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March 27, 2011

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ncsm

There's our Howard--blowing more smoke out of his ass!

Karl

Katie should have asked her personal assistants what Starbucks prices are!

Partner

I have to say I agree with Howard. My biggest pet peeve is customer's complaints about high prices - especially when they are ordering venti frappuccinos with add shots and three different syrups. A cup of brewed coffee is simple, delicious, and most of all affordable! You can even pair it with a pastry and still spend less than you would on a white mocha!

SBUX Alum Bill

I'm truly tired of the constant barrage of interviews in Newsweek, on CBS TV, etc. where Howie boasts once again about how great he is to his "partners." I wish for just once he would instead talk about the thousands of "partners" that he jettisoned, along with their health care, etc., in the midst of a nasty recession. I know too many people who left secure jobs with other companies because they believed in Howard's lines. Some of those people lost their health care, their homes & much more because of their misplaced trust in "partner" Howard. As the economy improves, hopefully most of them will regain their footing (luckily, I have), but we still must endure the constant barrage of Howie repeatedly trumpeting these accolades to himself for anyone who will listen.

Barista Ben

Heh.

they put the wrong book in the article. Ironic!

datedotit

Seems to me that someone who got a 3 million dollar bonus last year (generated by turning trained baristas into instant coffee pimps)just doesn't get that his own employees can barely afford to purchase the very drinks they are selling in his stores.

Yet another reason why Sbux is now only #97 on the Forbes list. Let's see if it even makes the top #100 this year...

spence

SBux Alum Bill. You actually know people who gave up secure jobs and risked their homes to sell coffee?

spence

Okay... here's my story. A man and a wife came in last month and each ordered a small coffee. $1.50 plus tax each.
They looked at each other and said that they had heard coffee costs $5 and wanted to try $5 coffees.
So, I explained lattes and frappuccinos. They each ordered a venti Mocha and it still wasn't $5 each so they bought pastries too.
A few minutes later, they came up to me to tell me that their mochas were certainly worth $5 and they were so happy that they came.
Now I see them at least twice a week.

SBUX Alum Bill

@ Spence:

I worked at the SSC, and I knew several people who left some very good & secure jobs to come to Seattle & work for the Starbucks corporate office. One of those people was actually recruited in a half-hour one-on-one session with Howard. He moved 2,000 miles to join Starbucks largely because he believed in Howard & the "founding principles." He was subsequently fired without any explanation. I know several other individuals who left great jobs to work for corporate in another department that was gutted within months of their joining the company. Again, they left very secure jobs and found themselves out on the streets at the same time that the recession hit & jobs were scarce.

I don't know any of the people that were laid off from the cafes, but I imagine many of them were affected in a very similar fashion. I understand that layoffs are part of life, and many who worked for other businesses were similarly affected.

What's unique about the Starbucks situation is that the very CEO who ordered those layoffs still constantly goes on TV to shower himself with praise about how generous he is to all of his "partners."

Partner

Consider the fact that if he did not lay off partners whose positions were unnecessary, the company would have probably filed for bankruptcy thereby eliminating all of its partners jobs and failing every one of them.
Frankly, it is quite annoying to hear people repeatedly talk down to Howard (or any leader for that matter). Take the situation in stride and consider how great of a company he has helped to create. Work somewhere else and realize how much Starbucks really does do for its partners. But, please stop criticizing someone when you have never walked in his shoes. You may have done the exact same thing.
And, finally, to elaborate on Schultz's boastful enthusiasm - I find it to be both invigorating and amusing!

ncsm

@Partner:
It's important that you stop taking Howard (or any leader) at their word and begin to develop a more critical perspective on what they say and do. Starbucks WAS at one time a great company, but I would strongly question whether it still is today. I know quite a few partners who left Starbucks (some quit, some were fired) who have since found other jobs that pay better, have better benefits, and perhaps most importantly, provide a more respectful working environment. I don't fault Schultz for being a rich, self-centered egomaniac--most CEOs are. What I fault him for is the fact that he still pretends to genuinely care about his "partners". I also fault the media for their uncritical, gushing profiles of him. It's time for somebody to ask Howard some truly tough questions!

 Red cup

@partner
Sbux was nowhere near bankruptcy, not even close, sales were droping and I believe only one quarter they reported a loss, a small one at that, you would need considerable losses in multiple years to declare bankruptcy and keeping those fired partner wouldnt have caused that.

NOPASSION

@Partner
Howie doesn't care about you!

dxn coffee

Well what can I say, one of my favorite topics. Thank you dxn coffee

frappuccinist

Well, this is from CBS. Their audience mainly consists of 75-year-olds who ask "Did the prices go up again?!" irritably every time they come into a Starbucks.

Sad Barista

"I think, at the end of the day, we were never in the coffee business serving people; we were in the people business serving coffee," he said.

All said in the past tense, I would say we are now in the fast food business. Face reality and call it like it is!

Coffee Soldier

I want to know how come we never saw results for the Partner View Survey last year?

Pg 32 in Onward, "Companies pay a price when their leaders ignore things that may be fracturing their foundations."

It would be interesting to count and break down by percentage how many posts on this entire site are negative/bitter since the 2007-2008 crisis. I also wonder the break down of partners on this site? Is it 10% of the partners of the company or more? Either way it is a viable pulse worth looking at because even if it is just 10% I'd say that is a major crack in the foundation of operations of this company.

P

Partner gets a 7.5/10 on scale of trolls. You don't like hearing people talk down to or negatively about leaders? Are you serious? How else do changes for the good come about?

Partner

Everyone: My apologies; stringent criticism of any leader is highly necessary.
Our differences lay in our approval of Howaard Schultz as ceo of Starbucks. As a retail store partner, I believe he has contributed more than enough to the company to make up for the minute errors he has made. I'd also like to remind some of you that Howard was at Starbucks from the start. He helped to create the Starbucks that many of you came to love before you began to despise it.
And finally, I love working with Starbucks because it, by far, beats any other part-time a job a college student such as myself could find!

Shifted

@giant troll:

"I believe he has contributed more than enough to the company to make up for the minute errors he has made"
Minute errors? (Or did you mean errors per minute?) How does decimating thousands of peoples' lives to increase your own bonus count as minute?

"I'd also like to remind some of you that Howard was at Starbucks from the start"
Correct answer: he was a marketing pinhead who helped to steal ideas from real coffeehouses. In the sense you're saying it, cancer is there from the start too.

"beats any other part-time a job a college student such as myself could find"
Well, I don't doubt that. If the best part time job you can aspire to is the current McStarbucks, it's probably good for all of the honest, fair, well-run companies because it means you aren't littering them with your resume.

spence

@Sbux Alum Bill: Sorry. I am so far from corporate that I forget it exists. I was thinking your friends were in retail stores.
Honestly, I think Starbucks is great if you are wanting a part time job or even a full time but not independently financially responsible for yourself. If people would just realize that, y'all wouldn't be so upset. Selling coffee or even making perfect lattes is never going to earn you enough money.

SBUX Alum Bill

@ spense:

You may be right that Starbucks retail should not be seen as the basis for achieving one's long-term career goals. I think Howard fuels a lot of those unrealistic expectations himself, however, when he refers to his employees as "partners," or when he tries to convince people that Starbucks is re-defining the role that employers play in providing health care and other long-term family needs to his "partners." If Howard would simply say that SBUX provides a good short-term stepping stone for those who want to achieve something better, that would be fine.

Whenever I read one of Howard's self-congratulatory interviews, however, I think I understand why so many of the posters to this site expect something more from him. He sells this Orwellian notion of Starbucks as a magical place where everyone is his "partner." Many in the public (and the press) still buy it, but an increasing number of his "partners" and former "partners" have learned otherwise.

SBUX Alum Bill

@ spence:

Sorry for misspelling your name in my last post,

Waltie

"He sells this Orwellian notion of Starbucks as a magical place where everyone is his "partner." "

I believe that is the opposite of "Orwellian."

 Red cup

"partner" is talking out of his ass

meme

hey I just went to use my perks card and found out it no longer works. Perks card told me that Starbucks no longer offers the Perks Card since October 2010. Did they replace this benefit with a better one?

TiredofThis

I read a few pages out of Howard's new book and I don't think I could stand to read the whole thing. I hope he didn't hurt himself patting himself on the back. What an a-hole.

SBUX Alum Bill

@ Waltie:

My point about the doublespeak Starbucks lingo, such as the term "partner," is that it is silimar to the doublespeak in "1984."

Kristina

@meme
They replaced it with something called PerkSpot. Check the partner site for info.

Ne

My argument to $5 coffee.... we are not out on the streets pulling people in, demanding they buy coffee from us, We are not pushing them to add 8shots to their venti extra caramel,caramel Frappuccino, we are not pushing them to order a whole case of brownies....U DONT LIKE THE PRICES, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE, SIMPLE AS THAT, there are plenty of other places to get coffee,, AND PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO QUIT COMPLAINING TO US ABOUT THE PRICES,,, DO WE LOOK LIKE WE ARE SIGNING THE FREAKING PAYCHECKS, NO, THATS WHAT IT IS TO MOST OF US, A PAYCHECK, WE DONT MAKE THE PRICES,JUST ENFORCE 'EM. It will do no good yelling at your barista about the fact that your now 10 shot whitemocha now cost $9.33, pay for it, or dont, doesnt bother me.

freeatlast

It wasn't gaining Jim Donald...it was losing the truly great ORIN SMITH to retirement!!!!
Even after they let Jim go, Starbucks went downhill for another year plus! After Orin retired it was a landslide...

meme

Oh I miss Orin and the work environment the H20 team created.
ohhhhhh sadness over great memories

Mike

Katie Couric made a fool of herself with her stupid jokes. How many jobs has she created?

Argentius

The prices at SBUX are pretty reasonable -- for basic coffee, I challenge you to try a $1.29 7-11 cup, or the $0.99 gas station joe, and tell me it's as good.

It isn't.

The $2.49 Stumptown, Blue Bottle, Ritual, Lighthouse, what have you, is...

But, even now that I am just a consumer, I'd pay an extra $0.10 for a cup, or whatever, for hourly employees to be "partners" again. I'd certainly reduce the millions granted to the chairman.

Returning 401k matches is fine and dandy, and a benefit to store management, but the basic daily life that kept baristas sane, the personal days and vaction, having that one more pre-closer to allow breaks to happen, etc, DOES cost money.

But, I'd rather see those things, than chase stock market returns.

I think I learned that from "Pour Your Heart Into It," but I'm not sure.

FedUpWithHowardBS

Howard Schultz is on a self-congratulatory tour. Let's get that completely clear.

"Look what I did. Hey you, guess what I did?"

Starbucks employee pay continues to remain stagnant as Howard's own salary goes up. He [and the rest of his 'yes men and women' thought that they could throw bonuses to all employees last December and that would be enough.

He was wrong.

network news is the matrix

No surprise a bimbo on the lowest rating nightly news program would toss out a populist pejorative like "$5 coffee."

Way to one of the people, Katie. And way to be edgy!

notsomuch

@parnter ignore them. They are just bitter. If you don't agree with them they label you a moron.

Tom Jones

Dear little Katie Couric has the maturity and brains of an 11-year-old. And she's certainly no Journalist. At all.

Ex StarbucksManager

I will say, I still get annoyed when people talk about starbucks $5 coffee because it's just ignorance on their part. McDonald's espresso drinks might be a bit cheaper than SBUX, but some of those can rack up close to $5 and they don't even have near the options like soy and syrups choices.

People actually do think a drip coffee is $5 at Starbucks.

now for the rest of it, Howard is a schmuck and a liar.

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