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August 27, 2011


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Jeff Tom

I like (and hate) that location.

They were recetly going through interior rennovations, so the place was a mess at least during early/mid summer.

The store is nice and large, and has two separate sides and (used to, no idea if they made it through the rennovations) have a few rooms off to the side for large groups to gather.

I has walls/windows that open on nice days (as seen in the picture) and is a good place when the weather is warm/nice.

But the parking lot of this place is horrible. Odd-shaped and quite often full, so spillvoer to a very busy main street (Madison) and an off-kilter side street.

Baristas are ok - normal mix of good/meh.


I have worked at Howard's summertime "neighborhood" store in East Hampton village and I have to say it is mostly all a show... The store usually does not know when he is coming, unless it is a specific "tour" but he comes in in bike gear and his kids come in too unexpectedly. There are door greeters, dog holder's and is way too overstaffed. Perhaps it's not just for him but also for all the rich, demanding customers and the high volume but it could definitely run with less people.. which in turn forces the surrounding area store to have to run with less labor to "support" them. Also in the past 3 years it's gotten some sort of renovation 3-4 times, hmph.


Dog holders?

Can you send us your labor hours?


I was "asked" (forced) to cover shifts there last summer, honestly can't remember daily labor hours.. Just remember they always add people on, probably 15-18 partners on at once during peak if memory serves me right..

And yes, dog holders... so if customers want to come in and get a drink, a friendly barista is being paid to stand outside with their dog until they return after they get their drink.

short drip

When that store in the hamptons first opened, it struggled. Howard had a bad experience. The then CEO Jim Donald called the area Dir/VP and said this: "When are you going to start treating our Chairman with a little God Damned respect"?

Coffee Soldier

Why aren't we having a thread abut hurricane happenings? My store's got no power so we closed up at 11a but most of Northeast is either already closed or closing at 1p.


Hi All,

Now that we know that Irene has essentially spared Manhattan (it's only RAIN, Mr. Bloomberg), any idea when and where I might be able to satisfy my latte fix in NYC?


Coffee Soldier

oops...Didn't realize this was also an open thread!!! Sorry guys! Hope all are safe and dry today!


Dog holders? How does a store rate getting a dog holder? I guess we need a dog holder at Hercules Starbucks in California. I snapped a photo last week of a customer who walked in with his large dog. He stood in line, ordered his drink and waited for it with the dog--not identified in any way as a service dog.

Not one of the Starbucks employees said a word to him about the dog. What the hell? The refrigerated food counter is nose level for this dog. All that food should have been tossed after the dog sniffed it. I guess an unsuspecting customer later ate what he doesn't realize are "doggie seconds."

I took pictures of this dog laying in the store while the customer waited for his drink.

Barista Ben

Disgusted - we are (in Cali) only allowed to ask if it's a service animal. If you say yes we say "ok" and are powerless to do anything else. It doesnt have to look like a service animal and it could be a "mental health" type animal. Odds are this is a regular who has his service dog come in often.

Also the food is wrapped. I highly suggest not eating/licking the outside package as a lot of hands and what not touch those outside items.


Dog-sniffed food doesn't sound too bad. I watched a clumsy guy knock the cinnamon shaker into the trash. He was nice (?) enough to pick it out of the trash and put it back on the counter for others to use!
After he walked away, I brought the contaminated shaker to the barista to let them know. Did they clean the shaker before putting it back out for customers to use? No clue...


Barista Ben, I do not lick or eat the wrappers that food is wrapped in. I do however use my hands to open the wrappers and then pick up the sandwich or other foods formally wrapped inside with those same hands to eat my food. How do you do it? Do you just bend over and eat your food without picking it up? Like a dog?


Thank you Starbucks for prioritizing partner safety today. Rough in my location and was afraid to drive to work.


Disgusted: Wow. You came to this sight just to complain about a dog! Maybe, you need to see a pro about chilling a bit.

Doppio con karma

so question about the article:
“double tall soy half-caff lattes with no lids.”
Arn't all hot drinks supposed to come with lids for liability reasons? or was I misinformed long ago.


I have a very allergic reaction to dogs. (most). and it is sad that people call their dogs "service" dogs when they are just a pet or companion....usually these companion dogs are not behaved as they should be. I even have had one jump up on my lap. Causing a attack and I had a severe rash for 3 weeks. (no it was not at a Starbucks). It would be nice if these people had to license their animals as service pets.


Yes it would be nice if there were more stringent requirements to be able to call your animal a "service animal". Believe me Disgusted, most baristas are none too happy about the jagoffs who come in with their pets and pass em off as service dogs, but there's absolutely nothing we can do. What gets my goat are people who (are at least decent enough human beings to not lie about having a disability requiring an animal but) complain "I'm only going to be a minute" when they bring in their poodle and try to order a drink. Look, the rule isn't "No animals allowed in the store for more than a few minutes", it's "Service animals only". Come on, what entitlement.


I was informed my my dog's obedience trainer that (at least in CA), there is a $10,000 fine for pretending to have a service animal. Just politely remind any owners of unmarked "service animals" of this law, and go about your business. I would bet that someone with a legitimate dog may then voluntarily show you documentation, and anyone else would probably not linger in the store.

If they are in training, they should still have a vest. Even so, therapy dogs in training are first required to pass the AKC's Canine Good Citizen Test before they can even begin their training as a therapy dog, and you can easily tell the difference between a dog who has passed and one who has obviously not.


In most states there is no such thing as documentation for a service animal. You can order "service animal" jackets, but you don't need any special permission or evidence to do so. You can't ask for documentation in my state, it counts as discrimination against the disabled. Even if it seems obvious that an animal is not really trained to be a service animal, you can't make any noise about it unless the animal becomes an obvious hindrance to the safety/health of the store (starts barking very loudly, acting aggressively, craps on the floor, etc).


From what I've heard, Howard loves visiting stores with a full ass kissing entourage in tow. I've seen him in person a couple of times and find him to be truly an arrogant, obnoxious asshole--one who expects everyone around him to bow down down and worship his holiness. What a poser!!

Jeff Tom

Bought a pound of the Anniversary blend yesterday.

I think it is better than last year - it is mellower/smoother than what I recall it to be last year.


@Jeff: You were lucky to be able to buy it already. It's not supposed to be on sale until Mon/Tues. Anything the store sells prior doesn't go toward their goals/quotas.
I'm glad to hear you like it. I'm dying to try it.

Jeff Tom

Yeah, I was just inquiring as to when it would be on sale (I did not know if it was this week or next week when the PSL becomes widely available). The barista offered it if I was going to purchase, so I figured why not. It does have that earthy taste that the Anniv blend has. In some ways its seems like last year's THansgiving blend.


There are many similarities between Anniversary and Thanksgiving blend. Both typically use Aged Sumatra as one of the blends and Aged Sumatra tends to dominate.

Mr. Who

Thanksgiving Blend doesn't have any Aged Sumatra in it, it's only a blend of Sumatra and Antigua.


Mr. Who - what % of each coffee?


Nynyny - Company secrets, my friend. Only our roastmasters would know.


Frappatte, there is a therapy dog test, which I assume is also administered by the AKC, and to my knowledge the owner does receive some form of certificate upon completion, and I think there is either a card or a dog tag as well. I know company policy prohibits partners from asking for proof if a customer states their animal is a service animal, but would it be considered discrimination if a partner contacted the police if the dog is misbehaven and creating a safety hazard for other customers?


hey, where did my post go??
this is open thread and i was asking about what i think are fake coupons!


Mr who/NyNY

its also roasted after the blend, not before.. so you really wouldn't get the same kick-in-the-mouth flavor from mixing the same percentage of post roast beans together.


I managed a store near Howard's Upper East Side apartment and he came in several time. He always was cordial and respectful. He would chat if he had time but often was on his way to a Yankees game or going home from a run or something. The 'bosses' above me would kind of freak out if we knew he was NYC, but honestly the biggest thing he cares about is how the employees are treating customers.

Time To GO!

Mike...why did the dog jump in your lap. I feel like that is something that just doesn't happen. People with allergies complain too much.


I'm a dog person and I have no problems telling people that their pets must remain outside. It's common sense. Customers or staff might be allergic. It's unsanitary. It's against the law. And we could get shut down!


I worked at the fourth and Seneca store in Seattle. Occasionally Howard would pop in after a ballgame or early in the morning. He is always polite and does not draw much attention to himself. We never really freaked out when he came in because if you are doing your job and the store is running as it should then you have nothing to worry about.


J- i work at fourth and seneca in seattle, i wonder if we know each other, haha

howard came in a few months ago, but i wasn't working at the time. i was bummed to hear he had come in on my day off!


Since no one commented on the particular store he was asking about, I will tell my Madison Park experience. I worked a "borrowed partner" shift their a few years back before it got remodeled and turned into a "bar" sbux. Back then it was just a normal store, a really nice one though and in a rich neighborhood and everyone basically told you that Howard could pop in at any time since he lives a short distance away. You put that in the back of your mind and just worked your shift as normal. The clientele were generally wealthy and entitled which was the polar opposite of the clientele at my home store. Basic borrowed shift though. They had one of the first Clovers and I hadn't been trained or worked one before. So during a lull a partner was giving me a quick lesson on how it worked and i was eagerly soaking it in. A man approached and engaged us in a few friendly questions about what we were doing and we included him in a quick tasting. After he sat back down, everyone was asking me if I knew who he was. It turns out it was Cliff Burrows who must also live in the area. He was spending downtime in the store with his wife and kids. He later said hi to me by name as he was pacing outside the store. Just a very pleasant unpretentious encounter with a bigwig. It was fun to tell my SM the next day.


P.s. there's no special screening to work there. Same with Pike Place and SODO lobby. There's a lot more visibility though and so a lot more pressure to perform. This tends to weed out the bad partners naturally, so you have high-performing teams at these locations that way. Plus it's only natural if you're a DM you're going to put your best SM there, so things are pretty well run.


Such bs. The stores Howard is most likely to visit get labor well beyond any other store. Maybe this is why he's clueless? Doesn't he wonder why his store has 15 people working, and busier locations have 4?

When howard tours, they stack the stores with staff too. Is he that blind? NO STORES have 15 people working at once time. Most stores don't even have 15 partners unless they're a drive thru.


@Craig-if you think my honest first hand account of my experience is bs, let's hear what you've witnessed at these locations. Give us all the details on this inside info you have. "The stores Howard is most likely to visit?" You mean all of Seattle? Let's hear from Seattle partners who think their store is overstaffed. Ha!

Been around too long, Know too much....

I have on many occasions had meetings with or attended by Howard, I have in the further past been involved with stores when he visits and can share the following.
The visits result in one of the most elaborate Dog and Pony shows you can imaging, where nothing is as it usually is, outside professional cleaning services deep cleaning the day before, over staffing, ensuring any disgruntled Partners are off that day... lots of middle managers on occasion myself included standing around hoping to say hello to Schultz and say some witty comment while Schultz slaps on the fake Smilegrin trying not to show that he is glazing over board not realizing that he is flying far to high to help there careers up only down if they flub the visit...
And one last note that I and many have seen over the years... Howard has a temper and throws fits that look like a spoiled 13 year old girl.... In fact on past occasions he has been seen arguing on the phone with his kids (sounding more like a child in his rants than the kids he is talking to probably sound like) followed by throwing a hissy at the Partners around him...
He has done an amazing thing building Starbucks, but lets be real.... he is a savvy self made Billionaire Shark.... so my tip stay out of his way...
As for me, I just smile and play nice, the perfect outward image of SBUX coolaidwhile collecting my check!


worked e. hampton a couple times. super over staffed for summer, runs about 10% over in labor, they do about $10000 per day on the weekends. i wish i could have 13 people on- a person deployed at each station, but i have to get by with my 2 or 3 soldiers (far friendlier/faster/cleaner than all 13 combined).

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