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September 21, 2010


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I have never witnessed a breakdown or malfunction that was left to rot out of spite for profit at any of the 20+ stores in the two districts at which I have had the honor of being a Barista.


3 of our local stores got major makeovers in the last few months. New tile, new paint, new art, new furniture, etc.

I have never seen any equipment not be repaired in short order. Some major repairs I am aware of: broken refrigerators, broken water heaters, broken cold case. All repaired in under 24 hours, sometimes much faster.


I also have never seen equiptment and repairs neglected by the company. THe companies philosophy is to maintenance things before or as soon as neccessary to prevent even bigger costs down the line,

I have seen DMs and SMs neglect to get something fixed because they are afraid their total profit will be impacted, but if they were to just call it in to facilities it would be fixed.


My old licensed store has a list a mile long of repairs and equipment they need! Frap fridge is broken, the CBS counter is rotten ( i wish i were lying!) all the patio furniture are uneven, they are using an ice cream fridge to store frozen pastries, which they have been told by the DM is not allowed. The problem is that the licensee doesnt want to pay for all this, and starbucks is not firm enough in insisting it gets done. I really think that starbucks should end the licensing agreement due to non-compliance.


My previous store which I just left is still waiting on a new mirror for about 6 months, a toilet repair for about 3 months, messed up dt window since about may. They definitely have been dragging their feet on stuff this year.


In the mid-west it is slow going, and yes we put a call in immediately!

We've been without filtered water for the last week. The iced tea looks like unpasturized apple cider.

We've been down to one bar a couple times for over 24 hours. Forget things like light bulbs on the drive thru signs, or if they get run over, that will mean months of waiting.

We are told we will have to wait an extra year for our "makeover" and are being told we will probably just get gently used chairs from other stores.


Maybe it is a regional thing? Cause I worked in one store in the midwest and that place is falling apart. Every summer the air conditioner goes out and it gets 90+ in the store. Many time I had brought in fans to cool us down before we passed out. The water filter system hasn't been able to keep up with how busy the store is. So the water filer system is down more than up and running. The espresso machines take turns breaking down. The place is disgusting, there is literally no time to clean. I know what my job is,I was willing to clean. But I couldn't and it frustrated me to no end to have my store look so bad. Right now they are going to do a makeover in October. The partners at that store are telling me that they were told they are going to try to stay open doing the remodel. This store is super busy and they don't want to lose money if they close.

Barista Ben

Most major issues are usually fixed. Machines, etc. Small things like damages mirrors or broken tiles seem to get put at the end of list but I assumed it was because our facatilities team was probably downsized and stuff just takes longer to get to


I've never had to wait more than 24 hours for emergency equipment repairs in either of the stores I've managed. Things that go on the handy man list that your facilities manager is in charge of take longer because the stores are scheduled for those as they compile a list of repairs. My guess is if stores are having equipment issues going unresolved that some managers may be dragging their feet about calling them in. Either they can't "be bothered" making a call to FCC or they are concerned about the maintenance lines on the P&L report so they hit their monthly CC and TP targets.


I work in Georgia. One store in my district is in terrible shape: the dipper well doesn't work, every urn is cracked, one bar pretty much doesn't work.. it's a long list. But really, we can chalk this up to the store manager.
My store.. not so much. My espresso bars are a shade lighter than awful, but we've been told all year we're getting new bars in november. Several stores in my district have gotten make overs in the last few months. We had a skip level (I'm a shift superverisor) and I asked my DM about new bars etc and he said the espresso bars typically take 4 years to pay off, and as soon as they're paid for they're usually replaced. Everything else goes on a list of importance and levied against how valuable the store is (profits, customer voice etc). While I can believe there are stores in bad shape, that's just not the case in my experience.

Tea looking like unpasteurized apple juice? Yuck.


I work in the midwest and have never had a major problem that wasn't fixed within a day or two. Even little things like repainting chipped walls gets taken care of immediately. I'm going to go with "whiners venting."


I work in the midwest as well. Some things are serviced quickly while others can be an incredibly long wait. I wouldnt put all of the blame with SSC. Most of the horrible service has to do with the company with a contract to fix things. Air Force One has to be the worst company in America. One store had a pastry case that would shoot up to 60 degrees only to have them come out and say nothing is broken. This case was actually 'serviced' and called in over ten times in one year. Our stores AC also went out and they had us wait a week to fix it because "It was too hot outside to work on the roof." As far as espresso machines I would give my area a 9/10 only because we luckily have the same two guys work on it that used to be a sbux employee before being outsourced.

Shot in the Dark

I worked in a store years back that had rotting cabinets. They had air freshners up and they would spray lysol all the time to get rid of the stench. It was a tiny store and it cranked out hundreds of frappuccinos daily. All the ice flying everywhere didn't help the rot. It was gross. Apparently, it was meant to be a temporary store, but since it raked in the money, they were afraid to move. Since I've moved away from that state, I've heard that store is gone.


The problem for some might be the different levels of urgency for a work order.

IF your espresso bar isn't working, its usually catagorized as an "emergency" with 24 hour resolution time.

Air conditioners, for example, mabye be classfied as urgent, with 2-3 day resolution time. Business days. However, the store manager can escelate the urgency, they jsut call up and say 'hey i want work order 1232321 to be upgraded to emergency because it's 100 degrees today' and they will upgrade! no questions asked. Also, SMs can approve overtime for vendors, so the issues can be fixed at nigth or on the weekend.

If some thing comes up as "planned" this means the Facilities service manager will plan this servicing in the most sensible manner (whether be through bugetary criteria or time). Things like painting, casework repairs, and floor tile repairs will come up planned. AGain, the SM has control over this. SM's shoudl develop a relationship with their FSMs and when they have a planned work order contact the FSM directly, explain the matter to them, and the FSM will dispatch the work sooner.

Store m


Actually a shift can upgrade the service call as well.


A store in my district had their air conditioner break during this past summer. It was going to take a week or so to fix, so Starbucks installed a temporary, portable air conditioner to keep things cool while the work was completely. Hardly the actions of a company that doesn't care about its partners and refuses to pay to have things fixed.

I'm willing to believe that there are certain, isolated instances where things aren't being fixed on time, but I bet that even in most of these cases, they aren't being called in or escalated properly on the store level. From my experience, things break, but they get fixed.


When the air conditioner broke, I was there at my first store two different summers. There was no hurry to get the air conditioner fixed. I USED MY OWN MONEY to buy a fan to keep my partners cool. Some partners had wet towels wrapped around their necks, I allowed water on the floor. The air conditioner was called in, someone came to fix it. Then the next day it would go out again. The person who came in to fix it said we needed a new one. The one we have is too hold to keep up with the the demand. But we couldn't get a new air conditioner since we would have a remodel in TWO years! The same thing with the water filter system. It is broken more than it is working. Again we were told we need a new one cause it cant keep up with 3 bars, dish washing and whatever else that takes water. You get the apple cider green tea often, it is a norm. One time the back room flooded cause there was an issue with the system. So yes, calls are made. Yes again, things are fixed quickly after the issues are called in. One of these days the temporary bandaids will not hold it together.


Waltie, that happened at the store I used to work at. That store also had been scheduled for its 10 year renovation, and all it got was a new paint job and some fake wood accents. Ah well...


not that I don't commend you for supporting your team by doing so, but why would you use your own money to buy the fan. There is a p-card, you can do a paid out from the store to cover such expenses.

That's what I did when my airconditioning was out one day.

In my area we actually have a standing rule that if it's over 90 degrees in the store we will shut down. And we have stores that do up to 10k a DAY.


Remodels are mostly cosmetic with some changes to the bar and other elements of the store. Store remodels have nothing to do with plumbing or air conditioning. That "manager" doesn't know what he or she is talking about. If your a/c is broken Starbucks will fix it. I'm sorry if I refuse to believe that the company would let something like that go unresolved for over two years, but all evidence I've seen first hand has pointed to the contrary.


Waltie - the air conditioning at my store breaks down every summer without fail. We have been told that it needs to be replaced, but Sbux deemed it not necessary - even though it froze up 3 times this year and we have water pouring from the ceiling into both the lobby and frontline areas on all three occasions.



I used my own money cause the DM requires SMs in our district to have the P-card with them. Any paid outs have to have preapproved before things are bought. We couldn't reach our SM so I bought the fan. I wasn't going to wait any longer since it was so hot in the store.
(just explaining why I paid for the fan)
So that part was the DM and SM not Starbucks fault. The always breaking air conditioner and water filter system is.
Waltie, it wasnt the SM, DM that said we needed a new air conditioner or water filter system. It was the person who kept on being called in to fix those things. They are frustrated about coming out to fix it over and over again. Those two things are being overworked and they are always breaking down because of it.
If I had never worked in that store I too would say they are crying wolf. I have seen both sides on the new way Starbucks does thing. Good and bad.


You can come to some of the Starbucks in Boston and see how the air conditioning "works" when the temperature is over 100+ in the stores.


our Ac constantly would break down 3 times a month. I foud out certain baristas and shifts kept jacking the heat up in the morning then the ac up in the day. This causes the HVAC system to break. So i got lock boxes installed on both thermostats. Only thing is I lost the key and now we need heat, not ac.


The A/C seems to be a constant problem in all Sbux, especially on hot days. We've all brought in fans to cope. I have never had a problem getting a machine fixed if broken. I do, however, struggle to find time to address some of the deep cleaning that needs to happen in order to maintain our equipment. (When's the last time you detached the spray arms on your sanitizer?)


A dishwasher/sanitizer! From what I understand, we were remodeled at the end of last year (before I had started working there) and during the remodel we lost our machine. We're a large kiosk now, with room in the back for storage (instead of having to go to a store room many flights away), so I don't understand how we couldn't get it to fit. Not to mention all of our counters are sloped poorly so they don't drain into the sink, but rather just allow the water to sit there. Oh well, at least it's not as bad as it used to be.


At my [licensed] store neither of the espresso machines have been working for months. I wish I were kidding. One doesn't steam milk, the other doesn't pour shots, and the one that does pour shots pours an uneven amount.


Our espresso machine is constantly being repaired, especially the steam wands. (We do maintain and care for it correctly.)

Sample Cup

Our vital equipment is given maintenance when it is required but I hate that we sometimes tend to delay things like having the Hobart Dish Santizer repaired just because it is a weekend and we "can't" afford overtime- that's when we're busiest!

I hate that "facilities" issues like the fact that our tiles are cracked and our "wood" wall panels are falling off are put into some mysterious queque awaiting funds. We had a bad wind storm summer 2009 and our green awning fell off and broke the window. They repaired the window right away, but the awning has yet to be replaced - we're set into a shopping center between two large stores and without that awning it is definitely easier to miss us... (not to mention the amount of bird crap now all over the front entrance.)

newbie no more (was sbuxnewbie)

We'd like an oven.

We were promised that we'd have one by 1st quarter 2010, and it never happened.

On average, we send about 10 people a day to Panera or KFC, or the local sub shop for sandwiches.

The nearest stores with ovens are 10 miles southeast, and 10 miles northeast from here.


We wouldn't be allowed to use the pcard for a fan. We've had air conditioning problems, and that takes days. Our pos went down, and they viewed it as no biggie until our manager talked some sense into them. as far as cleaning tasks? No time.


You can tell when FSN is posting something on here,
Because everything gets done really fast, and fixed.
that is a lie, equipment in my store have been down for two weeks waiting on parts, and most of the tech's don't have a clue, so I just have to live with it, my DM doesn't care.
so my point is I hate FSN and their call center, get a clue someone..
lose FSN, they suck, and LIE


I'm working at a Midwest store and we always have issues. We've had the ice machine catch on fire and bottles explode in the RTD case from 'cord issues'. We constantly have 'powder errors' with our espresso machines (verismo models) as well as people complaining about the taste of shots on a daily basis. They don't pull consistently from shot to shot without the grind being adjusted each time. The machines themselves are falling apart, steaming wands tilted and loose, inside lining crumbling away, and machines randomly 'spitting' hot water out, burning baristas. We opened right before the Mastrena machines came out and can't get them until next year, if we're lucky since we are still under warranty. Even with our complaints, constant maintenance fees and breaking four grand each day in sales.


Clover machine!


I work in a mall store, and i kid you not every time our facilities team sends a company out, i am having to call them back for the same problem, fixed by the same people every time, multiple times! Our company does not think by outsourcing to multiple maintenance companies. We need our old techs back! the ones that is salary coming from starbucks. SOMEONE WHO KNOWS US!


great site i love this article continus dans cette voie


Alright first I am going to say if your store has ever needed things repaired that werent getting repaird it was your mamagers fault not Starbucks. Qusa comes through once a year at random to inspect each and every store location to be clean and well mantained. Never once has my store needed anything that wasn't taken care of in a matter of a few days at most. So store in need of repainr and cleaning are bad managers and nothing more.


what is the name of the company that changes the carbon water filters?

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