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February 19, 2008

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imabarista

Parody is even more sincere than flattery.

Matthew

My Barista pushes more than one button ;)

Organic Dopio

In your intelligence, Do you really believe it takes three hours for baristas to learn how to press a button?

I'm highly impressed by your gullibility.

Small coffee roaster but lead by the US barista champion and selected as best espresso in the world.

I sense many baristas becoming very agitated over a light-hearted poke at competition

NorthernPartrter

Heh.

I really wish Schultz would rip those godforsaken Verismos out of the stores. They're the biggest source of embarrassment I've got about my job.

imabarista

You do?

"I sense many baristas becoming very agitated over a light-hearted poke at competition"

More like knowing exactly where to push their buttons.

drivethruhater

hahahaha. i think thats hilarious. good for them. hopefully they'll be busy and see what its really like to work a morning rush...

 barista jack

I guess Coffee Klatch has to do something to get customers in, when people aren't buying , they have no choice but to give it away for free, where would we be if people didnt alway keep up to date on their education, someone that thinks they already know everything , knows nothing, we can always improve ourselves, its a shame people fault us for attempting to always be better, and do better...

Small coffee roaster but lead by the US barista champion and selected as best espresso in the world.

yeah that was starbucks when howard had only 2 stores too.

if this guy expands to 4 stores god help him.

LM

hahaha, well put!

and its not just for retraining, at least at my store... we are deep cleaning from front to back. Here's to a new beginning... now, its my day off and I'm going to go make some french-pressed sulawesi!

Get off the damn cell at the DT window

and its not just for retraining, at least at my store... we are deep cleaning from front to back. Here's to a new beginning... now, its my day off and I'm going to go make some french-pressed sulawesi!

You can actually get deep cleaning done front to back in this time? That would be impossible in our store.

GlenFeliz Regular

Caffe Vita in Seattle is also offering free coffee during the training hours at all five locations.

Javaccino

Very cute. I won't take it personally, it's just business.

Actually, as a Barista (shift, actually) I find this kind of funny. There are a few partners at my store that definitely need to be retrained, but it won't take 3 hours. Like the Coffee Klatch or whatever person said, "I'm not sure why it's going to take them 3 hours to learn how to press a button."

There are some that don't need to be trained at all, since it is quite easy to press buttons, and all you have to do is time it somewhat correctly.
Most of the partners at my store think this will be a huge waste of time, but if Howard says it isn't then it must be lucrative.

Thank-you Uncle Howard.

...

starbucks is for lovers

haha, nice PR move. Good for them. I'd be interested to see how many new customers they actually retain and how many just go back to their normal Starbucks the next day.

"haha, nice PR move. Good for them. I'd be interested to see how many new customers they actually retain and how many just go back to their normal Starbucks the next day."

I wonder what their staffing and deployment will look like. I actually see this as a bad move, since people will assume that it always takes 30 minutes to get their drinks at these places.

Stacy

Big deal.

I love how threatened people get by Starbucks. It's damn funny actually. If another coffee shop feels the need to play it up and try some lame ass gimmick to get people in their doors, let them.

Ken

Great Idea, if I owned a shop, I would probably do the same thing, and seeing how defensive people are getting about it, I would probably try and drag it out as long as I could.
Seriously, what is the point of a 3 hour shut down? To me, its like confiscating toe nail clippers before getting on an airplane, it appears you are doing something to fix a problem, but it really is nothing more then the appearance of it, and does nothing to actually fix it. If anything, it’s a pr move on Starbucks part to “show their commitment to their customers”.

Unfortunately the re-training has the added benefit of publicly making the current problems look like the partners fault, while Howard, privately tells us all that we are the heart and soul of the company-that noone knows our business better than we, the front-line staff...But I still have to say that I support it...

Stacy

"making the current problems look like the partners fault"

A lot of things IS the fault of partners-- partners who are too lazy to care about anything in life... It's funny how everyone at my store can bust their ass to follow standards and make our customers happy but yet a store that is less than 2 miles away from me has retards working there. Out of the 5 stores in the area, that particular store is one with the most customer (and fellow partner) complaints.

Zipy

We are the heart of the company. They make most of their money off of us and the job we do. The better our drinks taste, the friendlier we are, the more money Starbucks makes.

That being said, I work with a LOT of people who can't make a drink to save their lives. Sounds bad, huh? I should take it on myself and teach them, right?

Doesn't work that way in real life with young people who feel this job is blow them and that they don't even want to be there. Me trying to tell them how to do their job "right" just annoys them.

So, having 3 hours of forced training might be useful. At the very least, you can point to the training when the same people still can't make a drink.

Personally I feel guilty working with these people, but this is retail, and this is how things work. We're generally more friendly and easier to deal with then say your local taco bell but we are still a major retail store and theres only so many quality people who will work for $8 an hour.

Usually they aren't there for very long, finding a better job.

Kittymoose

I wish I was making $8 an hour, but still, I love my job and I do my best to make a quality drink every time :)

Another note: Does anyone know what exactly we're getting trained on?

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

AG,
Are you working tomorrow? I might try to stop by and see you. I think your store is very comfy.

S

Any baristas out there who resent this "training session" or feel insulted somehow? As in, "tell us something we don't know!". Unless entirely new methods of preparation are introduced, aren't you feeling like this is just a PR move? Somehow I imagine the 3 hour training will be mainly a 3 hour break.

SOCALGAL1212

As a former SBUX barista, I rarely heed the call of the siren these days. If I want a real espresso drink, I take my money and tastebuds to It's A Grind or Peet's Coffee & Tea. The Verisimo machines were the worst thing Starbucks could have done in years past. The Verisimos consistently put out metallic-tasting, slightly burned espresso shots. Starbucks "third place" soon became about speed and quantity rather than quality. When I first became a barista, it was about perfecting technique to make the perfect shot on the La Marzocco - for me, that was a 19-second pull ristretto. I prided myself in making a quality drink- which didn't include scalded milk or over-brewed espresso like most of today's drinks do. My hope is this 3-hour training will bring back the manual espresso machines, and a good quality brew. If so, I might have to break my boycott long enough to heed the call.

OllieJ

While I applaud the small coffee shop owner's gimmick, I'm pretty sure the guy has no idea how to manage the kind of line you get in a Starbucks during peak hours. Like someone said before me, God help him if he ever owns 3 or 4 stores.
But that being said, I terribly miss the old machines. I cannot stand the Verisimos when I have a rush going on. You can't even double-bar comfortably.

And now that shots can no longer go directly into cups, it's going to make rushes even worse.

It's gonna be a long and bloody 3 hours with me biting my tongue the whole time.

@OLLIEJ

If you ever can, go visit a Coffee Klatch location. They know how to manage a line.

Javaccino

From what I got from the memo, the training is about getting us all on the same page with the improved standards, so I can't possibly feel insulted.

What pisses me off is that someone allowed it comes off to the public that we are all a bunch of dim-wits who need to be re-taught how to push a monkey-button, when professionals in every area who give a damn about what they do take professional pride in constantly re-training their butts off. Why should it be any different for us?

Kay

This just sounds ridiculous to me.
3 hours of training to press some buttons? lol You've got to be kidding me. I wondered why they would offer free coffee... sounds like they dont get enough ppl in... Of course, when your competition is closing their store for 3 hours to "just press some buttons," and ppl who usually go to starbucks to get coffee not from wherever that coffee shop is, ppl would be desperate enough to go to the store who seems to be offering it for free. Some ppl are just idiots. This training is not just to improve our drinks but also to improve our customer service. Improving ourselves doesnt mean that we need training b/c we are not good at our job.

ex-sbuxmanager

Me thinks they dost protest too much...

pdxshifty

Really, though, this is rather lame. If the 900 pound gorilla is closed...you have a captive audience for your product...why give it away for free? Take the customers money and maybe give them a half off coupon or some such promotional material to come back another day? Or even better start giving out free coffee after the sbux opens back up for the night.

It just seems stupid to give away product when you are the "only game in town" for 3 hours.

Bob Log

I think its ironic some of you Starbuck Barista's are getting bent out of shape and bad-mouthing Coffee Klatch. Just as Unca Howie has made a PR move out of the retraining, Coffee Klatch made a counter move. And those of you who bash them - maybe you should go check out one of their stores or coffee. I haven't seen too many Regional, US or World Champion Barista's coming out of Starbucks.

Bob Log

Coffee Klatch:

# 2003 United States Barista Champion
# 2007 United Sates Barista Champion
# 2004 3rd place United States Barista Champion
# 2004 Western Regional Barista Champion
# 2005 Western Regional Barista Champion
# 2006 Western Regional Barista Champion
# 2007 Western Regional Barista Champion
# 2003 1st, 2nd, 3rd place California Regional Barista Champion
# “Best Espresso in America” LA Times
# “Best Espresso in the World” WBC 2007

Starbucks:
???????

Starbucks:
???????

Maybe they should have a category for pushing buttons. That way Micky D's and Starbucks could compete against each other.

starbucks would have to enter the barista chmpionship to win and they do not so it is an empty point.

starbucks would have to enter the barista chmpionship to win and they do not so it is an empty point


The reason Starbucks doesn't enter is because not a single one of the so called "baristas" that work there would be able to produce a shot on a manual machine that would stand up to competition level scrutiny.

Stacy

No one is doubting whatever awards have been won by Klatch. I may work for Starbucks but even in my own opinion, there are other places I like better. However one of the reasons I have such passion for my job at Starbucks is because we do our best to please customers and create that third place. Not many other coffee shops can say that.

JC

As a side note but something that is related to the above discussion of giving away free coffee.
I was at a Starbucks (in Tucson, AZ) on my break and I noticed on one of the registers a stack of something. I pointed and asked what they were and the barista gave me one.

It was a coupon for a complimentary 'Skinny' latte to try them. (Yikes bc I've heard bad things!)
I had not heard any other baristas mention those on here.
Should I not have asked about it, as maybe they are giving them to customers who order something specific?
Is that an old promo or upcoming?
Or is that perhaps because of the closing on the 26th?
(which I am super excited about btw...I can't wait to go in for a drink the next morning!) And I certainly don't think anyone deserves a drink coupon bc of the training...I was just surprised when I read it, saw what it was and thought surely it would have been mentioned on one thread or another!

Melody

This is truly a saddening thread. Where are the baristas who have joy in their work? We have anon on 2-19-08 at 8:43:37 AM, who says that they will spend a junk of time deep cleaning. That's not the first time we've heard that. I'm sorely disappointed.

Isn't there a heck of a lot more going on here than just how to use the mechanics of an espresso machine? I was at a Starbucks recently ordering a Caramel Apple Spice and had a conversation witha barista recently about heating up the apple juice "extra hot." I explained to the barista that it wasn't necessary to steam it to 160 degrees because the apple juice will keep coasting up in tempature after you steam it. She seemed to have never heard that before.

I would assume that "training" is a broad category that covers everything from steaming milk, keeping customers happy, when to use service recovery coupons, and paying attention to the espresso coming out of the verismo, or whatever .... On top of that, let's not forget that Starbucks sells coffee. There is a world of training that could happen surrounding coffee beans.

This thread seems to have an unusually high percentage of starbucks bashers in it. Where is Vicki Verona when you need her? ;)

ty jones AKA Five Year Partner

"Starbucks "third place" soon became about speed and quantity rather than quality."

EXACTLY!
'Nuff said.

AstMgr

There will be espresso shot tastings, milk tastings and it will be fun....and educational its a chance to get together without interruptions... that NEVER happens! I love my partners and cannot wait.

You shouldnt be cleaning... thats not what this time is for.

ty jones AKA Five Year Partner

"The reason Starbucks doesn't enter is because not a single one of the so called "baristas" that work there would be able to produce a shot on a manual machine that would stand up to competition level scrutiny."

LIES!
You're so full o' yerself!

Some of us dinosaurs still maintain enough muscle memory in our Carpal Tunnel Syndrome'd wrists to use a manual machine.

I worked on a La Marzocco for two glorious years before the 801 robo-machines were installed, and I still drop by a local mom-and-pop haus two or three times a year to see if I can still sling 'em.

And guess what?
Like riding an ever-lovin' bicycle.

People like you make me sick. I take pride in being a "Hired-Under-Howie" fully trained and fully operational BARISTA.

Love, your friend in coffee,
TJ AKA Five Year Partner.

starbucks newbie

Well....having only been at Starbucks for a short period of time,I will be greatful for any training because I take pride in my job. There is always room for improvment and last time I checked, I was not perfect.

Now for 3 hours? Hmmm....I hope there will be more things discussed than how to pull a perfect shot. I know the training I went through just to become a barista left me wondering if I applied for CEO or something, but at least I knew what I was doing the first time they threw me on that bar. How many times do we complain about places like Mickey D's or undertrianed employees of other businesses. Starbucks is just staying on top of things by reitterating what got us where we are today. I love my job!! (plus the 3 hour training will get me out of the house & a good excuse not to have to cook dinner!!)
As far as Klatch's (sp?) goes....good for them. A little healthy competition is a good thing!!

wink!

LIES!
You're so full o' yerself!

Some of us dinosaurs still maintain enough muscle memory in our Carpal Tunnel Syndrome'd wrists to use a manual machine.

I worked on a La Marzocco for two glorious years before the 801 robo-machines were installed, and I still drop by a local mom-and-pop haus two or three times a year to see if I can still sling 'em.

And guess what?
Like riding an ever-lovin' bicycle.

People like you make me sick. I take pride in being a "Hired-Under-Howie" fully trained and fully operational BARISTA.

Love, your friend in coffee,
TJ AKA Five Year Partner.

Just because you worked on a manual machine doesn't mean you knew how to use it. the 13 second shots that you pulled according to standard would have tasted like crap.

I am so surprised to hear that there are partners here who feel this is a waste of time! I am so excited about having a team meeting, we rarely get to have the WHOLE team together at once, and it is a great opportunity to set the standard. Then, once the expectation is clear, it will be evident who exceeds and meets expectations, and who does not.

This makes perfect sense to me, and I can't wait!

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