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January 23, 2009

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Just Another Shift

I'm just glad that it's not baristas being laid off. I think of all the money wasted on trips to New Orleans, needless retail merchandise and silly television commercials and give thanks that I still have a job. Good riddance to the corporate types if they are the ones who come up with all of the stupid shot-in-the-dark strategies that have plagued the company since Howard came back (can we lay him off? Please?) Some of the DM's are good folks, though. I'll miss some of them -- not all -- but some.

Here is part of the problem. I was given a gift card to Starbucks recently, havent been there forever. The first location I went to, the baristas were talking about a weekend party the whole time. No connecting at all with the guest (me). The drink was only average, and I could taste the shots were not poured fast enough (as she was talking to her co-worker to much).

The 2nd visit to use up my gift card three managers were in the lobby talking ( I assume a DM was one of them). There was one girl behind the counter doing dishes/ making receipes. It took about 3 minutes to get her to notice I was there and then she comes over looking upset she had to stop and asks what I want. No hi, how are you, just what do you want. No more conversation about the order was placed and paid for. These were both locations in the Seattle area.

If Starbucks is going to charge luxury prices, they need to provide luxury service. If they want to charge McDonalds prices (which has great coffee too), they can provide McDonalds service, which is what Starbucks provided. Why would I go to Starbucks when I could go to McDonalds and get the same service for much less?

Starbucks, you did this to yourself.

above poster:

Just to let you know not all Starbucks' are like this.

You are right, though, Starbucks shot themselves in the foot.

I actually agree with the poster above. I think a lot of people were brought back into the store post-holiday with gift card purchases. Unfortunately, the labor cuts implemented leading into the holiday gave these people a terrible experience and no incentive to return.

@2:04 -

Yep, you are right. I went into a store today and was not greeted, there were 4 on the floor (and the SM was one of the 4 on the floor). No connection made, I was the only one in the store for the first few minutes I was there. When I left, no one said good-bye, have a nice day... nothing.

Yes, Starbucks has shot themselves in the foot.

former shift (moving on!!!)

Here's a question, what is Starbucks going to be like a year from now???? Let the speculation begin????

Mike

Starbucks a year from now -- I think if it's handled properly Starbucks will be ok in the end. I could almost see things coming full circle, where it's just ripped back down to the core group of stores and corporate positions that made us successful in the first place. A couple problems though:
1. It's the leaders in those positions who will make the difference -- for better or worse.
2. The change in product to cheaper alternatives its starting to rear its ugly head in customer response. For instance, what is up with the new soy milk? I've literally had to handle two altercations in my own cafe with customers who complained about the quality of their soy-based beverage. I was never big on soy to begin with and don't really appreciate the taste, but our loyal soy drinkers are not happy. It's moves like this that make me wonder if we're going to actually lose more in the end making moves like this -- instead of sticking to what's made our loyal customers happy all along.
It really gives me a sick feeling in my stomach thinking about the possibility of more layoffs, especially that many. None of my original mentors are with the company anymore, either as a result of previous layoffs or voluntary resignation. However, there are so many fine partners to keep Starbucks on the map and help build us back up...these are the partners that should be maintained and become the centerpiece of a rebuilding project. I hope I get to be a part of it.
I guess this is where we all hold our breath once again...good luck to everyone...

WIbarista

Mike - I'm a regular soy drinker and I can no longer drink any espresso-based beverage at Starbucks. The soy tastes like play-dough, and I have to hold my breath when steaming it because the smell makes me gag. Why fix it if it ain't broke? Now, if I want to partner bev something with soy, I have to bring my own. Whereas if I want a delicious vanilla soy latte in my own leisure time, I go to the competition. Come to think of it, I wonder if they're hiring ;)

Cut out the Heart

What is that sound I just heard? Wait, I think I know, it was the other shoe. In hindsight, I think it was best that my friend was laid off when she was so that she could find another job.

My only concern now is if Howard is going to be able to make his 9.7 million stretch through 2009 or if he is going to have to ask the government for a bailout so he can fuel up the jet in time for next years trip to Hawaii.

Pinky the Tea Drinker

Not only is the service indifferent these days, but the consistency and quality is a joke.

I tried the London Fog Tea Latte two weeks ago, and since then have had them prepared differently each time by four different locations.

Cups: sometimes one and sometimes two (its needed to get rid of the teabag)

Teabags: sometimes one in the Venti, sometimes two.

Syrup: Sometimes vanilla, sometimes sugar syrup.

Each time I've asked about the official recipe and preparation, the baristas get defensive. Does anyone know the score? I'm hooked and willing to pay $3.95 for a teabag and some milk as a small luxury item for myself but I'm getting irritated now...

r

My gripes:
I have a strong history in customer service with a leader in the retail industry-my gripes:
1. Long lines-in the morning I spend an average of 30 minutes door to drink. I suggest a coffee only line at peak hours.
2. Employees discussing their hangoverscounting dumping out the tip jar and counting their tips at the counter/in public (why do I tip anyway-will it result in them making me a better cup of coffee? Generally- a waiter can provide me with a better experience-what do the "java jocks do to enhance my experience?"
3. Business meetings in the store. Why am I exposed to watching the Starbucks interview, district manager evaluation, planning session etc. If I wanted that experience-I would have stayed at my own office. By the way-when the place is packed-get up off you ass and go and start helping. It is very frustrating to see a leader on his ass when the crew is "in the weeds"
4. If I bought a cup of coffee-and you work there, get up and offer me your seat. I AM THE CUSTOMER.
5. Do not allow your employees to sit in front of the store smoking, feet on the chair (that they likely wont think to offer) me and shooting the sh@t with their friends.
6. If you play the music-sell it. How many people a day do you think inquire as to what song is playing. More often than not-the response is "it is off of our play list." Coffee is about instant gratification-offer me the same in your music= increased sales.
7. Provide clean restrooms. I promise, if they are clean my daughter and I will swing in-use them and buy some coffee.
There-I feel better.

SoyMMM

Pinky:

2 bags in a venti

Vanilla syrup.

I don't think there's a rule for the cup thing...I think it's mostly just preference of whoever's preparing it...I usually double-cup hot tea but not the lattes.

4merOCSM

T + 7 months (since I've been gone)... I read a lot here and comment from time to time because for better or worse I DO remember the GOOD times. Went into my old store for the first time the other day and it felt good to get a smile from several of my 'used to be' partners. MORE layoffs means more of the cream is being skimmed off the top (along with admittedly some of the gunk that floats to the top as well), but I am sad to see what is happening to the company that I had planned on journeying for a LONG time with. I wish I had some magic formula to spin like several of the other posters here, but all I really have is sadness in my heart for what I see. Hopefully SBux WILL get back to the basics at some point on ALL levels including respect and dignity for the people.

Del

I guess I don't really know what goes into making a good Americano but I do know that the ones I get at Starbucks are completely inconsistent. One day, great taste, next it's hard to describe but it's just not the same. Whenever I can, I just go to my local place which has better coffee, in general.

mrknowitall

Okay. The meeting will be about exchanging your stock options. This is 79.3% positive. All your granted stock is not valuable to you. You will be given a chance to exchange the high priced stock options for lower, but you will have to wait longer (like an additional year) to become fully vested. It is in the bag, quit speculating and dreaming nonsense. Peace.

Not so bitter bean

double cup?

The official company policy that is written for double cups is only for shorts - all other drinks including americano's are single cupped. TGhis has been looked up and verified on my portal.

Noodoggy

I am so sad to to read the comments above about visits to our stores....and doubly sad to hear the excuse...(labor cuts). I can tell you in my years as a STarbucks partner...it is the people that make the company. And partners who work just take home a paycheck, are the worst and unfortunately have become the norm in many stores. I for one dont tolerate that and do everything in my power to prevent that from happening. In a conversation I had during an impromptu review today, I told my partner that my job is tough but I enjoy my job. Its challenging and fun and I never know what's going to happen. The biggest part is that I have made it my personal mission to make Starbucks the same for all of my partners. I want to know what drives them, what motivates them, what they love about their job. And I try my best to make our store that place for them that they do enjoy and want to go to work for. What started out as a simple recognizing that my partner almost always showed up for work early turned into this conversation about how my partner was so surprised and shocked that she got a great review on attendance b/c she had huge issues before. It warmed me to think that I had something to do with that, b/c I have had my attendance issues b4. But now this partner is so glad to be at work that she shows up early...and I know that this little bit of caring is exactly what make Starbucks great and continues to drive me to work for the company and resist all naysayers and to insist...no demand...that it's long term gratification that will make this company successful. If anyone doubts the idea of long term gratification being the key...seek a little and find out why we may have gotten ourselves into this mess...instant gratification.

r:
I understand your frustrations.

Here's some possible explanations to some of your thoughts:

Regarding #3: Our stores are only so large so we have to have meetings where we can accommodate the most people if need be. If a manager is having a meeting with their supervisory team, they can't all fit in the backroom.

Interviews are done in the cafe because a potential employee is not an actual employee yet and they are not allowed in the backroom for reasons regarding safety and liability. I can understand the other things: meeting w/DM, new hire orientation, etc.

Regarding #5:
Officially, employees are not to be in the backroom during their non-paid meal breaks because they are off-the-clock (again issues of liability). Starbucks is a place for people to hang out, do some work, and socialize. It only makes since that employees can enjoy the atmosphere when they are not required to work. They need a place to sit down, relax, and even eat if need be.

I'm not sure about managers being able to force employees not to sit outside and smoke especially when they are on an unpaid meal break. But I do think it would be common courtesy for an employee to offer up their seat to a paying customer if there are no other places to sit of course.

As far as music goes, that's on corporate not the individual stores.

Hope some of this info helps to answer some of your frustrations.

lattegal

Not so bitter bean -

You are right. The policy is one cup unless it's a short...BUT...when your store manager doesn't like that rule and prefers to continue using 2 cups then you use 2 cups.

Noodoggy

Not so bitter bean -

You are right. The policy is one cup unless it's a short...BUT...when your store manager doesn't like that rule and prefers to continue using 2 cups then you use 2 cups.


lattegirl...
that is so not right...you pull out the bev resource manual, show your SM the policy. If that doesnt work, fax a copy to your DM and call them to explain the situation. If that doesnt work or at any time b4, call business conduct hotline. It's in your daily records book. The policy is there for a very strong and good reason. First it's environmentally sound - that's what we have sleeves for. Second it make fiscal sense - your SM should be able to get on board for that reason alone. Do not let the whims of people (note I said whims...not well thought out reasons) to dictate policy. One of the best definitions of mastering any art or skill....is mastery is doing everything, and anything, with a reason.

Best of luck to you!

ALso as a addendum to my earlier post...
the labor cut excuse for poor customer service is very sad. If you just got home from work and you're friend stopped by unexpectedly, you wouldnt be all non-chalant and not notice or keep doing what you were doing... Youd be glad to see them and invite them in and chat with them... That's exactly the same mindset everyone should have....Remember your mission...and remember...it's just trash or a dirty dish...but if you smile...they'll notice your smile...not the floor or the dishes.

No

Latte gal- when your store manager does something luke that you pull out the resource manual and say no, I'm following official policy and so you if your at all concerned with the environmental and financial outcome! Cups are costly and wasteful! Not to mention it messes with customer expectations ( see above poster)

BAYAREABUX

I'm with lattegal. If the SM wants everyone to double cup, everyone will double cup, no matter what the BRM has to say. We don't like it; it's terrible for the environment - but hey, who writes your reviews? I'd think twice before pulling out that BRM!

exbuck

I too was lured into a store, after years of not being a customer or employee, by a gift card, and I too experienced bad service (completely unfriendly and indifferent despite that NO ONE else was in the store). I don't blame the barista, actually. I blame a company that can no longer pride itself on the product it sells. I was a barista and manager in the days of real machines and when people were proud to work for the Buck--when we really knew the coffee we sold. Now, no one scoops beans or seems too interested in talking about the coffee, and the machines, the automated ones, along with inferior coffee that is overroasted, doesn't cut it in Seattle, where I can pay the same or less for a cup from any number of cafes that roast excellent coffee (Stumptown, Victrola, Vivace, etc).

Hugh Jass

R,

You stand in line for 30 minutes to get a coffee? If I walk in and there's a line, I turn around and leave. I don't need coffee so bad that I'd surrender half an hour of my life to wait for it.

Grande Latte

Yet another problem with Starbucks can be seen in the above posts telling baristas to take matters into their own hands and "tell on" their SM's or tell them how they should do their job. All baristas need to do is to come to work, do their job, go home and get paid. They are not there to manage their bosses. They are not there to worry about what the other baristas are or are not doing. They are not there to stare at the schedule for minutes on end as if the meaning of life will jump up and be known.
Stop whining about cups! Smile and do your job. You are well paid for it. You're not paid to run the store so don't try to. The way to succeed in the world is not to tell your boss how to do his/her job. It's a cup! Get on with your job. There are many more important things to worry about. Learn to smile when you're mad at your boyfriend. Learn to act happy when your car breaks down. It's your job! You get paid to do that, you don't get paid to tell your boss how many cups to use. It's called being penny-wise and dollar-foolish. Don't keep focusing on the little fish while the big ones just swim by!
Environmental? Starbucks dumps millions and millions of cups into landfills and you're worried if a few are double cupped? Get real. What the hell does it matter? Our company doesn't give a crap about the environment. You're going to change that? Get a life.

Venti Urnex Latte

It is unfortunate that so many are losing their jobs, but it indicates how bloated the management structure has been. I still have no idea what the district manager or regional manager does. I see these people once every few years. The salaries of the laid-off managers can be used to hire more baristas. Or maybe the people laid off from SSC can become baristas themselves. They will have a lower wage but better job security if they do.

Carl

First time to this blog. I was directed to it by the Seattle Times story.

Up until 5 months ago, I was a true blue customer. I religiously purchased a venti drip every morning 7 days a week. At least three times a week I would buy some comfort food ie doughnut.

The economy started tanking, gas started climbing and my answer was to prepare my coffee at home before work. It was an easy and near effortless transition. Now I wonder why I ever payed $2.01 for 365 days a year to wait in a line for 10 minutes. There was nothing particularly special about the service.

I've thought about what might bring me back as a customer. I always felt that $2.01 for a drip coffee was too expensive. I think a price adjustment would be a start. Free refills so that a customer could buy a coffee in the morning and get a refill on the way home from work? The refill would be something to look forward to at the end of the work day.

My best Starbuck's experience was at a Starbuck's on Rainier in Renton in 2005 to 2006. The manager, Mary Ann, was so much fun. She seemed to energize all of her younger employees. I could tell that they all enjoyed coming to work and working with her. Health benefits are nice but when you work in the service industry like I do (in an odd way) it is a big plus to have fun and positive work companions and supportive management. Otherwise, the job can become a drudgery and the only thing that keeps the employee there is the benefit package. You can't teach enthusiasm. You have to imbue the workplace with it by hiring the enthusiastic, caring, and fun loving managers like Mary Ann who just seem to naturally infuse it in her work companions. If Starbuck's could recreate the experience I had at Mary Ann's store I would definitely consider coming back.

Sorry for rambling. I hope that Starbuck's makes it through this tough time.

Carl

Fred

to all the above "customorons" who complain and bellyache and say they can go to McDonalds now and get the same thing for cheaper, GO RIGHT AHEAD. PLEASE. just remember, you get what you pay for. their "coffee" isn't even real. and you are the kind of customer i have grown to hate these past 8 yrs with the company. i wish you'd rot and die. *laughs*

Fred

Starbucks and Environmentalism

...is a huge f*@@ing joke. At my last store, it took me 3 years just to get the city (and coroporate) to agree on the size of the recycle bin, once they did, starbucks said it was too expensive for us to have one. then, they gave the DM a bonus. a DM who does absolutely NOTHING but take sides and get ppl fired. what a way to go starbucks!!! maybe you should re-invest in all these old "retail partners" you are sitting there loading more duties on and shooting in the foot.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Yes, the stock option exchange program will probably be discussed. Although, I am unable to tell if this is for the best.

Grande Latte: Going to have to respectfully disagree with you. My belief is that Starbucks is in trouble because SMs don't care to follow policy and procedure. Take the above posters comment about LFTL. Obviously, the SM in these two stores didn't take the time to follow up and train their partners on new tea drinks. Or, in the beginning, she/he didn't take the time to hire quality people.
Starbucks is in trouble because SMs decide what is best for their store- whether or not it follows Starbucks policy and procedures.
There is a new pastry directive rolling out and already I have heard fellow SMs deciding they are not going to follow it. Because they don't like it! Well too bad- you work for this company and should follow the rules.
I don't love everything Starbucks is doing lately and am torn as to whether I should look for a new job or not, but I still work for this company and I should follow it's rules and regulations. If other SMs did this originally, we wouldn't be in such a grand mess now(I'm not blaming just the SM position, but they do have a direct impact on customers, more so than those in SSC and VP, etc. roles). I'm not putting all the blame on SMs and DMs, but some just really don't know what they're doing and should go! At least allow the partners who want to do the right thing to do it! The only way their DM is going to know the SM is doing something wrong is if someone tells them.

Heading to get a tall hazelnut soy latte....

I travel abroad at least 10+ times a year and am always happy to see that green sign. From Cairo to Hong Kong, Starbucks eases my home sickness. It's a great company and while sometimes the baristas aren't always friendly and my drinks may be a bit too sweet - I'm okay with this because they get it right 9 times out of 10. Our company just announced layoffs for 1400 people - so my thoughts are with you guys!

Know it All

Oh boy. Can't we keep these threads to the matter at hand? A ton of folks are worried about losing their jobs and we have to read about it from the local paper? HOWARD, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, get your head out of the sand and start acting in keeping with the company and its mission. Such a dismal state you left us when you let decisions happen that were not keeping with the brand. The Seattle Times nailed the reverse course of the last year but what about the 5 years prior when store after store opened, warming launched, cheap drive-thrus, counter culture leadership hires, Crappucino Seasonal Calendar, advertisements for satellite radio playing overhead in our stores, poorly made merchandise, lack of recognition for store partners, it is just so sad.

Grande Latte: Going to have to respectfully disagree with you. My belief is that Starbucks is in trouble because SMs don't care to follow policy and procedure. Take the above posters comment about LFTL. Obviously, the SM in these two stores didn't take the time to follow up and train their partners on new tea drinks. Or, in the beginning, she/he didn't take the time to hire quality people.
Starbucks is in trouble because SMs decide what is best for their store- whether or not it follows Starbucks policy and procedures.
There is a new pastry directive rolling out and already I have heard fellow SMs deciding they are not going to follow it. Because they don't like it! Well too bad- you work for this company and should follow the rules.
I don't love everything Starbucks is doing lately and am torn as to whether I should look for a new job or not, but I still work for this company and I should follow it's rules and regulations. If other SMs did this originally, we wouldn't be in such a grand mess now(I'm not blaming just the SM position, but they do have a direct impact on customers, more so than those in SSC and VP, etc. roles). I'm not putting all the blame on SMs and DMs, but some just really don't know what they're doing and should go! At least allow the partners who want to do the right thing to do it! The only way their DM is going to know the SM is doing something wrong is if someone tells them.

Grande Latte: Going to have to respectfully disagree with you. My belief is that Starbucks is in trouble because SMs don't care to follow policy and procedure. Take the above posters comment about LFTL. Obviously, the SM in these two stores didn't take the time to follow up and train their partners on new tea drinks. Or, in the beginning, she/he didn't take the time to hire quality people.
Starbucks is in trouble because SMs decide what is best for their store- whether or not it follows Starbucks policy and procedures.
There is a new pastry directive rolling out and already I have heard fellow SMs deciding they are not going to follow it. Because they don't like it! Well too bad- you work for this company and should follow the rules.
I don't love everything Starbucks is doing lately and am torn as to whether I should look for a new job or not, but I still work for this company and I should follow it's rules and regulations. If other SMs did this originally, we wouldn't be in such a grand mess now(I'm not blaming just the SM position, but they do have a direct impact on customers, more so than those in SSC and VP, etc. roles). I'm not putting all the blame on SMs and DMs, but some just really don't know what they're doing and should go! At least allow the partners who want to do the right thing to do it! The only way their DM is going to know the SM is doing something wrong is if someone tells them.

Long time reader, first time poster.

I apologize for the length in advance.

I've worked for this company for two and a half years. I came from a competetor with two years experience, one as a shift lead. My first year with this company was great. I worked in a store with a good manager and a strong well knit staff. I moved six months later because I got promoted to shift and there I met the best manager I've ever had in my entire work history. He was a partner for seven years, store manager for four. I learned so much and he really ignited my passion for coffee, I even got my Black Apron.

Then it all started crumbling. My manager saw the company changing for the worse (this was in Aug of 07). I stuck around because I still really, REALLY loved working for the company. The replacement manager was an outside hire and we had some conflicts. For many reasons, I stepped down and went back to my original store. Six months after, another outside hire arrived. This manager was only with the company a month before getting a store. The store went downhill, but we all stayed because we bonded and liked our jobs.

In December I'd finally grown tired of his lack of common sense and plain lack of knowledge with a greater lack of desire to learn. This manager found reasons to hide in the back or rearrange the merchandise because the opportunity to make a drink would cause embarrassment because he didn't know the recipes. (I actually witnessed him take a chai latte cup for lobby and put it with drive bar because he couldn't make it!) I made the mistake of losing my cool and saying a few choice words regarding the company. I got a write up, I was fine with it. The manager takes everything too personally, I decided I would refuse to speak because if there is nothing said, nothing can be taken wrong. Not so. I received a review today that still harped on old items and my managers issues with not being the center of attention. I received a final warning and now am subject to weekly reviews regarding my "bad attitude". I know I don't have a chance to talk to anyone because my DM and the HR Department have gotten numerous calls from him about EVERYTHING!!! My DM has told our #1 shift lead he doesn't like my SM and neither do many other SM's in my district.

All I want to know is whether this company cares enough to listen. I'm already leaving, but my fellow co workers are still going to be subjected to this madness. Does anyone care? Who can someone go to? The Business Conduct just goes to the DM, who doesn't care.

Are my co workers doomed?

spence

Fred, I'm not saying that you are a jerk; just that you sound like one. It's a big world with lots of people all having different taste buds. When someone thinks McDonalds has great coffee. . . so what? There is no excuse for being mean to customers or past customers.

Sharon

This rumour has been circulating at the SSC for months. Its dissappointing that management continues to take responsibilty for their mistakes over the past two years and continue to blame the economy.

The problem is that cowards work at Starbucks. Everyone is afraid to stand up for themselves and say NO. And not take their crap.

Lets strike on Thurs, 1/28th during the earnings call.

I don't understand

will lets just say Starbucks layoff or sells off the Maintenance Dept. and all the Techs, just might happen very soon.
because some VP doesn't think we need our own in house Tech's, to you really think this would help the company save money, thinking cap please.
the store has to call in a work order, one day later, (12 Hours) it goes to the outside vendor, they charge from when they get the call or when they start driving to the store, than they charge for being in the store, than they don't have the part to fix the problem, than they have to order the part, (up charge the part) and hopes its the right part, than they have to come back another trip charge, fix the problem, hope that fixed the problem, once this is all done it took one day to call in the workorder, and one to five (1 to 5) days to fix the problem, and the store would have to eat the cost because they didn't take the money out of the P&L to cover the cost, I forgot they did take the money out of your P&L.
If they keep the Techs, the problem would be fixed the first day and anything else that might be broken in the store, and might I say some Techs have a lot of pride in what they do, because they work for the store managers, thats who they have to keep happy, keep the manager happy and fix the problem and all the partners are happy too. that goes up hill to the DMs.

I really don't think that Howard has a clue what is happening to the Company any more, we have been hiring new VP and SVP or promoting them into a new position VP or SVP. than we are told that there might be another layoff what the blank is happening, that is just great. keep that smile on your face..

some companys are selling off their Air Planes while Starbucks adds another to it's fleet, how they have THREE (3) large Planes that cost over (1).(5) Billion Dollars for the Fleet, what about the guys that have to take care of them, just a mere two Million that might be too cheap (I guessed).
the biggest thing; what about the people (the top of the pile) that got us in the position we are today are still in the top positions now, I think we should start looking at the top of the food change, and not at the people on the bottom any more there isn't much to pick from, they lay us off than come up with ideas to save more money, but where is that money going???
pulling shots into cups save time, but break the equipment, causes water in the drawer, can't see if the unit even pulled the shot, who cares just add milk,
Howard stated we would never pull shots into the cups, that isn't and will never be a standard here at Starbucks, some VP changed that.
I just feel lost some times, because everyone is covering their own butts.
"o" look here comes a bus >>>
not again someone will through me under the bus again....

Grande Latte

To the anonymous moron (over-zealous barista?) who responded not once, but three times to my post....

I never said that SM's should decide whether or not to follow procedures. I said that it is not a barista's job to tell the SM what to do nor is it their job to run to the DM.

Starbucks is not in bad shape because of SM's not following standards. It's not that simple.

Most baristas, I hope, aspire to move on in life to bigger and better things. A good thing to take with you to your future in the work world is that your job is rarely to tell your boss what to do. Do YOUR job. If you move on from SBUX and get a REAL job it will not serve you well to run to your boss's supervisor to tattle on your boss. Nor will it serve you well to constantly correct your boss. Remember, you are a barista. Shut up and serve the drinks, clean the store, provide customer service, get paid way more than you should be. God home to mommy.

quityourbitchin

The earnings call is on Wednesday... Shortly after the markets close at 1pm Pacific (4pm Eastern).

quityourbitchin

I don't understand-
I don't understand your math. The newest plane, which figures to be the most expensive, was $45 million. 45x3 = $135 million. That's less than 10% of the 1.5 billion you're quoting, and most all of it was spent in the "good ol days" before the Howard Memo served as the harbinger of doom

texbarista

My DM ought to be one who is laid off. She has no people skills, hardly talks to partners, and berates partners in the store, in front of everyone.

Why does SBUX hire these types of people?

Former Sbux ASM

Fred-

You appear to be the real moron as you call Starbucks customers that... Read Consumer Reports---

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/1/29/102949.shtml

Dunkin Donuts beats Starbucks too

http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/10/20/dunkin-donuts-beats-starbucks-with-better-tasting-coffee-aga/

Starbucks lost to McDonalds. Have you ever seen their machines, sure looks like real coffee to me. Sir, you, and partners like you are the reason Starbucks is where it is today.

I don't understand

quityourbitchin //


who really cares what they cost, sell them so we can keep our jobs.

I don't think I will ever get the chance to ride on one of the planes, do you??

what about putting the warming in all the stores, that cost is about 5,000 per store.

to close one store cost 5,000 to 10,000 for the moving company, than the landlord buy out Millions.

I forgot were are the new Lap Top's the store's were going to get???


so what do you think about the cost to New O's for the company meeting.

what did you get???

I heard:
bad rooms/ not cleaned
sore feet/ from walking everywhere
and the food sucked

But I am still Happy and Smilen.....

and to say we only fell to 24th
of great companys to work for...
I see partners quiting every day
I was in a store at 6:00am to 9:00am
and watched 25 to 30 customers leave
because the line was not moving
I don't work in this store so I couldn't help. they were only allowed to have three partners on duty because of the hours that were cut.
one in drive thru
one on the bar
one on front line
and they had to keep up with the drip...
I was studying my school work...before I had to go to school that morning....

So they claim that the barista postion is safe but in fact it is not. They will not be "laying off" baristas but managers will be doing performance reviews and firing anyone under a certain rating, plus optimimal scheduling will be strictly enforced so some partners will lose their jobs that way.

quityourbitchin

I don't understand -
SBUX has been trying to sell one of the planes since before taking delivery of the new one last month. No buyers. Having planes is cost-effective for a company in 40+ countries whose executives need to travel in a time-efficient manner. Might not always be on the road, but when they travel and need to visit 12 cities in 5 days without a plane the length of that trip is doubled due to time spent waiting in airports for commercial flights.

Warming pays for itself. The margin on those products is good and they drive solid business. Look at the reversed decision to take the sandwiches out.

The buyout for a store that loses money every day is better to take as a one-time hit up front than a slow bleed over many years. Bad decisions were made, and something had to be done about them. The stores were closed, most cost-effective way to deal with it.

Laptops are still coming. It takes a lot of time to make computers from off the protected network suddenly be able to connect to systems that are very heavily guarded from outside access. I believe they'll start rolling out this spring or summer, based on what Cliff said in NOLA.

Leadership Conference was a valuable experience for (nearly) all who attended. Yes, there was cost associated, but spending money on training (which is what it was) is vital. Especially during tough times. It wasn't flawless execution, some things sucked, but it was overall a solidly good experience. Too hard to quantify ROI from something like that, but I'm honored to be part of a company where investment in training and culture is a priority at all times.

Re: falling to 24th, I made my case in the fortune thread and would be happy to discuss in detail with you there.

NEPA Barista

Pinky tea drinker-

baristas gave you different answers and prepare them differently because there was no training. well at least there was none at my store.

in the days prior to the launch of this promotion we were told to watch the video clips on the portal (no sound on our computer) during our breaks. the real training dvd was not in our store, so we rely on the recipe cards as the sole source of information.

the lack of non-coverage, and the need to have a negative labor variance eliminates any opportunity for adequate training.

sorry you're upset, i am too. i wish i was given the chance to do my best at work.

beantheredonethat

The problem with Starbucks started many years ago, and Howard was a part of that. But a great economy helped mask the clusterfuck at corporate.

With a bad economy, sales are taking a hit now. And the clusterfuck is still there in how management, specifically Howard and the SVPs that report to him, run the company.

Layoffs, likely. Bad economy, it will improve by 2010, as will sales. But unless Howard is fired by the board or Pepsi buys the sinking ship and kicks Howard out, nothing, absolutely nothing, will change.

I for one am glad I got laid off last July and had time to find a new position.

Downwards. Downwards in high gear.

PS - most partners at corporate are really good, hardworking people that care and try their best to support the stores. But Howard does everything he can to ruin their best intentions.

Carl

First time to this blog. I was directed to it by the Seattle Times story.

Up until 5 months ago, I was a true blue customer. I religiously purchased a venti drip every morning 7 days a week. At least three times a week I would buy some comfort food ie doughnut.

The economy started tanking, gas started climbing and my answer was to prepare my coffee at home before work. It was an easy and near effortless transition. Now I wonder why I ever payed $2.01 for 365 days a year to wait in a line for 10 minutes. There was nothing particularly special about the service.

I've thought about what might bring me back as a customer. I always felt that $2.01 for a drip coffee was too expensive. I think a price adjustment would be a start. Free refills so that a customer could buy a coffee in the morning and get a refill on the way home from work? The refill would be something to look forward to at the end of the work day.

My best Starbuck's experience was at a Starbuck's on Rainier in Renton in 2005 to 2006. The manager, Mary Ann, was so much fun. She seemed to energize all of her younger employees. I could tell that they all enjoyed coming to work and working with her. Health benefits are nice but when you work in the service industry like I do (in an odd way) it is a big plus to have fun and positive work companions and supportive management. Otherwise, the job can become a drudgery and the only thing that keeps the employee there is the benefit package. You can't teach enthusiasm. You have to imbue the workplace with it by hiring the enthusiastic, caring, and fun loving managers like Mary Ann who just seem to naturally infuse it in her work companions. If Starbuck's could recreate the experience I had at Mary Ann's store I would definitely consider coming back.

Sorry for rambling. I hope that Starbuck's makes it through this tough time.

Carl

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