origins and uniqueness of coffee. [When was the last time you were able to find an 'origins of coffee' brochure in a store?]

They've pushed the non-coffee drinks hard and fast and the legions of loyal coffee drinkers have gone on to other coffee places that still specialize and celebrate the true coffee experience.

Also, stores are chock full of non-coffee related products that clutter up the stores and are often filled with silly supercilious gift items that are quickly put on sale. The sale of music, videos and books also seems a bit out of place.

And the pastries: tired. I long stopped buying pastries at Starbucks because they're simply not very good. I'm not sure where this stuff comes from, but it always tastes like its been sitting around.

Some food for thought.

i say espresso
Is he really causing a ruckus? Ignore him if you don't agree with him (this is the internet, now one is MAKING you read this). Why should be kicked off? God, loosen up. Not everyone is going to agree with you, and just because people do, doesn't mean they are wrong, or causing a "ruckus". It simply means they do not share your opinion and they may choose to express theirs differently then you. Let him stay.

SoCalSnowBunny

Webmaster is censoring again...this is getting tiring...

Webmaster, if you want us to come and share our opinions, I think all are entitled to say their piece. I didn't cuss, wasn't obnoxious, and was on point replying to BSRs quote. Absurd!

As far as the comments made that there was an action item about doing away with prepacks...i saw no such action item.

I saw that we can expect to receive bullets even when prepacks were ordered. In the context of the action item, this seems to indicate that they will be substituting to manage inventory levels in the RP Distribution Centers.

STARBUCKS GOSSIP webmaster

>>>>Webmaster, if you want us to come and share our opinions, I think all are entitled to say their piece

I'm not interested -- nor are my readers interested -- in your political debate. It's off-topic and it's going to be DELETED. Take your Obama/Reagan talk to a political site, not a Starbucks site.

every customer that mentioned the whole breakfast sandwich thing today, and a lot of people mentioned it, was GENUINELY upset that they were going away. most people said something to the effect of "oohhh but they're so good", but what I was really surprised at were the people who said "THAT'S THE ONLY REASON I COME HERE."

wtf... are we not called starbucks coffee company?? when i tried explaining that we were trying to get back to the roots and be about our coffee and not about sandwiches, they did not buy it. do i underestimate the intelligence of people or am i missing something here??? i want to give customers what they want... but seriously... we sell coffee.

once again, the human race baffles me.

RR

Thank you Howard!! I was at a *$ this morning, and kept smelling this weird eggy-cheesy smell. Totally ick.

I was a partner back in '92-93...had a dream about my old crew last night. Man, they were a great bunch of people. Experts with a La Marzocco...back in the day.

Melody

Anon at 1-31-08 at 5:01:11:

It is human nature that people are short-sighted and have short memories. No joke. There will be a time a couple of years from now when Starbucks Coffee houses again resemble coffee houses, and people will look back and say "why did I think it was a big deal that breakfast sandwiches are going away?"

Right now even some partners are tenative about the removal of the breakfast sandwiches, but I do believe it will pay off in the long run.


triple_short

^ I agree with you! I definitely think it will pay off. Getting back to the basics is the best idea anyone could have ever had.

feministabarista

I am so excited to see so much love from Central Ohio on the board today... True, we were protected from the monster that is warming- and we are actually a pretty profitable market on the whole. I am also very excited about the announcement today. Its a big F-U to the guys on Wall Street and a big ole' victory for the partners, the customers, and our brand. I can't wait till March to see what Howard's new bold initiatives to enhance the customer experience will be! I'm thinking of flying out to the Annual Meeting to see for myself. One of my shift supervisors said it best. "I'm getting to like this Howard guys more and more". I say yay to bonfire of the brakfast sandwiches. Next Howard should get his venture capital firm together and get the bux off the stock market altogether. I say lets take back the company, become a private "partner-owned" company with profit sharing to replace bean stock and stick it to the man once and for all. Then we will truly be able to live our values without having to answer to the stock analysts every day. I heart Howie!

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