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August 05, 2008

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ssignatz

Oh good- NOW they've hit the nail on the head. Rest easy now, its all better...You can all lighten up now.
At least its easy for you dumb-asses to understand and implement- according to Brad, anyway.

Burned Bean

This would be a better offer were there any baristas present to, you know, serve the drinks...

Cust Omer

Let me start counting all of the SBX baristas who are going to start complaining about this - having to keep track of which customers came in when - remember guys - stores are closing - sink or swim!

onethreethree

im a partner who's market has been doing this already, and its been really successful. however, it gets overwhelming to present a sample, give the customer voice receipt and explain the treat receipt, provide the 3rd place and be quick all in one. lets just say im glad when 2 oclock rolls around...

P3

i don't know, this just all seems a little desperate to me.

what next?

Next up: $1 lattes and such. (shaking head)

truth

The (sweet?) irony is that the local shops were forced to do the $2 happy hour promos a decade ago, in the face of sbux predatory market practices.

And now the shoe is on the other foot.

Congrats. You are now fast food, sbux.

Boyle Cutt

Stupid Starbucks is scheming to steal more money out of our pockets. It's a stupid deal designed to filch more money; it's not as good as a buy one get one free deal. Don't buy in to that kind of stuff. Start drinking home-made coffee and save some cash.

pdxy

You know what would have been nice...some more signs...and maybe some tv ads. We have been explaining to each customer the deal...all rush all morning...it's stupid.

The deal itself is fine. The amount of time required on the baristas part to communicate it is ridiculous. And god forbid the customer is a moron and they don't get it...it's line crippling.

wholahay

I think this is actually a really great promotion! We've also been doing this in the Nashville market for the last month and its gone over very well. It's easy to execute and our customers who come in the mornings like being able to get a cold treat in the afternoons. So, you'll get no complaints from THIS barista!

wholahay

Actually pdxy, there's all kinds of radio advertising in markets that are doing this promotion. And exactly howlong does it take for you to say, "Here you go, bring this in after 2pm and get any grande cold drink for $2"?

Some people are going to have a rude awakening on what hard work actually looks like when they leave Starbucks...

prokial

It would be a heck of a lot easier if they'd just sell $2 afternoon drinks to everyone. Sure it's going to lengthen the lines, but good things come to those who wait.

Torontodude

Any one know if this applies to Canada?


Ellen

"Actually pdxy, there's all kinds of radio advertising in markets that are doing this promotion. And exactly "howlong does it take for you to say, "Here you go, bring this in after 2pm and get any grande cold drink for $2"?

Some people are going to have a rude awakening on what hard work actually looks like when they leave Starbucks..."

No kidding. You baristas don't make yourselves look very bright if this constitutes difficult. They've been doing this in my market for the last few weeks and it doesn't seem all that difficult. They hand you a receipt and tell you that if you bring it back in after 2 pm, you can get a grande cold drink for $2. Doesn't seem to tax anyone's brainpower too much.

Ellen

"It would be a heck of a lot easier if they'd just sell $2 afternoon drinks to everyone. Sure it's going to lengthen the lines, but good things come to those who wait."

Sigh. The good business sense is that they are rewarding the people who already bought in the morning - not giving $2 drinks to everyone.

former manager

I notice that Jack in the Box has begun advertising half off smoothies between 2p - 4p. If Starbucks is finding itself in this kind of discount war, it really demonstrates the nature of the business. Just start saying to yourself, "Not fast food, good food served quickly." (With an appropriate nod to "Seinfeld".)

The Other Hand

@ Ellen - True. However, it also serves to annoy other afternoon buyers who now feel ripped off for paying $4 for the same drink the person in front of them paid $2.

Of course, it is rewarding those who are most loyal (that is those likely to stop in 2 or more times a day) and this is not a bad thing...

At the end of the day, it is a marketing gimmick and, like most, was not created with any thought toward those who have to dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s.

supahvisah.

The idea isn't supposed to make us "fast food" ,since the new year our store's afternoon business has declined steadily, and as a closing shift, it sucks being bored. As for the perk, it's supposed to make those people who were coming in 2-3 times a day, actually come back the second time and spend the 2 dollars for a drink. Be excited, if this helps your store you have a chance at staying open.

needtobewhinefree

wow, I thought when I started with the 'Bux 2 years ago that we were heavy with complainers...now I realize that everyone else has left and now we're left with complainers exclusively...

I'm not leaving the 'Bux, I am leaving whiny coworkers...resume updated...

WIbarista

We're doing this in Milwaukee too. Its good for buisness, but bad for my stress level. ha.

wholahay

If you're stressed out now, how are you going to handle the busy season (fall/winter)? Summer is a freakin cakewalk compared to when it gets cold....

Argentius

No, seriously, anyone who says this isn't hard hasn't worked at a volume store.

Previously, someone paid with plastic, and I said, "If you don't need a receipt, you're all set."

Now, one must offer a vivanno upon greeting the customer, explain the treat receipt while waiting for it to print, stamp it, and hand it out -- okay, no big deal, but it adds 5 seconds or so.

One in five or ten customers will ask questions: Is this good at any Starbucks or just this one? Only iced drinks? Only today?

Then, when redeeming them, the discount-7-7-enter-test-$2coldgrande-drop-recepit (all while promoting the use of the treat recepit on a Vivanno) dance is a little clunky, too.

Yeah, it all might only add 10 seconds per transactions, but, folks, we do something like 150 transactions per hour in the morning.

This isn't COMPLICATED.

It IS difficult. But it's working
=====


And, um, whoever said Starbucks has "Predatory business practices" makes me laugh pretty hard.

SBUX doesn't come into a market and undercut the local guy by using their economies of scale. They usually charge more than the local guy...

chrome

This morning, I pulled up to the drive-thru, and the barista told me about the $2 promotion. It's clearly printed at the bottom of my receipt, so I suppose that's how customers can identify their eligibility.

BTW, is it simply "iced beverage" as in "regular drink with ice cubes", or can I use the coupon for a Frap?

NJDavid

So, after finishing my opening shift this morning, I can say that the majority of the customers informed of the new promotion were quite excited about it. Some were already going to come in to get their afternoon beverage, others said they would now be coming in to get it because of the deal. I work opens all this week, so I won't be able to see the after 2pm effect, but I'll probably ask my SM about what happened.

I personally believe that the idea is great, but the implementation is not perfect. The receipt thing is OK, and perhaps a good idea for the beginning of this deal, but SBux should change it to a Starbucks Card based reward. This will make it easier on Baristas, not needing to hand out receipts to everyone; enhance the membership/loyalty aspect of the rewards card; ensure that customers who do purchase something in the morning don't have to worry about losing a receipt to get rewarded; and finally, it'll speed up the transactions after 2pm, since a simple swipe of the card resolves everything, no coupon codes necessary, no having to deal with redeemed receipts by those counting out drawers.

NJDavid

Chrome:

The deal applies to any and all cold beverages, including iced coffee, iced lattes, frapuccinos, and Vivannos, as well as anything else I forgot to mention. The only ones who get boned on the deal are iced tea drinkers, as their grande beverage is already under $2.

Jwilk

Why didn't they take the time to roll this out correctly. It should be all linked to your SB card. Who wants to remember to get a receipt for a cup of coffee then carry around trash all day to prove you bought something. LINK IT TO THE CARD!

Nerfebarista

Jwik,
This was a test until THIS morning and to implement this to the Sbux cards, I'd imagine they have to do it with all of the registered sbux cards. This was tested in only a few spots. Now, rolling it nation wide before having that sort of thing done is another thing. Guess it's kinda like game testing, where they release it slightly earlier than they should to find the "bugs" and "cheats" from the gamers themselves

Wyfind

Oh man, we're going to run out of paper and ink so fast, it's not even going to be funny.

I like the idea that people can come in and get their drink cheaper; it rewards loyalty and that's something we should definitely do. I don't mind the extra ten seconds even though our line doesn't stop and is always out the door. I just hope it doesn't stress my managers or shifts out when I tell them again and again that our printers are out of this or that.

pdxy

Wholahay...

Who even listens to the radio anymore?

Also, you don't know the dumb girls that work in my store. Line to the door for two straight hours and they have entire presentations to make about this promotion to each and every customer. It's stupid.

Also, as for hard work, 6 years of 60 hour weeks in the toughest city in the world enough for you? How about 5 years pounding pavement selling building supplies, not to mention from 14-19 working in construction.

Starbucks shouldn't be hard work. But the iq's of most of the staff, not to mention 99% of the public make it really hard.

Intelligence and common sense escaped us as a society along time ago.

barrister barrista

Argentius,

Well said. It's not hard or complicated but it does drag down the transaction a wee bit. I already feel like sometimes I'm interrogating my customers with questions in the morning. Most of my customers don't want a receipt, aren't going to come back in the afternoon cause they're at work and don't want to hear about the promotion cause they're half way to the condiment bar. We worked on making it conversational, but getting out of the habit of "do you need your reciept" and instead just sayin, "Here, this'll get ya a grande cold drink of your choice after 2 today" is not always easy. It's not hard, nor is it particularly intellectually difficult, it's just one more thing to cram into the conversation that's supposed to be efficient.

That said, if it brings back repeat business, great. We'll adapt.

As for the people who say "if you think this is hard, wait for the real world" that's a harsh and ill informed statement to make since many of us are either coming to Starbucks later in life, having lived in the "real world" already, or have multiple jobs to make it in the "real world". It's not like Starbucks exists in some fake, nebulous work world environment. We don't float around on clouds with puppies and violets.

jrc

Does this promotion include licensed stores as well? I mean the stores located in grocery stores and such.

Nerfebarista

Coffee is not hard work. I've been doing it for around 10 years now and I enjoy it. It's the poeple that are hard work. We have fashioned our own 'just say yes' customer base, that is used to getting what they want, no matter what.
Someone said it above though, there is an intelligence factor on both sides of the counter. About 6 out of 10 customers get it right off the bat and move on and don't need telling later. 1 out of 10 has a question related to the promo that ends up being a chat about how great vivanno is. And the rest are either way too tired or stupid to understand or care or they don't speak english. Some of these things can make a barista's day hell. And that's without the scams people try every day and the pompous attitudes you get from the people running late for work, who probably shouldn't have stopped if they were running late.


Sorry.. done ranting.. This promo is easy, people are not.

AliCat

We've already been doing this in my market, and it's been successful. However, we were not given any extra labor for the afternoons for the first couple of weeks (since we have to earn it) so, those first couple of weeks were hell. I think we're in week three now and we should have extra labor in the afternoons now... I hope. Anyway, saddle up, guys, because if you get busy in the afternoons, life may be a little more stressful in the beginning, but in the long run, it does bring in more business and encourages loyalty. And, after a week or two, you probably won't have to explain it to every customer. The regulars will already know and all you need to do is ask "do you know about our two dollar promotion?" If they say yes, you're good, and if they say no, it takes 10 seconds to explain and you end up winning over most people.

It's really not hard. We just need more ink for those stamps...

sickofiknewitwouldhappen

I think its hilarious that we have to warn each other to be prepared to work again the afternoons...the whole point of this promo is that our afternoons were slow, so we want to get them back up to speed...and its being said to "saddle up"...no disrespect to you Alicat, its just a sign of the times that we have had it easy...for too long...and our stock portfolios have suffered...

rr

I think the promo itself is quite worhtwhile, BUT...stamping the receipt with the same information printed on the receipt? Ridonkulous.

mtc

I just tried getting a $2 drink with my receipt - the cashier just stared at me and then consulted with another employee. She rang up my drink and then told me it was free since she didn't know how to ring up the promotion and turned away without calling my order. I then waited 5 minutes while the staff fixed everyone else's drink and refilled the caramel bottles. I finally got my drink after asking someone else. I ws left feeling like I had wronged the entire afternoon staff by following up on this promotion.

Torontodude

Can benefits be pyramided?

Can I get a free refill on a Venti drip coffee in the morning...then come back for a $2 Vivanno in the afternoon?

If so, I will get $10.37 worth of drinks for just $4.26 -- much less than half price.

If true, this is a super fantastic deal that will cause me to add $100 to my card immediately. And you can count on me to spend the $4.26 almost every day. I will cut back on visits to my funky/indy place.

There must be others like me. Starbucks has been trying lots of stuff lately -- some good, some bad.

I think this is good. Very, very good.

Revise revenue projections upward. Alert Wall Street. This is a winner.

Jim Lane

Hehehehe! Someone asked why didn't they roll this out correctly - another Schultz knee-jerk reaction, what else?

Nerfebarista

Fortunately for you Torontodude, there are cheapskates everywhere that come in 3 minutes after the doors open and get a 'drip refill'. If we will let this slide, you can get your treat with your refill as well. Though if you moved to the states and registered a card your refill would be free too, so you'd get all that yumminess for only $2.19 for the whole day

Ken

Is working at Starbucks really "stressful" I mean, come on, there might be pressure, but stress? I've worked in kitchens during a dinner rush, there is a million things to do, etc etc. Its not stress you are feeling, it is pressue. Stress is fearing you are going to get fired, laid off, working on nothing but comission and not selling anything, loosing medical benifits when you are sick.
Come on people, if working at Starbucks, and explaining to people that they can come in after 2, and get a discount on there drink stresses you out, I hate too what happens you get a "stressful" job!

notincanada

I don't know if someone already answered Torontodudes question.
No, Canada is not included (yet). Even though we are a subsidiary to Starbucks Coffee USA we are a different country and a different market with sometimes somewhat different marketing tools. Business isn't as bad here as it is south the border. Hence no 2 buck deals and no store closures (yet, anyways). You still can get the same yummy drinks here, just need to pay a little more. But Canadians are used to that, aren't they? ;-)

sickofiknewitwouldhappen:

Being busy isn't the problem... being busy and not having the labor is what I was warning about. I used to work in the number 3 store in the nation ... trust me, I know what busy is and I'm not afraid of it. Read my post closely and I was trying to prepare people for the busy without the staff to handle it.

AliCat

...oops... that was me.

Torontodude

Canada already has the free refills for registered card users.

But we aren't getting the afternoon $2 cold drinks -- at least for now? Is this speculation, or official?

It's all a bit confusing for Canadian customers...due to the US media spillover. We didn't get PPR either.

truth

The problem with this strategy is that it is a one-way ticket. Once customers get used to a $2 afternoon drink, they'll come to expect it forever. (Just ask MCD. Corporate HATES the dollar menu, but the franchisees refuse to let it go away, because they argue it brings in customers.) Right or wrong, it is there to stay.

But, of course, if you believe Pat Nerr and some of the others, the die is already cast, and it won't matter long term, because there is no long term.

More and more, actions like these seem to support that premise.

james

I recently went into a Starbucks in Roswell, GA. I ordered tall coffee, I mixed my coffee at milk station the way I like it. Next day when I ordered the same coffee the same barista told me he could give me less coffe so I wouldt have to waste any when I mixed it. I cant believe this, They now have baristas spying on us when we mix our coffee. They blame the economy for downturn, the truth is the quality has really gone downhill. The coffe is often cold, the attendants can't remember to give a knife when ordering a bagel with butter. Often the condiments bar is empty of milk. I could go on and on and on.

verticalphil

I think "there is no long term" is a really important point. Every single thing this company has done in the past year has either been a band aid or masking tape- No neosporin, no sticthes, no penicillin. After this 2 dollar thing goes away there will be something else... something else... I can only speculate as to what those things will be... But much like the point about the dollar menu, there is now an expectation for some crazy "deal" to get you in the store. As a sidenote... for a company worried sick about money, i feel like there've been more free drink promotions (card mailing, vivanno flyer,free iced coffee wednesdays, sticker on drinks) than ever before. I want to have a conversation with the "partner" at corporate who thinks giving away all of this stuff and then suddenly just stopping one of these days is good fiscal policy. I don't know, I'm with truth here...they've got no clue.

EX

James, are you serious? The barista was NOT spying on you, he/she was offering to "leave room" for you so that you wouldn't have to pour out the extra coffee and risk injury to yourself and others. It would also reduce coffee waste, and would keep the condiment bar neat for the other patrons who have to use it after you - did you pour the extra coffee in the trashcan? I hate it when people do that . . .

dharmacup

JAMES--

Here's how to meet your barista's concerns and your need for room in your coffee. Get what you paid for and more by ordering a 'tall coffee in a grande cup'. Usually the kind baristas will fill it to the level you desire and you won't have to waste any of the cofee you paid for.

Just a suggestion. :)

blindsided

wow James, paranoid much?
"They're spying on me!!!"
No, no they are not. They are simply trying to get to know their customers and make their experiences better.
you are a silly silly person

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