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May 22, 2009

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BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

BRING BACK BOLD COFFEE!

Munchkin

Someone in Austin or Florida, that has spent time with the Passare Frappuccinos, talk in some detail about your experiences. In my area, we will begin making and selling them in a few weeks. So far, the taste is much improved.

Jay

Do partners get time and a half this upcoming Monday? (Memorial Day)

WaSbuxMan

Time and a half this monday! Yeah!!!

when it looks like it,smells like it, probably is...

since summer has started that means all hard core cold cups are sold out for the rest of the summer, right? i was told that no more would be shipped in. does this make sense to ANYONE who worked in store last summer. push those summer phase one beverages but don't forget that there are about six dozen of each teacup(clearance) that will still be available thru 2012. i've said it before, company direction is like watching chevy chase in european vacation driving the roundabout---BIG BEN / PARLIAMENT see it but just don't know how to get there

Canadian

I posted this in another thread but it really belongs here!

Just as a heads up, Store # 4767 in London Ontario Canada was just told it will be closing next week.

 GitOverIt

Can someone please give BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL a tissue.

finally sick of it in manhattan

Earlier this year, my district got the worst DM I've seen/heard of in my two years at the company. No one--from baristas to store managers--can stand the guy, and people left and right are thinking about/threatening to quit. He's making my manager write people up for inane things like having a neat beard or not using thermometers when steaming milk, and totally killing everyone's last remaining enjoyment of our jobs. He's rude and condescending to everyone and barely acknowledges us except to criticize.

We just got a new RD (his boss) and for her visit to the store the other day, he made us spend the whole morning deep cleaning. When I left we were just about out of frap mix, whipped creams, and iced coffee, but oh, double and triple cleaning the windows and everything else is clearly more important!

It was suggested I write a mission review online, but seriously, is that even worth my five minutes? Is there anything else we, collectively, can do?

JerseyGurl

I've asked this question of my DM and was given a non-answer... Why can't we carry the personal Iced cups all year round? This would help the company because there wouldn't be a mad rush to mass produce them for the clamoring customers/employees. I, as well as many of my customers, only drink iced drinks all year long and the company should acknowledge this year-round demand.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Getting a DM fired, is nearly impossible.

jfk

So much talk about bad DMs. What is the problem with them? I am an SSC partner and would like to hear more detail.

BY BY TECHS,,, LIES

I just heard that Starbucks and FSN are renegotiating a new 90 day contract. (nice law suit) I thought we were told in the National Conference Call this wouldn’t happen, if FSN couldn’t get this deal to work in the first 90 days that it was DEAD "and there won't be any renegotations", by the way this was stated by the RVP and Kate Sharky when she was on the Tech Form and that Starbucks would recall the Techs that got laid-off, everyone is starting to state something different now to cover the Butts. I heard that is stated in the paperwork that the Techs received this was a 90 day Pilot program and would only last for the 90 days. WOW so it is in Writing, I can’t wait to see who starts the lies now….
By the way FSN just up the service call rate to 150 – 250 per call or work order.
I found out that FSN sent two guys to get Trained to certify or Train the vendors, Bunn is the only company that can Train and Certify Techs on their equipment along with the New 901’s and 801’s. So if the vendor didn’t get trained by Bunn they are NOT Certified to work ON any equipment IN any Starbucks.

Bring back the Techs, this is starting to cost way to much.
FSN is treating Starbuck like an ATM.

This is the way we are going and we won't go back to the old ways,

so if this is the way Starbucks is going, Say Good-By to all the in-house Techs by the end of this year....

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

So it would be like going to a backstreet doctor for an abortion is what Starbucks is doing for the service equipment?

all I hear are Lies and Stories

I just keep hearing stories that everything is great in the Mid-American Region, fast responce time and closing work orders, but lets take a look at this, the Vendor shows up with-in 4 hours not bad, stands there playing with the Equipment, thans calls someone to help them walk them through trying to fix the problem this takes about an hour or so, than they tell us he will have to order some parts he doesn't have the right part on hand, I knowing that he doesn't have any Parts at all with him. He than CLOSES the work order, FSN will give the Vendor another work order when the Parts do show up he gets another trip charge to the store, along with time in the store again, and don't forget the mark up on the parts plus shipping will all be ADDed into the 2nd bill. Don't forget the 1st Bill will have trip charge and Time in the store.
But it was Closed, thats the game...
So the Store got Billed Twice for the same call.
But on Paper Work to Starbucks the Job was closed in a very fast time line. Nothing got Fixed.... as we wait.... Paper work All Lies.
So how many Days was the Equipment really down.
ON paper from FSN never.... what a JOKE....
we had a line out the door and no one cared while only having one 801 to work off of...
You don't care why should I,,, all I do is push the buttons....I just tell the Customer our Equipment is all falling apart,,, one of these days it might get fix again... thanks and have a great Morning...

From a Button Pusher...

SBUCKS DRONE LOS ANGELES

All I know is, I work on Memorial Day and we're going to have a bunch of people come in to grab a drink (Iced or Frappuccino, cause it's pretty warm down here in L.A.). And yes, time and half, hurray.

R-man

Ok, help anyone!

i can't believe the response to the Venti iced to go cups! They are near impossible to get. All is drink is iced coffee and i have been looking for one for three weeks now (Central NJ). I knwo there are employee on this site and being a former employee myself from 97-01, i know sometimes extras get put away.

I am asking if anyone out there has access to one, please , oh please let me know. YEs, i know thye are on ebay, but i cannot justify $38 or so (um..yet anyway). my e-mail is capicipie@gmail.com and if you don't have any, i would love to hear how people or employees are reacting to this.

Many Thanks,
Rob
former employee # 248682

Curious

I talked to my DM about these "cold cups" last year. I was told they didn't expect the "demand" to be so high and they didn't produce enough. THey claim that the orders for things like this are put in about a year in advance and they can't just "make more" on the fly. I'm sorry but if they would have been paying ANY attention to what people actually WANT we would have had enough of these cups to at least last through the summer. I could sell more of these hard plastic cups (at $14-$16 each) than I could Breakfast Pairings in a day. But my DM doesn't care about that because those cups aren't our "promo".

This is what makes no sense! Why do I get scolded for selling something that makes MORE money for the company vs something that is DESIGNED to have minimal profit but "look good" to customers?!?!

R-man

Curious,

That is sad that your Dm gave you that answer, although i am sure the flow of information for him/her to psuh does not come from his our decision. I agree with you though. thos cups create synergy for the company wheather they realize it or not. Those BP, although very cool, are terribly marketed as half the baristas i ahve encounted never push them, see no litature for it and are not aware you can do cold coffee witht them ( thanks to some memeber of thsi board :)! I hope it does not fail, but who knows.

They trult missed the mark with the cups and the thousands of Marketing ideas they could have done with them! My search wll continue!

anon

CAUTION: Dangerous question below! Civility requested!

I do not want to open any old wounds and I also do not want to turn this thread into another tip-bashing session, however, I do have a question that I would like answered.

What impact have the economic downturn and the changes/cuts in labor had on tips? Are baristas seeing fewer tips? Are customers tipping less money, less frequently? Can you tell if it's related to the economy or to the impact the cut backs are having on the in-store experience?

Thank you in advance for your civility in addressing this question.

Have a Grande

In the south here yes tips go down as prices go up. Luckily our state still has + employment, but as gas rises, food rises, etc our tips drop drastically.

When gas goes down, tips goes up.

Our regulars never cut out their visits, they just find other ways to trip costs (tip less, bring their own cup, etc).

o-):p@P

Can someone please give BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL a tissue.

Posted by: GitOverIt | May 22, 2009 at 05:02 PM

@GitOverIt

Tell your MaMa when she's done helping BSR out she can meet me in the women's room, I leave the door unlocked so she can just help herself in, maybe Juan we'll come as well and they can both hold one cheek for me and double wipe ...I'll bring the tissues!!

Jeff

Re: Tips. If I get good service, I tip no matter what.

I stopped at a store yesterday afternoon to get a cup of coffee, and I asked the barista "Do you have anything other than Pike Place brewed?" I saw a second urn sitting on the counter, but I couldn't tell if there was any coffee inside. He said, "No... and it will take a few minutes to brew...." I said "Okay, that's fine, I'll wait." I'm not going to pay for a type of coffee that I don't want. I'll hang around for 3 or 4 minutes to get a fresh cup. So the barista half-laughed, rolled his eyes at me, and said "Okay" and rang me up.

That's a situation where I will NOT tip the barista.

Troy Bear

http://troybear.blogspot.com/2008/12/sitting-in-starbucks.html Be bold, 'Bucks!

FormerDM

As a former DM for several years, I can absolutely assure you, if your DM acts like they have any control at all about the availability or lack there of on the Venti Iced to go cups, they are completely making it up. The DM's are not informed, not consulted and not listened too at all in situations like this.

Last year I spent HOURS trying to get an answer from the SSC about getting more of these. No one could give me any info other than "they are sold out" and "we don't know if we will carry them again". Finally I was told "stop wasting your time and make sure your stores are selling COFFEE!".

As I spent 6 years in product development and distribution with a massive internationally known retailer I can tell you that Curios' DM is partially right.

This product is made oversees, probably in China. The orders are sent in 16 months in advance. It takes 3-4 months for the vendor to get the order in line for production behind all their other orders, tool up the machinery to remake them and another month to get them here (by slow boat, through the Port of Los Angeles and then trucked to the various distro centers around the US, then to the stores).

Those vendors probably said No Way as a few thousand more plastic cups compared to the millions and millions of things they are making for WalMart and Target and Disney are absolutely 1st in line.

Plus, the people in the position of product development, production, ordering and distribution in the SSC have no clue what they are doing as they were Baristas a few years ago. And while Starbucks may have invented the Coffee Beverage business and are clearly the experts - they have NO CLUE how to manage product flow like a real retailer.

g_c

Tips are touchy for customers, especially at Starbucks. I mean, each time I go in there, the service isn't anything I'd tip for. There is nothing "extra," and the tip jar really should be on the hand-off area because you don't really know how good the quality of the service, drink and "experience" is until you actually have your drink in your hand.

I could see that as consumer prices rise, tips decrease. That's too bad, really, but it's simple economics. The more money people have, the more the tendency is to drop an extra dollar in the tip jar.

Yet, if one experiences fabulous service, then a tip is pretty much guaranteed. As in today, I stopped by an excellent Seattle indie and learned something new about coffee, had the barista go out of her way to bag a fresh pound of scooped beans and just had a generally great time. I will be back there. I haven't ever had Starbucks do something like that. Finally, the drink was superb. That got a couple of bucks in the tip jar (which, incidentally, was on the hand-off area, not by the register.)

GrooGrux King

Which stores were awarded the Dave Matthews Band Listening Parties for May 28?

I know of one in Brownsburg, Indiana. Who else is getting an advanced copy of "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King?

How are you promoting it and do you think there will be a huge turnout?

Melody

@GrooGrux King: I think your answer is here -

http://blogs.starbucks.com/blogs/customer/archive/2009/05/22/dave-matthews-band-listening-party.aspx

@g_c: There really was a time when that was what the Starbucks experience was. I recall going into the OakTree Starbucks like over 15 years ago and having a barista explain at length why I should get a french press. I didn't get it. I walked out of their with a gold cone filter that I purchased there. The barista had taken at least 20 minutes with me to explain about brewing coffee.

spence

I have noticed that we make more in tips on a slow day than on a busy day. Less customers means more tips. Why? Because we can spend time with them and make perfect drinks.
With all the lean shifts, it's just not possible to do all they want done on a shift and connect.
Last gripe: Enough of the damn pairings. I can outsell anybody but I'm not selling people what they really want because the DM is going to get pissy if I don't sell Cinnamon cake.

LEAD and LIES lost money again...

The Cold Cups made in China, DON'T they use LEAD in their paint.
the U.S. pulled a bunch of Toys made in China..because of LEAD....
WOW Starbucks trying to cut cost order cheap crap and Labor, all we have to do is read the bottom of Starbuck crap made over seas.
who would have thought...Starbucks using cheap Labor and up selling this crap as it was made from Great Plastic and State side....
I remember a Coffee Maker and a Grinder, that would short out and some even cought fire, They were pulled so Fast "NO one even knew what was going on", stores were told to cut the cords and trash them...
were did that Money Come From... Less we forget about the Small Things.
No one held respon for this major screw up. CASE CLOSED.....
I forgot about two years ago we did have some Plastic Cup come in with LEAD,, They were pulled also Smashed and Trashed...

From LEAD-HEAD

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Melody,

"Nothing risky or distinctive — no wine-y, Kenya-like acidity, none of the super-richness of my favorite Sumatra (which I looked longingly at on the menu while ordering the Pikes Place) — just a blend that tasted like the American statistical coffee median. Starbucks says it took input from about 1,000 customers in designing Pike Place, and I could taste every one of them in there. This was a cup of coffee brewed by committee."

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1729520,00.html

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Starbucks Pike Place Roast

Description:

It’s not an exciting, fiery affair – the kind of en fuego passion that dishes get smashed over. No, this is a comfortable-in-its-own-skin kind of love. This is a deep, abiding commitment.

This is waking up every day and knowing exactly what awaits you: a warm, satisfying embrace. A hearty hello in a bold, roasty-tasting first sip. A kiss on the cheek in its sweet, smooth finish.

Leaving the house, you think: “I could not be happier than I am right now.”

I'm sorry, but I agree with Lady Gaga when she says that "When it's love, if it's not ROUGH then it's not fun."

Howard Selling Out

So has anyone else heard that Howard was waiting to see if the Stock Market and Starbucks Stock would get close to 20. before he Sell's the Company To Pepsi.
the reason I see this happening is that Pepsi carries all Starbuck products now.
Howard is so out of Touch with the Company and doesn't CARE anymore.
I also think he will start selling off store's as Franchizing will be the only way for Starbucks to start showing a Profit Again....
That's what McD's did along time ago Their Stock was and open at 55.7 closed at 57.7 and that is Fast Food...
Starbucks open at 13.5 and closed (down again) at 13. it's up from 8. low...WOW...
So what ever happened to the Three Company Jets... That's right they still have them to Fly the Big-Wigs over seas...
but it is more important to have Jet's than Great Help in Partners that get the job done, cut labor, lay-offs, than hire lower wage partners, to fill for the people that got laid-off by changing the job title...some Partners even quit said they wouldn't move, 30 days later Starbucks hired them back in a different job, they didn't have any back ground or a clue what to do. They still work for Starbucks today..(Management / Supervisor's forgot thats who were Hired back)

From Laid Off and Waiting

Ron Sulawisi

Your post is right on-its time for all of us to get a grip-leaning the company will make it more lucrative for a buy out-I have been down this road before and this is definatly the track we are on-why do you think the stock buy back is happening-not for anyone to be nice-low hanging fruit(costs money to have all these outstanding options-noones CEO does anything from the goodness of their heart-get ready to work with Pepsi-KFC here we come-

Ron Sulawisi

FYI-the plastic venti cups are selling for 50.00 on ebay

StLouieDrip

Re that lousy PPR... for me the Sumatra, Verona, Gold Coast, were the kinds of coffees I couldn't stop thinking about.* If I went to sbux on a Monday, on Thursday I was still thinking about the cup of Sumatra from 4 days earlier. When I wasn't at sbux I was still constantly craving for more of it, so I started stopping by sbux more and more often. It got so that going out of the house at all meant going to sbux FIRST to get my fix. Otherwise I couldn't focus on my other tasks and errands.

OTOH PPR simply bores me. It's easily forgettable, not exciting, not addictive, just flat and lifeless. It certainly doesn't pull me back for a return visit. Unfortunately I drank/drink most of my coffee in the afternoon. And in the summer it was on the sbux patio... in the afternoon. And I spent all the fall-winter of 2007 waiting on the return of Gazebo for summer 2008. Yes, all winter I was thinking of drinking Gazebo ... in the afternoon ... on the sbux patio. Too bad for me that didn't happen. So I went on my personal boycott instead.

But hey, I hear they're very enthusiastic in Europe. I'd just like to know, are they being served PPR over there? Or did all the bold coffees go to the new stores in Europe while we're stuck with PPR?


* And I suspect there were probably other coffees I could love, but I just didn't get to them before this company turned towards a boring everyday coffee.

PEPSI

so when Starbucks sells out to PEPSI, we will become a full service Fast Food Rest.
Than we Really can compete with McD's.
Watch out here we come.
I feel this will happen by the End of The Year...
Fast Food Starbuck no way..
It's going to happen.. sooner then you think...

kathykoffee

you can ban together to get a dm fired. but you really have to ban together. go to the other stores, get support from barristas shifts and sms. go together to your new rm. stay calm and state your case, have your reasons listed and dated.
good luck

foxy

We have iced venti personal cups here. Not many, but a few. Did I mention I'm in Canada?

Corbo

I had a customer complain about the pairings today. She asked for a tall latte with a breakfast sandwich because her husband (I think it was her husband) got a tall coffee with a breakfast sandwich. There was some confusion because she wasn't sure what she wanted -- at one point she said "I'll have the same thing that he's having [the coffee], but wait, I want a small latte." So I explained that the pairing is different with a latte -- that one is able to get some coffeecake instead. She stared at the sign and said "That's misleading. It needs to be changed."

NO. IT IS NOT MISLEADING. The sign clearly states what one is able to get with the pairing deals. Unfortunately, she did not get it. So when I offered her the latte instead with the breakfast sandwich, there was no thank you whatsoever, and her husband laughed at me for appearing stupid. I was not happy. This was also at about 6:00 am when I had not had enough sleep before opening this morning.

I am sure that I will get slammed for this post, but I have to vent. Breakfast pairings?? For the love of God, that is simply ridiculous. We are no longer a coffee shop, we are a fast food place. There is nothing wrong with being a fast food place, but in our case, the transformation has been unduly painful. Don't get me wrong, I like Starbucks. I just don't love it anymore, and that makes me sad.

Mikey

Howard is in Vancouver this week.

13 year partner

We Brew Bold coffee till close in Canada.Melody you should come visit, Victoria.

MountainBarista

We ran out of the Venti cold cups on the first day.

As for tips, I notice more people tipping in the morning, when we're moving nonstop, as opposed to the afternoon where it's more stop-and-go. Maybe the sight of constant movement gives a bigger impression of effort? I don't know.

aeiou

Last year partners at my store bought almost all of the iced to-go cups. This year, it was the same thing with the venti sized ones. Partners always buy up all of the cute or interesting retail, so why was that not factored in to the ordering process however many months ago?

mrs pepsi

Tips are higher for baritas now because SM's/ASM's are now on the floor for coverage and no cut..do the math

david

Question from a loyal customer
does it matter if the shots are placed into the glass, and then mixed into the drink, or straight into my cup?

Curious

Mrs Pepsi, you post just reminded me. I need to send in my letter for the "opt in" about the Manager OT lawsuit. Anyone else get this letter?

(former) FLA SM

Re: the shortage of personal iced cups...
Why is this surprising? Virtually every promotion Starbucks ever has introduced has had some kind of supply issue that prevents full execution. Energy powder? Sea salt? Cupcakes? I think the only thing I never had a problem getting was protein powder.

@ Corbo: "We are no longer a coffee shop, we are a fast food place."
You're just now figuring this out?

@ David: There are those who will give you elaborate explanations about the minute differences but frankly, unless you're drinking an Americano and you have an extremely discerning palate, you won't be able to tell the difference once you add milk and syrups and stuff. What's more important is whether or not the shots are timed properly, which is usually not the case.

@ Curious: You bet! I already filled mine out and sent it in. Now if we could only get back-pay for mileage. It was always so much fun to pay over $4.00/gal. for gas last summer when forced to drive nearly 200 miles round trip for mandatory voluntary events like open forum or skip-level meetings.

Stock Sinks

Don't forget to Give your Stock back to Starbucks, they gave me 150 for 500, that really seamed fair. (not)
should have just sat on it...
underwater stock because Starbucks is Drowing, Howie has his water wings on...
but what keeps his big head above water...
Don't know...

Melody

@Boston-area-SG-friends:

- Hey Boston Starbucks Rebel my trip to Boston is coming up soon! I don't use AIM. Would you please email me?? melodysv2vaddress@live.com - You're a personality Boston Starbucks Rebel. I want to meet the person that goes with this strong personality and my fellow fighter for BOLD.

- Ryan (ss) I owe you an email. Maybe we can get together sometime between 6-10 & 6-12.

I don't have much to write about so just a big hello to everyone here at SG! Good to see ya' posting again St.LouieDrip! Though I understand that you like so many others, aren't going to Starbucks anymore so of course that means less to write about here.

Anonohno

Does anyone know more about the shift mileage reimbursement lawsuit? I worked with a girl who quit three years ago and got a check from the suit. I was contacted by the law firm but haven't heard a peep since. Is there more info out there?

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