« Did a crowd gather at your Starbucks to watch the inauguration? | Main | "From the Comfy Chair": 1st Ave. South & Walker, Seattle »

January 20, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Middle management is stream-lined with several RDs and DMs getting their pink slips, eliminating the ridiculous amount of micro-managing happening now that both of these positions have become practically irrelevant. District size goes to 20-25, with DMs required to visit each one of their stores once per month. This allows stores to operate under more authority of the store partners. The extra money is re-invested at the store level. Store Managers see their in-store roles change with limited responsibility to the coverage schedule, allowing them to concentrate their efforts wherever the business dictates (floor coverage, admin, marketing, deep clean, training, coffee passports, one-on-one's, reviews, etc.), finally justifying all the talk about how Store Managers will be able to run their stores like their own businesses...depending on the allocation of hours, this also opens up more hours to be allotted to baristas and shift supervisors without changing the current format (which we've already been told is set in stone through at least the end of the fiscal year) since Store Managers will no longer be taking up nearly 40 hours per week of coverage...


Oh Mike, from your mouth to Howie's ears. Are you guessing? Or do you know?

That's not true.


That sounded like it would make sense.

So it must be too good to be true.


ez street


Coffee Soldier

All SM are required to participation on a portal training session on Standards of Business Conduct before Feb 1st according to an action item this week in preparation for this meeting.

I really would love to hear that your guess becomes a reality, but as Me said if it sounds good, it's probably too good to be true :-(

Sucks though, in a perfect world store managers could run their stores like their own business with help (key word: help) from DM's, RD's, etc. instead of them running things and the SM simply "looking over" the store in their absence.


LOL -- I'm totally guessing...the only part I'd put any stock in is more layoffs..although I hope I'm wrong...I think the worst thing we can do is keep breaking things down. Time to re-form a foundation...


So if they give shifts more responsibility.... I bet $5 that they don't give a pay raise to go with it.


You have $5 to bet?! I can't get the hours!


The DMs will find out two days prior to the meeting with SMs receiving their training material ONE day prior. This is to prevent the info from ending up here. So it's all just a guess until then.

I hope they can some DMs. Mine is never in my store and has no idea what proper communication looks like. I have no idea what they do all day.


Mine likes to stop in and re-arrage the entire store so it looks like a garage sale. And then his RM stops in and re-re-arranges it.


lol. that happens at my store too. don't they have more important things to do than garage sale tag mugs?

Here's a thought:
SM's work 8 hours a day, right?
Think about all the work an SM does in 8 hrs.

Now, think about this:
If a DM and RD have to work 8 hrs, what do they do?
What kind of work do they do in 8 hrs especially when NOT visiting stores in their respective districts/regions?


Bye-Bye ASMs....Hello, that is totally what this is about!


I know for a fact ASM will be the first to go. Starbucks is already trying to move ASM around telling them its the next step to being a SM,, LIE!


my SM hasn't heard anything about any mandatory meetings, and he has, quite honestly, a pretty big mouth, so either--

1. he hasn't been told yet

2. he's actually scared enough to stay quiet

so we'll see.

the only thing i know for sure is that my assessment for ASM went from December, to late January, to "well, (anonymous DM) is just going to come down and talk with you, one on one, sometime in the next few months and that will be your assessment, because she said she isn't sure what's going to happen with the ASM program right now"

which means either

1. i'm screwed

2. ...guess there isn't a 2.


Damn, I can't imagine what we'd do without our ASM...

By the way, anyone receive crap for the volunteer program being launched for barack and not bush? We had a couple irate ignoramusses (ignorami?) bitch about starbucks not supporting their backwards redneck white power cause (of course, their wording was a bit different)


I was told I had to demote myself back down to a shift at my store after 3 years as an ASM or be terminated. We were told we now don't make enough money for TWO ASMS, so the new ASM who has been here for 4 months gets to stay because her performance review as a barista says "she can drive sales" even though my reviews have always been great but the manager I work for never included anything about sales in my review. After 7 years with SBUX this is lame.


I was just told that I will have to demote myself to a shift after 3 years as an ASM because our store no longer affords TWO ASMs. The other ASM gets to keep her position of four months because her previous manager wrote on her Barista performance review about her being able to drive sales, and my manager never wrote anything about sales on my reviews so she gets to stay because we need someone who can give direction to drive sales. Pretty lame considering I have 6 years with the company, no corrective actions, good performance reviews, and we have the highest average ticket in our area. Was told that "it is what is it" and I would be terminated if I didn't demote since there was no place for me to go. Even with my college, DT experience (the other ASM has none), and performance I still don't get to keep my position. Lame.



haven't heard that one yet. i've got a feeling i will though, considering the heavily right-leaning area we're in (and the fact that at least one customer called our Holiday Blend the "Godless Liberal Blend" after we explained what it was)

honestly, it's going to be interesting to see what people in our generally selfish community will actually do. questions i'm expecting:

1. do i get the coffee after i've done the volunteer hours, or now?

2. what if i don't like coffee?

and my favorite

3. can we make that a tall caramel macchiato instead of a brewed coffee?

and yeah, that sounds cynical, but i remember election day.

The meeting is definitely not about the ASM position being phased out. Lilith hit the nail right on its head when she said that it has to with the standards of business conduct training that they have to do


I have finally quit starbucks, and I'd like to make my 10 things i loved about starbucks list:
10: I got to transfer out materials to other stores in the country so I could hit controllables. No one checks that apparently.
9: I used and abused training and non-coverage time (when I could) so that I could average 20 hour workweeks.
8: I gave free stuff to all the stores and restaurants in the neighborhood, so they gave me free stuff back.
7: I and my partners took all the ethos waters we wanted.
6: We told customers the newspaper was free, cuz hell, we don't make money off of it.
5: I sent all the bad partners my store came with to other stores, after giving them all exceeds expectations on their reviews so someone would take them off my hands
4: I changed my store hours, but not in ALS system, so that I was given more hours to play with (no one looked at labor efficiency)
3: I started baristas above the standard salary so I could actually get good ones
2: I skipped all the events in the leadership conference in New Orleans the second I realized no one was taking attendance (I did do community service though, all right!), and then proceeded to spend most of my time with a cute manager I met from California
1: I was a Manager of the Quarter.

Thanks for all you did, Starbucks, Onward!


so did you get fired..(i mean 'seperated') for these clever things?

To hmm: It is managers like you who truly do the most damage to our company. Thank you for doing all of us the favor of quitting.

To be honest, if I had a manager like hmm I"d be a lot happier. Reminds me of Boston Starbucks Rebel. Maybe doesn't follow every rule, and maybe some of them are a little more serious, but I'd bet the partner survey would be A LOT larger for their store.

Ryan (SS)

Thanks for the thread Jim! I agree with the ASM role being phased out at some point in the near future, but I don't think they'll do it this February. They mentioned reformatting districts in New Orleans, and this is the perfect time for them to unveil it before the new scheduling begins.

As for the business conduct training, what is this? If they aren't sending out any information till the last minute that usually echoes something very important...


Well, rules were made for idiots stupid enough to follow them. I'll have to remember all those tips so I can make my store a better store. Transferring bad partners away sounds like transferring pedophile priests around, so maybe not that one. Why dump your shit on somebody else, unless of course its the Starbucks down the street and you want to drive business into your store.
I think in the end, the most important thing is for that manager to make money for Starbucks. I suppose, by creating a great team of partners in her store, that was the goal. Now he/she, leaves for the next store manager a great team of partners but will soon realize that they can't maintain the same standards as before and will wonder why.
I had one store manager who did the same thing where she changed the store hours without consulting the DM and therefore was able to have more shift supervisors on staff.
One last note for increasing labor, partner beverage your heart out people. If every barista in your store who works partner beverages at least 10 beverages per day so it would be around 100 partner beverages in one week you could possibly get 10-16 more hours in your schedule over time, since ALS lags by like 6 weeks.



We SMs were informed of a "Standards of Business Conduct" training that is mandatory to be completed via the portal. Originally, it was to be completed by a certain date in Jan., but it never showed up on the portal. Now we've been told it will appear on the portal in Feb. I don't know what "Standards of Business Conduct" means, or what it's about, but it doesn't sound important enough to warrant nation-wide meetings. Seriously, are there that many stores that have serious problems with their "business conduct?"
I've been hearing about the elimination of the ASM position for quite some time, and I bet that's it. Of course, that's assuming there really is a big meeting in the works. I've yet to see any real evidence or confirmation that such a meeting will take place.
It would be nice if Mike's prediction were true, but given the current trend of continually reducing the decision-making powers of the SM position, and increasing micro-management from DM's, I seriously doubt that the suits will do a complete about-face and suddenly trust the SMs to actually be empowered to do the job we were hired to do: manage our own stores.


What the $?#! do DM's do all day, anyway? Why aren't they the first to go? I never see mine. She's incompetent.


It would be rediculous if it's about the buisness conduct training. I completed it and it's nothing more than a quick (and pointless)review of things learned in our existing books.


I have to double check with my DM when he gets back from vacation, but I'm pretty sure he said the portal training for Standards of Business Conduct wasn't mandatory for everyone. I believe when this first came out he told his SMs we didn't even have to do it...waste of time just like everything else lately as Christin pointed out...and we don't have time to waste...

Carmella Asalt

Considering the massive amounts of recent labor cuts, it would be EVIL do cut anything else at store level.

We wouldn't have an all store meeting after hours and waste all the "training time" just to tell partners there are no more ASM's. When they do away wih ASM's they will just quietly announce it.

the real deal

I hate to bust everyone's conspiracy theory bubble, but...

1. Lot's of people at SBUX have to complete Standards of Business Conduct each year - I've completed it before as an SM, and in other roles. No big deal.

2. None of the changes you are discussing - layoffs, buyouts, no more ASMs, change in DM role, etc. would be cascaded down to partners via an all-store meeting.

3. Although at least one of you says that their DM won't know the info until the day before, it is being rolled out to some DMs weeks before, so I think that's just a timing thing.

4. The word on the street is that it is promo training.

5. We do have a lot of things to worry about, but I don't think you'll find that this meeting is one of them.

here to stay

The ASM position wil not be going away. The mandatory store meeting is for all partners, do you really think that would be the time to say, "Hey all you ASM's, we won't be needing you anymore so it's time that you domote to SS or leave the company." The meeting will be facilitated by Store Managers to talk to partners about optimal scheduling, the new format of Customer Voice and a review of deployment/customer care/bev. quality standards. This will be a two hour meeting to get us all seeing eye to eye as a company.


@ latte

I wasn't fired, I just got a new job, in a company that will probably treat me and my people better, and will pay me more. A lot of you guys get a kick out of telling people to quit if they don't like it, I did. And let me tell you, my partners were happy about the extra coverage I could give them during the day because ALS thought our store closed two hours after it actually did.

Why have a 2 hr meeting to address bev quality or any other training to get everyone to see eye to eye? Its not like theyre going to follow thru with it, look at esp excellence. Seriously, they need to can many DM's who should have never been promoted as well as RDO's. Who takes someone from a finance position and moves them to an operations position (RDO)when they have NO experience in operations just to let them keep a job because their position was eliminated? I guess they think its better to set up their tenured managers and fire them. No wonder this company has done to HELL. No one knows how to run it.

Business Conduct training, thats a joke!!!! Dont bother reporting any violations, they will go unheard and or be buried and YOU will be looked at as a problem and worked out. Ive seen this happen to so many people and the upper management who the claims were against are all still working for the company. I hope what Mike says holds some merit and they lose their jobs and see what theyve put others through. I myself reported something and saw the manager being harrassed teriminated without cause, at least they got unemployment, and the DM still employed.

I, like Hmm, have left and moved on to a much better company who treats me with respect. I hope things get better for Starbucks but with the current leadership, I have serious doubts it will.


Does any body know the date of this meeting? And will all the stores close for it or will it take place after store hours?


DT stores that have 3 espresso machines (Verisimo/Mastrena) will soon only have two. They are taking them out because they aren't being used efficiently and are not cost effective. This is happening by Q3.


A couple of things...ASMs are totally not needed...it was supposed to be a developmental position to get someone ready for SM...if you are still an ASM after 3 years, you are clearly not developing...Standards of business conduct covers the 10 things the former SM above mentioned...(he is proof that if you tell SMs to manage to a number, they will, by any means necessary) and finally, if anyone believes that partners at the store level are going to et any more freedom to run the business as their own, they are delusional. Expect less control of your business combined with greater accountability for it.


My money's with "the real deal"... this must have to do with Michelle Gass' hint-dropping to the analysts.


Is there a date for this meeting?

Mrs. Tillinghamshackles

You're right. It just happened at my store. We had our Mastrena's installed two weeks ago. We weren't even told that we were losing our drive thru bar. I left work and we had three machines. I came in the next day and we only have two. Its been an adjustment but as long as a strong partner is on bar it works out fine.


I would guess it is a meeting to discuss the final execution of Optimal Scheduling.

This Comment is for hmmm and everyone else that thinks like him/her.

You are the cuase of why we are in the situation that we are in. Do not nlame it on your DM or you have to hit numbers. You are a bitter person that no matter where you work, you will be devious and a bad employee. As a manager, you were a role model for many yet you have molded many minds badly and you shouldbe ashamed. Yes, I am a store manager and yes, i do not agree with everything right now but, pick up a paper, turn on a TV...closings, lay-offs, bankruptsy, forclosers...our country is in dire straights right now and we are all in it together and we are not exempt to the ailing economy. This is the plain facts of life.


entirely ot:

i was watching oprah, because i can't find the remote. haha.

anyways. they just talked about the "i'm in" program. so uh, it'll probably pick up now. thanks oprah.

ps - i can't tell if that's sarcastic or not. heh.


My money is on a meeting around the new Promo, tied with Michelle Gass' hint dropping at Leadership around coffee.
ASM is not being "eliminated" we will still have some, we just have too many because of slower growth\opening stores and we still need backfill for departing SM's. Some stores don't even have one ASM so it couldn't be part of the meeting...they wouldn't care as it doesn't impact them.
The comment around DM\RD being eliminated so SM's can run their store like their "own business". Isn't that what you are doing now? Monitoring labor, controlling expenses, creating great customer environments so that customers keep coming back, business building (we had great opportunities to do so with the old Quarterly Marketing Kits we got---now it is harder because of lack of NC time). I have always (outside of Starbucks too) run my store like my own business---like my paycheck depended on it actually.

2 cents

Maybe they're getting rid of the "JUST SAY YES" policy. I would be psyched if they would finally cut corners where it actually makes sense.


I know, I'm dreaming.


Oops, sorry guys.

The second one is better. haha

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search Site

Ads (2)