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November 20, 2009


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I had a bottle of melon syrup stashed away from when i found out it was discontinued and brought it to my store to share with one of my regulars that loves it is his BTL. Well yesterday I had a customer i had never seen before order an "old skool" GRTL and I asked would U really like it made the old way because I can give U melon. She was so nice and told me that I made her weekend start off perfectly. It is so nice to hear that from our guests instead of being ignored because others are too important to stop talking on the phone while interacting with the employees, especially when they act like it's our fault for getting their order incorrect. Yes I work for SBUX but I am not a mind reader. RUDE IS RUDE.

I am having trouble understanding the staff that said they do 75+ transactions/30min with only three employees.That figures out to about 20 seconds per transaction. Do they have both ppl ringing and the bar person has to float/brew/pastry/B1/B2 by themselves? I mean that just doesn't seem physically possible and if it true(which I not calling them a liar) is this what customers get anymore? I love it when Melody wrote speaking of "LEAN" only affording 4.5 seconds to Connect, Discover, Respond with a customer. I don't think that if I would have only giving a couple that kind of attention yesterday afternoon their purchase of 12 pounds of Thanksgiving coffee would have taken place. For that twenty minutes talking about coffee/ french presses it really seemed like the time from when I started. OMG We sell coffee, WHO KNEW?

Grande Latte

-A set, consistent paycheck is not a bonus, it's what was agreed upon at hire and what the comany gives store managers in exchange for working as long as we need to to get our jobs done.
-True, not all store managers are male, everyone knows this. If any females are offended by being left out, tough. If you are offended, tough, get a life.
-True, if I don't work the floor you'll still get tips. I get way more money in the tip jar at my register than anyone else in the store. Why? Because I know how talk to people, show interest, joke around. My Shift Supervisors always put me on the main register and ask if I mind staying there during certain day parts so that they will get more tips.

If you have a problem with managers getting bonuses instead of tips, go work somewhere else and see if it is any different. At other places the difference would be that you wouldn't get tips. Hourly employees who sit around crying about how they are treated will forever be hourly employees. That goes for Starbucks and everywhere else. Do what's asked of you and worry about what YOU do. Not what the guy next to you does or doesn't do. Do YOUR job and pick up your check.

(former) FLA SM

@ Winterene:

There's a reason why your incident is becoming more typical. Starbucks has been making life more and more miserable for long-term employees by breaking numerous promises changing the entire culture of what was once a desirable place to work. They have systematically driven away the employees who you used to know and love be instituting draconian hard-sell tactics and handing down unreachable goals (unless you cheat). They have closed nearly a thousand stores and kept the "team players" (brown-nosers) rather than the most competent employees. As was posted earlier, the mission statement and guiding principles are no longer what they once were, and not for the better.

The end result is high turnover in management. Low wages attract the bottom of the barrel. Tenured people are edged out for less competent hires who will work for less money. Starbucks has transformed from being perceived as an elite espresso shop to a fast-food joint, and the service you receive is following suit, in general.

Message to the Starbucks suits: you get what you pay for. Message to Starbucks customers: you no longer get what you pay for.


@usorthem3 You sound like an exemplary employee! The team you work with is really lucky! ;)


The crappy thing with the bonus------it gets taxed to heck and back!!! You MIGHT get $100 out of a $300 bonus. Curses!!!!!


@usorthem: My highest transaction half hour with one partner on till is 88..so, it 75 is no biggie.

@Aaron: In my area managers are expected to work at least 50 hrs./week even though we only get paid for 40.


Tips are not a bonus either, GrandeLatte. So let's not get started on the definition of a bonus. But sure, they ARE nice to get. So is a non-fluctuating paycheck.

You get that non-fluctuating paycheck because you are supposed to run the store. You have hire and fire power and make the schedule. DO NOT FORGET THAT! YOU HAVE SAY OVER HOW MUCH A PERSON EATS, IF THEY EAT, IF THEY HAVE TO GO ON WELFARE TO FEED THEIR CHILDREN, ETC.

So if you think you deserve some of those tips, and your baristas (who make half as much as you, on a good week) deserve none of your bonus, you seriously need to check your perspective of reality. They are the ones struggling.

I for one, would gladly take the opportunity for worker-self management, and have us all take on a bit of each the responsibilities and benefits of managing a store. Hierarchy does not equal efficiency.

perspective people

“This morning (Saturday), the manager of the Princeton store left me a message saying that he had contacted the manager of Mercer Mall, and he encouraged me to follow up with him if she did not contact me.
This afternoon, the manager of Mercer Mall left me a message acknowledging my viewpoint and apologizing profusely.”

Posted by: Winterene | November 21, 2009 at 02:46 PM

Note to extremely needy customers:

If you are feeling a bit more crazy than usual and you need more attention than the average nut case, post your insignificant problem on starbucksgossip.com on Friday. The corporate stooges who keep an eye on this site will read it and contact the SM involved and you’ll get attention the next day.

Sick of Howard!!!

When did customer service become a tool to abuse the service professionals? Are Starbucks partners suppose to allow customers to steel from the company? Is Witerenes’ problem really the mistake of a couple of “bad” baristas or a corporate problem of vague policies? Perhaps Starbucks should clarify the “just say yes” policy so partners will know how to react in cases like this. Like every problem Starbucks has, no matter how big or small, this is the fault of unreasonably ineffective leadership at the top levels.


You guys are crazy. I was the manager of a busy midtown Manhattan store and never worked more than 45 hours. I was also MOQ, and consistently hit most numbers. It's not impossible guys.

expired shot

ummm, hate to rain on a parade, but I have customers ask me why certain stores will still make sfmocha, salt on a salted caramel sign hot chocolate, or melon syrup. I inform them of shelf lifes, and tell them that I can't highly satisfy them by using past-date product. If other stores still have this product I highly recommend checking the expiration dates. Customers, if you are getting something inconsistently at only one store-please remember, if it's not on the menu board, there is a chance you are drinking 1, 2 or possibly 3 year old product. That may not necessarily get you sick, but I know I am not willing to take my chances. Plus is that the flavor we really want in a beverage? At what cost do we say legendary is using old product? Your neighboring stores are being yelled at for not stocking up on product that is not available because the customer does not know that it is no longer being shipped weekly! I feel horrible defending myself to my customers by telling them, "It is impossible to order this product." They say "Why does so and so have it?" I don't want to throw others under water, but seriously UNCLEAN and UNSANITARY!


@javagirl666 so does that mean that the bar employee is putting out a drink every 34 seconds for that transaction? If one transaction has more than one drink the time is 17 seconds or with three every ten? Do they customers have to wait at all? I find this impossible w/ my cliental since most take a minute or so to figure what they want to eat and then a drink Oh no I wanted that iced, can I get a glass of water, could I have whipped cream on this, u need more half/half on the condiment bar, I need ten $5 gift cards, etc. I just don't C how that can be done. I would love to come C how that is possible, where do U work? I am serious I would love to C that in person.



Thanks for the kind words. Most of the old school Baristas have left the company, so it's nice to hear some people still feel the way I do. :)

I never checked out your blog before just now, but I like it. I'll be back.


@expired shot

Interesting point about past-date product. But I was under the impression that much packaged stuff (I am not talking about pastry-type or dairy stuff but rather syrup, mocha powder, sugar, etc. ) is fine for well past its shelf date. Like many months if not years.

After a long time, it becomes "unpalatable" -- it loses its flavor -- but will not actually be dangerous or make you sick.

Anyone else know more about this?


CB - My birthday was in mid-October and I *just* received my free birthday drink card (which expires Nov 30). So yours is probably coming... and will probably be a bit late.

Strangely enough the return address was Seattle but it was posted marked Belgium. Anyone know what that's about?

Grande Latte

You said
How wrong you are. I only have say over how many hours a partner gets at my store. It is neither my responsibility nor my job to limit how much money somebody makes or how much they feed their children. I can't refuse to let my partners work elsewhere. Some of them have other jobs and I bend over backwards to accomodate them because I understand what it is like.

then you said
"So if you think you deserve some of those tips, and your baristas (who make half as much as you, on a good week) deserve none of your bonus, you seriously need to check your perspective of reality. They are the ones struggling."
I never said I deserve the tips. I do expect those who make the tips to understand that I get a bonus when we do well. You say they are struggling. How do you know. If Starbucks is not providing you enough money to live on, guess what, find another job. If it takes two jobs, so be it.

then you said
"I for one, would gladly take the opportunity for worker-self management, and have us all take on a bit of each the responsibilities and benefits of managing a store. Hierarchy does not equal efficiency."
Oh yeah, that would work. There's a good reason that no company does business without different levels of supervision and management. It wouldn't work. The fact that you even suggest that scenario lets everyone know that you are an immature, inexperienced child who wants what the grown ups have but doesn't want to wait. You'll just have to keep sitting at the kids table for a while spilling your milk, and crying over it.

Coffee Soldier

I'd be happy I got a free coupon for a free beverage not complain that you *just* got it....imagine how many other registered card holders are also getting the free drink card. ...also it is just a postcard....anyone could take it out of your mail or you could easily discard it for the customers who say they have not received one.

Cash Rules

Managers don't deserve Baristas tips period. If they are SMART and have good business ethics, they will take their shitty little bonus that ALL the Baristas slaved over and share it with the team, maybe take them out or have a party, but the greedy ones think they earned that Bonus, some nerve.


Grande Latte sounds like a total TOOL

Aaron don't waste your breath, let the dumb@$$ be!

The success or failure of a store is the responsibility of the store management team.Managers are held accountable if we fail. We make hiring decisions based on the talents of our applicants. The partners who help our business succeed will be recognized during their review. Managers work their asses off and on the "rare occsion" that we actually see some sort of reward for it, believe me we will take it. Aaron do your job do it well and be thankful you have a job.


The success of a store relies ON THE TEAM, NOT the Management team. (Most Managers don't know the difference between their @$$'s and Face's!) Managers are "talked" to by the Higher ups, not held accountable(Because most of you scrubs should have been gone, a long time ago!) You make hiring decisions on a whim, like when you go gambling. Managers do not work their butts off and rely on the "Supervisors" to do all the work they need done, which in turn they make Baristas to do...SO when it come down to any success at any store, it's the Full-TImers holding the weight and slaving so you can get that shitty little thing they call a bonus...

Here's a Tweetie to all SM's- Lick My Nads! ;)

Grande Latte

For those of you who can't read, I never said I wanted or deserved a share of the tips. The inability of those who put up the last couple of posts to understand simple English says volumes about why they are hourly employees and have little responsibility. They most likely are destined to live a life of disappointment because they won't get what they think they are entitled to. The reason they won't get their "entitlement" is that they are unwilling to shut up and work.
BTW, my bonuses this year far exceed any tips that any full time barista or shift gets.
And to the last post, it's clear that you have no Nads.


@usorthem: My store is a very busy downtown location where the customers just want their beverage. My store operates using both Optimal Scheduling and LEAN processes. Optimal scheduling allows me to have the same partners in place at the same times every day..this in turn allows us to know about 75% of our customers both by name as well as drink. And yes, if you are using the repeatable routine on bar..you should be getting a drink out every 35-45 secs. And by using the repeatable routine brewing method..this ensures we aren't running out of coffee. When the customer comes in that needs to but multiple gift cards or has a large order..thats when someone slides into R2. Its really not complicated. You might want to check into whether your store has all systems..including proper deployment in place and that your partners are actually working with some sense of urgency.

WOW.... I am sure that great attitude has helped you get far in life..... I'll pray for you tonight.

Meant for the little boy who posted about the nads... I agree with grande latte

Join The Fun


Grande LATTE is having a TOOL party & everyone is invited, hey what store are you at so we can swing over??


My salted hot chocolates are not past date they are just made with regular salt!


For salt: Mix equal parts sea salt and raw sugar..its the same thing as what they were sending us. I wouldn't just use plain salt, though.

Grande Latte

Join The Fun
why not just take care of the anonymous posters little bits. You'd have more fun playing with children of your own age.



I don't beleive regular salt is corporate approved.


What would you do if you were a coffee giant and your coffee storage wearhouse was getting way to full?

  Probably just microgrind  all the old coffee up and put it in little bitty easily transported packets. Then Jack up the price and sell it to you for your convenience. I mean think about it. I feel as if we are selling the loyal caffien addict old ground up coffee. If you are in dept but you have a lot of assets what do you do? Well you do not run out and buy a bunch of new things. You sell what you already have. You just grind it up, put it in new packaging and say hey would you like to buy some of this miracle in a pouch? For $2,95 you can perform 3 miracles a day. Then everyone else is like WOW I have to try some of that miracle in a pouch. A huge ad campain helps boost the hype of miracle in a pouch. It flies off the shelf then the hype dies off..... The sales may even come to a complete hault... But at least the warehouse is empty and some of the bills are paid...


Caffeine :(


Regarding managers...

I've worked with great managers and I've worked with terrible managers. Here's what I've observed: Stores with great managers aren't always successful because the team itself may not be great. But store with terrible managers are always terrible.

That is to say, great management doesn't ensure a store's success, but terrible management will ensure a store's failure.

Grande Latte

And a great manager cannot run a successful store with whining, unhappy baristas that think their managers are all idiots. Thank God that the hourly partners in our store know that everyone needs to know what their job is, and they do it. They don't worry about what anyone else is doing including the SM. It is common for adolescents to think that they know more than all adults. So I understand the mentality of many of the baristas, no matter their age.


Hey Y'all!
Speaking of MELON did anyone see it listed in the siren's eye holiday 09? Check it out! It doesn't say if it is only for part of the country!!! HOPE! I work in Georgia and have been CRAVING melon!!!!! Any insiders have info!?


Grande Latte said: “And a great manager cannot run a successful store with whining, unhappy baristas that think their managers are all idiots.”

Why would a great SM have whining, unhappy baristas? If he/she was all that great their baristas wouldn’t whine. They might possibly complain about the reality they see in regards to corporate upper management. That seems to be a common plight that has become more than obvious over the last few years. It would be sad if all the complaints weren’t true, but most are very accurate. Starbucks has become a company of false promises and false principles. No need to complain or whine about that if Starbucks just stopped portraying an image that they don’t deserve.

expired shot

1 year old sugar water wont make you sick, but try a past date hazelnut latte compared to a fresh hazelnut latte, and tell me that it is not disgusting?!? I haven't tried 1 year old melon, but I promise everything has a date. There is a point where I wonder, if you are willing to serve past date syrup, do you know how old your product is? do you rotate your product? If you don't care about the things that aren't hazardous so be it, but I am fickle, and if you serve melon, I don't trust that the whipped cream you pull from the back of the fridge has been rotated, dotted and ready for consumption. I have worked in the industry for years, and I will not drink or eat at any establishment that reuses product, or "ignores" a best by date. Lax in one area, probably lax in others...I have worked at places I refuse to eat at, not because I see things that are hazardous, but because I see things that make me think, "If that behavior is okay, what else is okay?"

Dirty Latte

..but its the ever glorious melon..


Screw Melon. Bring back Valencia.


@Freddie this is holiday FY10, fyi..


When I worked for Starbucks, we were told to do whatever it took to make customers happy as long as it was legal and moral.


Can't believe all the rude, self-absorbed comments from baristas over the issue of 9 cents. It's not about the money, it's about customer service. Its much easier to just say yes and please the customer than argue with them. No wonder it's hard to find welcoming service at Starbucks these days.


For the person who asked about whether the Venti cups *i assume you meant the cold cups with the candy cane straw* are first come first serve, i'm not entirely sure. We just got a shipment in of them, and we have 7 or so displayed in the store, and then two huge bags full of them in the bag, probably about 40ish in total. I'm not sure if that's something we can re-order or if they send more to busier stores. My store is the busiest in the district and we've been selling our holiday merchandise pretty well currently.

Also, for those who miss melon--me too! However, i would never use expired product. Some partners forget to rotate milks and bullets and other products, so i usually make sure everything is within date, and keep up on annoying QASA details.

To those who remember my post on the last open forum- i hope you'll forgive the bad days i was having. Truly, customer service is not dead.

Winterene-I would apologize to you as well, and just offer you the coffee free or get a tall at the short price. As far as remembering someone, if someone asks me that i usually will and they get their name and a smiley face on their cup next time :)


@expired shot don't worry your pretty little head that I serve bad product to customers. Leave it to you to turn a connection between me and one of my regulars/friend into a "they serve rotten product to the cliental". The melon I brought is clearly marked for my use only and kept on the back room employee shelf. I guess I should just tell JACK that he is going to die and that I killed him. It's SUGAR/WATER! I think after 30 yrs in food service I could tell if a sugar/water mixture is bad, besides melon was discontinued at the beginning of the year. It's not like it's from 1995 but just to let U know I canned black-eyed peas in 1995 and had them for new years last year and they were awesome!
@green_cup I have half a bottle of valencia I keep at home for my personal use, I guess I should go buy a burial plot today.


@usorthem: You are clearly missing the point on the expired product. If its for "my use only" then why are you serving it to Jack?? There are dates on things for a reason. After the expiration date that product can become unstable..surely not sending Jack to the hospital..but I would hate for the health department come in and observe you selling expired product. Im not going to preach about standards but they are in place for a reason.



That's just nasty.


The salt is the exact same thing they sent us to use. And I would never use anything that is expired.

me myself and I

Umm, we are not even allowed to use our own handsoap because of all kinds of regulations and safety rules. And then you guys are making home made ingredients for customers drinks? Really? I mean I love the legendary Service you are trying to present here. And I'm sure your customers are loving it, too. But seriously, do you think Starbucks will ever let you off the hook if you violate health and safety regulations on purpose, even post it proudly here, if someone ever really gets sick and sues Starbucks? I wouldn't want to take the blame. If Starbucks doesn't want us to serve the salt anymore, stop it. If they think customers can get along without melon or valencia, so be it. The customers can complain to corporate or vote with their feet.
I'm all for serving whatever is possible, but if it is expired or not approved for sale at Starbucks, i won't do it. What's next? Baristas selling home made cookies and Brownies to customers because some of them loved them so much at the last church baking sale?

me myself and I

I sometimes really think common sense is not existent anymore. Neither at the customers nor the baristas side.

not me

me myself and I is dead on...It's not about legendary service, it's about corporate liability. When you are on the clock everything you do is a liability issue for Starbucks. Thus if you get caught doing it, you’ll be written up or possibly fired on the spot. It’s not worth it for a customer and if it’s a friend then they wouldn’t want you to risk your job.

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