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May 21, 2011


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First post here, and forgive me if this question gets asked a lot, but...

What EXACTLY do SMs look for in baristas to consider them for shift supervisor? I have been with the company for a year now. I've been one of the strongest baristas at both stores I have worked at. I'm never late, never call in sick, I go out of my way to connect with the customers and "make their day". I am one of the best multitaskers in the store: I DTO while I bar at a high volume store (for example), my drinks are always high quality, I am OCD about cleaning, and I know way too many QASA rules for my own good. I give direction to others when it is needed, and provide positive feedback to my fellow partners when it is due.

Am I doing something wrong?

It is becoming increasingly frustrating to work under shift supervisors who are less knowlegeable, ambitious, and responsible as I. I keep going in and giving 100% every time. Any advice, or is it simply a case of "its not what you know its who you know"?


Have you talked to your SM about this? Ask him or her what he or she is looking for in a shift, and what can you do to get on track for that promotion.

It sounds to me like you are an exemplary partner who has what it takes to be a great shift, but now it's just a matter of making sure your manager knows you are interested and has an active hand in your development.


I always did stuff people didn't want to do.


Geeze...you sound a lot like me, but I have 3 years on you. I recently applied to be a shift, and was given all the responsibilities of a shift to "see if I could do it". After about 2 weeks of doing all my job duties, plus the shift duties (and not getting paid shift wages), I have finally given up. Two other partners in our store were "challenged" the same way I was, and they have given up too. The SM is just trying to get by without officially hiring another shift and he's doing it with the DM's blessing....it just really sucks! Totally considering moving onto greener pastures...SBUX isn't the company I signed up to work for anymore.


Quitting after two weeks doesn't sound like you're shift material. No offense.


@Waltie, thanks! I have told my SM a few times, but it just seems to go in one ear and out the other. Said manager is very busy, and I dont think they are getting the amount of non-coverage hours that they need to coach and develop partners. I was told that they should be working on a PDP (Partner Development Plan) with me, but my SM has never mentioned anything about it to me.

@KD, I had a lazy shift that tried to get me to do some of their work, including some minor money things in the book, and I put my foot down on that. I'm all for the spirit of teamwork, but if the store wants me to do shift specific duties, they can pay me a shift wage.


MissStretto -

I was lead on for 2 years before they made me shift lead. It all depends on what your store needs at the time, and whether your manager has the balls to tell you exactly what's going on. In my case, my manager couldn't tell anyone "no," so she told me my promotion was "just around the corner" for 2 years. I'd already been a responsible, hard working partner for 3 years. So it's hard to tell when you'll possible be promoted, because half the time they'll tell you you're promotion-ready or put you on a "partner development program" and never do anything about it. Keep following up, and never let them forget that you want to move further in the company, or the company will forget you.


I just wish I had someone at my store that was wanting to move up into the shift lead position. We have had an opening for a few months, but there is no one at the store that is ready now or has the availability for the position.


@MissStretto there are some things on the portal you can do yourself, like a Success Profile and the PDP.. maybe if you can find these things, print them out and have them ready at a good time to approach your SM he/she might take the time to help you.. if not, then do it on your own, i know what its like to have a "busy" SM.. also you could start picking up hours at other stores so you can get your name out there and maybe "hear" a few things about some position openings...it could be about who you know just because if a manager needs a shift at least he/she will be able to say "oh i've seen MissStretto work and she is wonderful, i want her"

stay motivated! good luck


MissStretto, lack of advancement opportunities is one of the reasons why today is my last day with the company. I have been trying to advance for the past five years, and unfortunately life got in the way a lot (getting married and moving to a more competetive district, losing family members, moving again, ect.). With this district manager I currently have, I cannot get any feedback, let alone a preliminary assessment to find out what she thinks my strengths and weaknesses are, the only thing she has told me is "I think it's time for you to move forward and I'm really excited for you!". My SM has scheduled these sit downs, and the DM reschedules at the last minute. Even a, "I don't think you are a good candidate for advancement, and here's why..." would be helpful. The really frustrating part is that our district is in desperate need of supervisors. I certainly hope you have better luck moving forward than I did, but I know of several baristas in my district who are in a similar situation.


Oh how I wish you worked at my store, MissStretto! I have had 3 baristas in the last year come to me and say they want to be supervisors. I have told them they are not ready, the reasons they are not ready, and put them on PDPs to develop the skills. They never followed through at all. It does go both ways. It's not always the manager who doesn't follow through.


Sorry....meant to say 2 months...which is 8 weeks...so I apologize for the miscommunication...thinking one thing and typing another. The DM told us we would know in a couple of weeks....still waiting here...we 3 interviewed for the position in the first part of March. That's when we all got more things to do and the on duty shift sat there and watched us and did jack, kibbitzing with friends while we all work our butt of doing their job and ours. The attitude from the other partners is "you're not a shift, and can't ask me to do anything". Blatently saying NO when asked to help do QASA things.

We've all gone the PDP routes and the "I'll meet with you on Monday" route and Monday never comes, or it does and the SM is busy...not to mention it's the 5th SM we've had in 2 years and the 2nd DM in a year.

Doing shift work and the person making more than me, who's job it is to do shift work and doesn't, is getting pretty old.....just sayin.


Starbucks claims to be a gay-friendly company and offer benefits to domestic partners. Then why does it let gay partners pay the tax on such benefits, as outlined in this newspaper story?


Starbucks is not on the list. I am married so the tax problem does not apply to me. But at Starbucks, gay-friendliness goes only so far. The company should "gross up" and not require its domestic-partnered gay partners to pay the tax on benefits.

Starbucks PRETENDS to be gay-friendly, but when it comes down to dollars and cents, it is actually gay-hostile.

Coffee Soldier

Drive..so what happens to partners who live in states where their marriage is not recognized? Do they have to still pay?


I pay taxes on my 24 year old son's insurance. He's not gay. Neither am I. Maybe they are heterosexual biased too. Or... it's the law in the state that I live in.



I guess they look for the ability to push buttons and chew gum?

No really, the ability to push buttons, extreme gossip skills and total un-employ-ability at any other job?


WTF are you smoking????

Jim  Romenesko

The New York-based editor of the popular TheAwl.com website tweets this morning:

@starbucks Your staff are not happy about being forced to listen to Lady Gaga nonstop all day.

Customers can't be thrilled either.


@Coffee Soldier
If you read the story, your question will be answered. It is a little bit complicated. The situation has nothing to do whether a state recognizes gay marriage.

If a company offers health benefits to domestic partners, the partner is taxed on the value of those benefits. Some companies see the inequity of this and pay the tax. Starbucks does not.



Gay partners dont have to go thru the horrors of divorce if they split either.

Sbux doesnt let you bring your dog to work either?

At least they are taking steps to try to make it easier for the domestic partnerships, more than they have to.

Get a life..... oh yeah, be happy.


@buttonpusher---actually, gays do often times have to go through the horrors of divorce if they split depending on the legal status of their relationship. Even in states where they don't have domestic partnerships, or marriage rights, a separation can last as long as an official divorce depending on the situation and finances of the couple. And what does that have to do with the inequality of heterosexuals getting a "free tax pass" for their relationships but homosexuals not anyways? Bring your dog to work? HUH? I don't believe this makes Starbucks anti-gay. The majority of companies who offer DP are still not paying the taxable difference, since the Federal Government refuses to acknowledge same-sex partners which is very unfair but how the world currently works. If we could get "The defense of marriage act" outta here it would solve all these problems and allow all gay couples to be treated equally via domestic partnerships.



Could you please give one example including which state or jurisdiction this has occurred in. Not that I don't believe you. I would like to have it for research. Thanks.


@buttonpusher....an example of what? An example of a gay couple having to go to court and pay the same legal fees as a straight married couple who are divorcing? My Uncle and his partner split up (after nearly 20 years together) and had to go to court (in Ohio) and pay higher legal fees to that of a heterosexual divorce for resolutions involving property and child visitation rights. Same-sex couples are just like opposite-sex couples, only they're not always granted the same legal or social standings other couples are afforded and take for granted ... which is a shame.

Dwight Brown

"If a company offers health benefits to domestic partners, the partner is taxed on the value of those benefits. Some companies see the inequity of this and pay the tax."

But isn't paying the taxes on a taxable benefit itself a taxable benefit that someone would have to pay taxes on?


But isn't paying the taxes on a taxable benefit itself a taxable benefit that someone would have to pay taxes on?

Yes, the good guys will bump it up a couple of times so you are mostly OK and others will leave you to the mercy of the IRS


Some people pull the race card. Some people pull the gay card. Usually people that pull those cards pull them often. Often unjustly. Most of the rest of us recognize that life just isn't perfect.


In the health care debate, I think this is one of the least concerning issues out there. But it makes for good news fodder. It's an attempt to move the debate about health care to a emotional level so people don't think about it. As in "so and so doesn't have coverage" and focus on that, rather than asking the question "why doesn't everyone have access to affordable health care?". We are the only industrialized nation without universal access to affordable care, and those that do pay over twice as much as the next most expensive system that covers everyone. The article doesn't mention which companies offer a "medical benefit plan" and those that offer "health insurance". Starbucks does not offer heath insurance, BTW. Only a self insured medical benefit plan. They are not the same thing. One is regulated (insurance) and the other isn't. This would be a far more important debate about health care, IMHO.


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@wasatech: For many years, I lived just south of Canada where they have health insurance for everyone. Unfortunately, the govt chooses what's right for everyone. Northern hospitals are loaded with Private Pay Canadians trying to stay alive.


our store is going to keep the music turned down during Lady Gagag no one in our store wants it


Can I just get a shout out to those of us who are under-appreciated and over abused!!!!! Here's to the shift supervisors who are worked like dogs and never get any thanks for it!!

Because of this......IM QUITTING!!!!!


@ Ilovethecompanyhatemystore

I am right there with you!! In fact there are 3 shifts in my store that are searching for new jobs, and a 4th that wants to make Sbux her part time job...any signs of something going on?? Because of how things are run...& reporting it not going anywhere, I am also quitting my job with a company that I used to really enjoy working for.


We were only supposed to play Gaga for 2 hrs anyway....

Can we get a special CD for Gay pride next month?

 Red cup

I rather be a button pusher than an obsessed no life having forum site troll.


Hey everyone,

Is anyone participating in the three region blend event with their DM's? I am trying to think of creative ideas in how to figure out great tasting events with the customers and using our pastries as samples in trying to figure out which pastry pairs well with the coffee.


How about a CD for all of the over-worked..waaayyyy under-paid single mothers out there??? Seriously??

Coffee Soldier

No Partner View survey this year...it's the Partner Pulse again instead.

Doppio con karma

Try a three part pairing, trying to come up with something for each of the component beans and comparing/contrasting from there.


@CoffeeSoldier - Sorry I don't really know if you're writing tongue in cheek or serious. What's the "partner pulse"? What ever came from the big partner survey from a little over a year ago?


Partner pulse is more of a random sample, not the whole company.

In the past, partner view results were shared with stores to help identify individual opportunities and successes. I think it's telling that the results of this past survey were never released in their entirety.

Only changes that come time mind as a result.. Switch from stock options to RSUs and the addition of MLK Jr day as a paid holiday.


Becoming a shift supervisor is not about being a great barista, but the ability to develop into a leader to the rest of the team. As good a cleaner and bar person as you are, you will have to give some of that up and be able to get your staff to be as good as you. Making a kick ass latte makes you a great barista. Getting the team to respect you and work for you is being a ss, sm, or asm.


I was fired. What to do when Starbucks is your passion? I really was a hardworker and committed. Everything is gone and I'm not sure where to start, can't be rehired for 6 months.......there's always cc's coffee, but I was involved that it hurts and feel used. The ASM was so strict on me but it's not fair because she had her daughter working behind the bar then gave her a free drink to thank her. I really was the only one involved with customers and the community. How can we really overcome low morale and bad management?


Reality is Starbucks has changed so much that it's now a hard job. My biggest gripe is that I cannot succeed with lean. I cannot possibly do all there is to do on the DDR yet I'm supposed to sign off on it as if I did it. I just hate that. We are a cafe store with most 2 person deployment in the late afternoon through evening. We do have a preclose but after you take a meal break and give out 10's, the preclose just doesn't have enough time. I'm not blaming the SM. It's the allotted hours. Personally, I think corporate has quietly adjusted the hours earned %.


@Spencer the SSC has been adjusting the target 0% since Jan. 09 U no longer earn as much labor as before then. It's called L.E.A.N. scheduling which includes no training hours. A person has one shift on the bar, one in the POS, next shift they are functioning as the opening barista. Sink or swim.



And people wonder why they can't get a decent cappuccino/latte/macchiatto. One day of training on bar...

a Qualified Canidate

I just love that for the past year I've tried to get a job at Starbucks. I've offered to quit my current job; I've researched what exactly goes into the drinks and how to make them, what they are called; I've resubmitted applications; I have befriended the baristas; talked with the assistant manger and manager countless times about how I would love to get a job there. No avail. Then a giant mass of new people who have no idea what to do are hired.

What the hell, Starbucks. I feel betrayed.


My barista yesterday made my drink wrong, and dropped a Splenda packet in it and fished it out. I give up. I am starting to lose more and more faith in the company and who they hire.


Hey all!
I know this isn't really on topic with what most posts are about, but hey it's an open thread so here:

I've just started at Starbucks- about a week and a half ago- and I've just begun to get to be on the bar. I think I have all (or atleast most) the hot drinks/lates etc down but I'm wondering if any baristas out there have any tips for speeding up the process a bit/making it more efficient because my store is constantly packed! (Aside from the "it takes practise" advice- I'm sure I'll get faster but I'd love some tips on how do better get several drinks going at a time without making everyone wait ages!)

Also, I'm finding the frappuccinos a little tricky as I've only made a few and our store doesn't seem to ever have recipe cards handy. Correct me if I'm wrong but for all coffee based ones, you pump coffee roast base first (T=2, G=3, V=4?) and in all sizes, fill whole milk to the bottom line on the cup (unless of course it's skim you're using). Then pour, add ice and if it's syrup you're using it is T=2, G=3, V=4? But then what are the guidelines for mocha sauce, chocolate chips, and vanilla/green tea powder? And if it's cream base, you obviously skip the coffee roast but what are the correct proportions of powder/syrup for each size? :P I hate making frappuccinos! Tips/corrections/advice from fellow barista masters would be so appreciated!


The best tip I can give you for being quick on bar is taking advantage of your free time while milk steams/shots pull to look down the line and pour milk for your upcoming drinks. Having the pitcher of milk ready to go really helps speed up the BR2 process.

As for your Frappuccino question: Any syrups/dry inclusions on the cold beverage station follow the same rule. T=2, G=3, V=4.

Syrup/sauce/chai pumps used in Frappuccinos that are on the hot bar are T=1 G=2 V=2. Some of the more commonly used hot bar syrups/sauces in Frappuccinos are white mocha, chai, raspberry, and cinnamon dolce (at least, they are in my store).

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