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May 14, 2011


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One partner missed her alarm and she was late, on a Friday morning. That wasn't fun.


Well... since you asked. It was awful. Frappy hour was the absolute worst and I usually enjoy the hustle but yesterday was far beyond what we could handle. We never caught up all night. By the time we locked the doors, baristas weren't even picking up their feet to walk and we were tripping over ourselves. It was the most exhausting day I've ever had. Thanks for letting me vent.


I really apologize for the blatant request for people to weigh in on my site, but I'm feeling some MyStarbucksIdea.com burn out, and I've got a thread asking for opinions on MSI. Thanks in advance for taking a look. www.starbucksmelody.com


Oh man, Frappuccino Happy Hour was a blast. My back was killing me from bending over for so long and my arms were covered in Frappuccino "stuff" but it was super fun and everyone was in a great mood. Looking forward to today and tomorrow!


Loyal customer here with a question for expert baristas! I have been a decaf soy caramel macchiato girl for years. Lately, no head on the drink, caramel drizzle gone before I can get the cover off. Has the caramel syrup been changed? Is there a new soy milk with less body being used? Barista training not up to snuff? I rarely get a drink that is like the drinks I so lovingly remember! Please no hate in replies! Thanks!


I had a pretty bad day yesterday--clumsy as all get out, lol. I blame Friday the 13th.


@nandypants, I 'm inclined to believe the baristas aren't properly aerating the milk (at my store, we say soy foam is like a dessert in itself!). Or, they're just leaving the foam off the drink, so the caramel sauce doesn't have anything to sit on.

livin' la VIA loca

So if you are in a district that is served by the product distribution/delivery center located in Nashville (other areas of the US too?) you found your Friday the 13th supply order DID NOT include Frapp Base (the key properitary ingredient to making the drink!). Some stores rec. some stock but it was way under requested/needed qty. Just in time for the last weekend of the Frappy Hour promo.

And stores that did rec. shipments earlier in the week are trying to share- but in the end all of us are coming up short and unable to serve the customers.

Really Sbux?! How long have you been planning (to fail) with this repeated Frappy Hour promo? All the hype, etc. only not to insure that the distribution centers have stock and are able to ship to stores? Umm, stockholders- can we say "supply chain choke"? Wow, can't wait until we try to start selling "beyond coffee" items in our stores- when we can't even get this signature one straight.

Perhaps Sbux missed the episode of Oprah where she promoted KFC grilled dinners and when customers went to restuarants for their free meal they ran out of chickens...


I put my (half price) vanilla bean frap in the refrig for about 6 hours. That was a mistake. Would I have been better off putting it in the freezer?


I think the standard for frappuccino's is that they are to be served after at most 10 seconds to avoid separation of the sugary crap. The only answer from sbux would be 'Why didn't you guzzle this when it was handed to you?'. Also, a freezer would have been better, but the freezing points of all the different chemicals is different, so really, unless you plan on reblending a frozen frappuccino, your best bet is to just drink it when you get it. And I mean drink it like you mean it. WIth a purpose, ya know? Bong it if you have to.


I haven't commented in awhile so here I go. I see no difference between a starbucks worker and a mcdonalds worker. Both stores can be incredibly busy at times and incredibly slow at times. (I do think Howard Schultz has made your starbucks job easier by switching to the super automatics which therefore loses some of my respect as well as your title of barista.) Starbucks workers will put up a fight because they don't want the label of fast food worker even though the jobs are quite similar. Why does that title have to take on a negative connotation? I’ve been to many a sbux that care about your order and seem pretty passionate about what they do and what you get and I've been to many that could really care less that you are there. Same thing with mcdonalds. I've been to some where they are friendly to you when you walk in and I've been to some that just don't care either. So really unless I'm missing something can someone tell me the difference?

Another hot topic is tipping. I'm curious to see how many starbucks workers report there tips on there taxes at the end of the year? The way I see it tipping is an added bonus and shouldn't reflect there quality of service at all.

@ Guat-my-mala

I understand the whole late thing it sucks but I always find it humorous when they use the excuse "My alarm clock didn't go off" It's as if all the functions on there phone worked except for the alarm function that day. It's easier to blame the phone I guess than themselves for sleeping through it.


Let me put it this way, next week I hang up the green apron for good.


Starbucks Job Hiring fairs. Can someone give me the "lo down" on such events?


NOPASSION you are such a terribly obvious and terribly ineffective troll that I almost think you're doing a double troll by parodying a horrible troll (read as: you're not taken serious).


Nandypants... It is very possible the store cut the tops of their caramel bottles (one of my biggest pet peeves). The caramel is much thicker and heavier than normal and doesn't sit on top like it should. I went on vacation for a week and one of my baristas cut off the tops on all of the caramel bottles. I was a little livid. Ugh. They think they are faster if the caramel pours faster, but it just makes horrible drinks.


@ Dave... What do you want to know? I organize the job fairs quite regularly.


My district also got shorted frap base on our mid happy hour order, so none of us had any at all going into the last weekend of the promotion. Not one of the company's finest hours.


My store and another store got our order on the same day. We ordered 5 boxes of coffee base and got all five. The other store got none, but instead got boxes of light base. Its really strange. I'm been fortunate enough to not get shorted, but I know that others are because we are constantly getting calls from other stores looking for base. Its sad that someone dropped the ball somewhere and our customers have to suffer. I do have to say the warehouse has been a LOT better though in the last year or so. There are definitely less misses.


we ran out of the regular coffee base also and just used the light...



What would you say one should expect for if they plan on attending?
What would be advisable to bring along?
What might you say is an average turnout?
How successful would you say they are in terms of people attending/people hired?
The fair is about a twenty minute ride away from where I live, what expectations could one pull from that?
Are the hiring fairs generally more for short term workers or long term (I have a somewhat long term job now, but I have always wanted to work at starbucks)?
What should one wear?
As the event I am attending is said to be three hours long, what could one pull from that?

My apologies about all those questions... I had the opportunity to attend one in my hometown a few months back but I, admittedly stupidly, did not attend. Then last month there was one in a place two hours away from me, I simply could not go to that one. Now one that is about twenty minutes away - that is much more manageable.


Starbucks Job fairs:

"What would you say one should expect for if they plan on attending?"

Expect to be interviewed for a job.

"What would be advisable to bring along?"

Nobody cares about a resume, but do bring whatever references you'll need in order to fill out a ob application. Better yet, fill one out online and bring it with you.

"What might you say is an average turnout?"

They are usually very popular. Expect to spend an hour or so there at least.

"How successful would you say they are in terms of people attending/people hired?"

Very successful. It shows initiative and interest in the company that you attended, and the event itself expedites the entire process.

"The fair is about a twenty minute ride away from where I live, what expectations could one pull from that?"

None at all. They usually just choose the biggest store in the district. Don't expect to get a job at that store.

"Are the hiring fairs generally more for short term workers or long term (I have a somewhat long term job now, but I have always wanted to work at starbucks)?"

Managers will always be more eager to hire somebody with long-term goals of sticking around.

"What should one wear?"

Like you're going to a job interview. Business casual?

"As the event I am attending is said to be three hours long, what could one pull from that?"

That they will take interviews from people who show up within the three hour window. If it ends at 4:00, don't show up at 4:01 and expect the managers to hire you.

Gold Card

To change the subject. This morning I stopped at the Starbucks in Chehalus WA. Simple order two coffees and two breakfast sandwiches. There were 6 barristas, it was not too busy, there was no one behind me. The girl at the cash was obviously a new employee, she did not know how to write up Americano with Steamed Non-Fat, then she messed up the sandwich orders, the whole thing took around 15 minutes until I received the right sandwiches.

I don't fault her, she has to learn and it is rather complex. But why was not another barrista with her to help or show her the ropes. One fellow finally did go over and assisted, but there seemed to be a lack of team work. Do experienced barristas help new people or just throw them on a cash all alone to sink or swim?


@ No passion: We pay taxes on tips whether we receive them or not. An estimated assumption of tips is on our paycheck and so YES we do pay taxes. Unfortunately, there have been occassions, when the taxed amount was actually higher than the tips we recieved.
@Gold Card: New baristas always struggle with the POS because there are so many pages, etc. But no, she shouldn't have been in a situation where either the barista or customer got frustrated.


The best supervisor our roasting plant has ever had was let go...


@krp> Always sad to see the good go.


Funny to hear about the missing Frap Base. The FIRST weekend of Frappy hour, the entire Southern West Coast Area was without Frap Base for 3 DAYS. We finally were able to order it again on WEDNESDAY of last week. So yeah, it was Frap Light for our customers for a few days. And now we have it back, just to hear the east coast is without it? HAHA, yeah, good times for all. :)


The southeast was out as well. It may (or not) have had something to do with the storms and flooding in Tennessee.


What would be advisable to bring along?
I always suggest a person bring a resume as the application process is online. I would also suggest applying online BEFORE you attend the hiring fair. Apply to the store where the hiring fair is.

What might you say is an average turnout?
Depends on the location and how many people want jobs. There are usually 50+ people at the hiring fairs I organize.

How successful would you say they are in terms of people attending/people hired?
Pretty successful. Usually 8-10 are hired. It depends on how many stores are looking.

The fair is about a twenty minute ride away from where I live, what expectations could one pull from that?
They usually aren't looking to staff the store where the fair is located. It is usually a bigger location where they can host everyone. They are probably looking for many locations. If anything, just ask.

Are the hiring fairs generally more for short term workers or long term (I have a somewhat long term job now, but I have always wanted to work at starbucks)?
Starbucks usually always looks for
longtime partners.

What should one wear?
DO NOT WEAR JEANS. I make my first impression by how you look. If you look like you just rolled out of bed, I will not be offering you a job. Slacks and a nice shirt are fine. You don't have to wear a suit or anything.

As the event I am attending is said to be three hours long, what could one pull from that?
It won't necessarily be three hours. If you are first in line to be interviewed, you might be in and out in a half an hour or less. It all depends on if they want to do a second interview or not. (They don't always do second interviews)


My FrapHour would have been awesome but for a barrowed shift transfering 12, yes TWELVE, coffee base, 4 cream and 4 light base to her store because her order didn't come in for another two days(OH NOES!). So, the next day when we ran out, ligit she left us two of each, all our shifts are wondering wtf? We finally check transfer history and holy hell, I have never been to angry in this job before. Really, it would have been better for her to right out steal it, we wouldn't have been able to track it! And what happens? Our SM says get it back, the other SM says they need it, the DM gets involved and brings back the stollen bases and now there is bad blood between the story. Bloody hell!


@ spence: When were your taxes on tips more than the tips you recieved?

Starbucks taxes automatically at 50 cents an hour. I have NEVER seen a barista make less than that. However, if you did make less than 50 cents an hour, you (used to) change that amount on the time clock. (not sure if that still is how it works).

Most baristas NEVER pay actual taxes on their ACTUAL tips . They are taxed at 50cents tips/hour but actually make at least double or triple that.


@Dave -
Best of luck to you in becoming a partner. As to what to wear, generally for that kind of thing, I'd rather be a little over-dressed than under-dressed. I would wear nice slacks and shoes, and a button down shirt with a tie, if I were you. Just my two cents. Good luck!


Just curious--those of you who ran out of regular frap base and had to give all customers light fraps as a substitute: did you tell all of your customers that they were getting a light frap or did you simply hand them over without without saying anything? The reason I ask is because several times in recent weeks, I have ordered a regular frap only to inquire after tasting it and finding the taste different than normal, and only then being informed (AFTER I have ordered, paid for, and taken a taste of the beverage!) that, in fact, it was a light frap. WTF!!! Come on folks--this speaks to the integrity (or lack thereof) of Starbucks and it's inability or unwillingness to play it straight with it's customers. Service rule NUMBER ONE--don't lie to your customers!!


Speaking of caramel.....i have noticed lately it has seemed really thick, like to the point of hurting my hands after a really busy day.

livin' la VIA loca

If you run out of Coffee Frap Base (& have enough stock) use Creme as a sub first. It tastes almost the same (try it!) and will be less noticed by customers. Their drink may look less dark (since Creme doesn't have the caramel coloring added ) but the taste will be similiar.

If you're using Light on purpose (not a mistake) then yes, you should let the customer know- it will taste different and the customer may be opposed to Splenda (which is in the Light base).

Sometimes, it is all in the offering "Would you like to try that Light today with a 1/3 less calories?"- positive suggesting for satisfied customers.


@spence, etc, regarding tips and taxes -- you are TAXED at exactly the rate of tips you earn.

However, your store may WITHOLD taxes on tips at a rate greater than, or, less than, what you actually earn.

At my store this rate was based upon $1.00 per hour -- though the typical earnings at my store was $1.65 per hour or so, so there was a little more that I had to declare at tax time.

If you don't like this, you can always reduce your withholding.

@NOPASSION, what a troll. But I'd bet the tip reporting is similar to the rest of the foodservice industry.


This whole happy hour thing was a huge mess order wise. I work in a license location where we were shorted on the frapp base and creme base. Next order they sent us two cases of light when we had ordered one of each! They had to overnight us the right one. Plus we were shorted on pumps for the bases! When we called our csar we were told that they were out of stock bc they have new pumps for the bases coming out! We only have two pumps left that prob have to last for two weeks! Gross! Ordering supplies has been a nightmare lately.


Light frap base no longer contains splenda. It contains essentially stevia. It still tastes differently than regular, but is less likely to cause an issue for those with sensitivity to artificial sweeteners.


I get migraines from all artificial sweeteners, including stevia, so I would be mad if no one told me.


My Friday the 13th was awesome because of Starbucks. With the help of the Starbucks App and some very friendly Staff at my local, I have developed the best Frappuccino. Its called the Frappu-gasm. Named that for obviuos reasons. Check it out here http://luxurylogistics.co.uk/2011/05/17/starbucks-helps-me-make-the-perfect-frappuccino/


"migraines from all artificial sweeteners"


sorry sounds a little dramatic.


@Goldcard The new standard of training is basically,
1st day- First impressions with the manager, coffee tasting, book & computer set up/work
2nd day espresso bar/ cold bev training
3rd day POS or point of sale training on register
4th day a trained functioning barista that is scheduled just like any other employee for a shift

I know there will be some that say this is not true but it seems to be happening in multiple stores in my area, mine included. Our new employee is my third for a Sunday morning out of three scheduled till 11 am, can't wait to see how long the line gets that day.
I know others say that under staffing is not company standard but when a store comes in at -5% labor for Happy Hour week is anyone going to complain at the SSC?


hipsterdufus: I'm actually allergic to artificial sweeteners, as well. I found out 20 yrs. ago when I received a diet beverage by mistake. Not a good experience, to say the least.

As for not having supplies for promos, this is not a new thing for Starbucks. Anyone who has worked for the company for any length of time can attest to the fact that supply distribution has always been an issue.

NOPASSION: By the way, it's "their phone" and not "there phone". Come on, the English language is not that difficult.


What do you all think about QASA audits, our DM sent out an email this am that if you get less than a 90 on your QASA score, the shift on duty gets a final write up. I was shift on this am, and then not 15 min after we got the message, guess who walks in to do our audit. I completely understand the importance of Qasa, but since when did job security come to where your "partner food bin" is located, and not to how well you contribute to the "third place"?!? And if it is so important, why do we not get more non coverage or labor to be able to put more attention to cleaning our water filtration system, instead of leaving customers with one person to ring them up and then make their drink?


You need extra coverage to ensure the partner food bin is correctly stored on the bottom shelf of your fridge? Doesn't that take, literally, a few seconds? Yes, being able to delegate tasks, educate your team on QASA regulations, and keeping the store clean are all part of your jobs, that are as essential to creating the correct store environment as anything else. It's part of your job as a shift, so it makes perfect sense that a failure to get those things done should lead to a write up.

So... what score did you get? I'm guessing it was bad if you came here to ran about it.


@K2 I hope that final write up notice includes the SM if they are in control of the shift during an audit. After 2008, job security in any company including Sbux became a myth. L.E.A.N scheduling does not include any extra time for cleaning projects that used to be scheduled. Now you are supposed to have two person deployment and still do it all. When labor was taken away, the expectations did not change, you were just allowed a third of what you had in labor to accomplish the assigned tasks. It's not going to change unless it goes even more lean. Hell the ALS put one partner on break and left one alone during Happy Hour on Sunday. LOL Maybe that's why we were -4% for the day. Those who believe that the parameters of the ASL system are not manipulated at the SSC level are just being naive.


@usorthem3: Amen!

I for one have witnessed the "do as I say not as I do" Starbucks leadership model. From the moment a DM enters the store dressed in his/her cute business attire, it's "this is wrong and that is wrong, etc., etc.". It gets old really quick. DM's, roll up your sleeves, put on an apron for once and earn some respect from your SM's!!!

P.S. - Cleaning was never an issue in my store. My store's QASA score last year right before I left the company was 98.5%, highest in my district and surrounding districts. Not having labor really made it difficult, but we did it as a team!


spend almost five dollars on starbucks drink is wasting money,a drink has no taste . never again.

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