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September 30, 2011


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Happier Now

I left after 9 years. I couldn't take the lies from Sbux middle management, the constant dangling of the carrot and then (my favorite) "you'll get promoted much quicker if you manage two stores at the same time with no pay increase of second bonus". I love my job now. I can actually have a life and I never have to hear "LEAN thinking" or "repeatable routine" again--and bonus I don't have to work for P the Pygmy Queen anymore. Amen.


The manager review process is a joke. Increases used to be based on performance,.now its based on performAnce with what little the company allocates to the area. Average increase is under two percent. Yes, should be glad to get one, but with record profits and stores destroying budgets, you think there would be a thank you other than a copy of Howard's book.

Sad Barista

I'd be happy to see my SM or DM go, of course the would mean either one would have to actually be motivated!

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

Starbucks has been called the Mc Donald's of coffee, in the past that was not a fair statement particularly to the store experience.
However since the 2008 house cleaning of Partners when the stock fell below $8 a share Starbucks crossed into a place that it will never be able to return from and that is into being a mainstream fast food job when you are at the store level.
Sure there are many who are still drunk on the Kool-aid and some like me drawing a check and smiling and waving... But down deep most are playing the smile and wave act excited and pretend this years batch of Xmas is better than last years...


My fiance manages a Starbucks. He has been with the company 15 years. He would absolutely love to work somewhere else, but he would have to take a huge pay cut. He doesn't have a bachelor's degree, so he would definitely have trouble getting hired somewhere that pays him what he makes at Starbucks. Someone mentioned manager raises. He just got his yearly review and got almost a $2,000 raise, which I understand is unusual. So with bonuses, he will be making almost $50,000 a year. Just wanted to share this to add to the conversation. I know his situation is probably uncommon. Most store managers have not been with the company that long and do not make that much money.


did you say "...as the economy improves"??



Well...if you think the grass is greener...then go! As for me. I have been with the company 8 years now and know better. The Culture is reviving and its only upward and onward from here. Stop wining and go work somewhere else. Heck, just try and apply and see what is out there. We are still in a 9% unemployment rate and increasing. Get the facts straight please.

Josh hamilton

I have been with the company 6 years and I made 64 thousand last I will top that this year. It is largely based on cost of living.


5 yrs. Just reviewed...and a SUBSTANTIAL pay increase. Just sayin'.....they treat hard working, honest managers fairly. I DO NOT work a bazillion hrs. I work hard....and get paid well.

I <3 music

Several sm have left the district. One asm that was promoted quit. He had been with the company for years and had worked hard to get it. We have gotten a new dm since then.

Coffee Soldier

Where I am we've had an RDO and 4 DM's leave in the past 3 months. 4 other SM's I know have left. I know of at least 4 SM's looking for other jobs. My DM is overseeing 24 stores. Wayyyy too many in my opinion. He actually told me the other day see you next year and meant 2012 not fiscal 2012 with all the chaos he is dealing with.


I've seen three separate DM's in the past three months. Two of them were interims, but it's still true that the District kind of operated "without a manager" for a few months due to a lot of turnover within the past year.



For what it's worth... I hired in as a barista in 2004. Promoted to SS 3 months later. Promoted to ASM in 2008 @ 28.5k. Promoted to SM in 2009 @ 33.5k. Left the company in early 2011. I now have an office job, work 8 hour days M-F, and make what I did as a Sbux SM. I knew I was low-balled when they told me what I would make as a SM. I'm glad I moved on to something better, but I'm also glad for the time I had at sbux. But after time went on as a SM it just wasn't worth the constant stress, long hours, and impossible goals expected of a SM


Been around too long, it's not really fair to compare Starbucks store-level to McDonalds. In McDonalds, from what I understand, it's not too hard at all to move up if you show obvious effort and potential, seeing especially as how there's many "supervisory" and "management" positions. Used to be the case at Starbucks, certainly not so anymore.


we've been without a district manager for months now since our previous DM went on leave and then quit..several temporary DMs have been in place and we're finally supposed to get a permanent one at the end of October, but seriously... the district is in serious trouble in a couple of places and has had multiple managers quit recently. I'm not in a management position but would /love/ to be.

It's ridiculous that there are internal partners who would love the opportunity to move up and we're replacing managers w/ external hires who will throw their keys to the supervisor on duty and quit on a dime because they can't handle it and aren't getting the help they'd need even if they could deal w/ the job.


Anyone know if Caramel Brulee is returning this year? Haven't heard much about it.


I have been with the company over a decade, just got less than a $1,000 increase and my store is beating budget and last year by 25%.


So who watched the open forum. Im suprised no one has said anything about Howie announcing a 2012 leadership conference.

New York Latte

I am a store manager with SBUX, and I have to say that in the upstate NY market area I am in, there is little ASM-and-above turnover. 14 stores in our district, and our DM has been sharing the operating plans for fiscal year 2012 (how the company is loosining its belt after a few tough years). They are putting more labor on the table for us to use (including an increase in non-coverage), and a lot of other great plans. They also replaced the facilities director and in a short time in position, the new director has sent handy-men and new floor cleaning machines, as well as partial store remodels (including my store). I am pretty impressed and happy with the direction we seem to be headed in.

But I suppose each market area is a little different. And for the person above whose fiance has been with SBUX for 15 years and is happy making $50,000 a year... I can tell you that my market is not a high paying one, but there are store managers making around $60,000 a year that have only been with the company for less than 5 years. So your fiance might want to consider grabbing a college degree and heading out SBUX door as you say they want.. Just saying!


So what are the thoughts about the new monthly inventory process?


I left Sbux as a SM just under a year ago for a Management job with the retail side of a computer hardware manufacturer (that happens to have a very similar cooperate culture to what Starbucks 'strives' to have).

I now make 35% more in base pay as well as overtime pay, paid commuter costs, a good bonus.

I was a top performing SM with Sbux, yet my last raise with them was only 2%. The job was stressful. So glad I left. I can't imagine working for Starbucks as a manager still.


When I worked for SB I was a SS, I couldn't see why I would try to become a ASM or a SM when everyone I knew was so extremely stressed out.
We didn't have a regular DM, the current DM's kept on switching zones or areas because they couldn't keep an additional DM who was honest or knew his foot from his ass to help manage the districts.
I had colleagues (Baristas and SS) who had the carrot dangled in front of them with loads of promises to be promoted which never came.

I was happy as SS and did a fine job as one but my store closed with the bad economy and I was booted out the door along with a lot of loyal workers who worked for the store for a long time and were loyal enough but with the economy being bad it was easier to fire those who made more money and bring in new hire who made less.


35%?! What was your salary at Bux?

Annoyed 8yr partner

-I've had that GD carrot dangled in front of me off and on for 4yrs. Now the excuse for not promoting me is that I don't work well with others -which is actually more along the lines my SM. I'm so out of sbux as soon as I can find something that pays me what I make now (or better).

-Yes, Caramel Brûlée is coming back.

-Anyone know whats happening in a couple of weeks? My SM told me something big was going to be happening but that she wasn't aloud to say! WTF? Really? I'm a freakin partner, I deserve to know b4 the customers.



It's not just big, it's HUGE. Game changing...according to my store manager. I started the guessing game at Pepsi Co buyout and she flinched before she denied it, so who knows.


People leave their boss.....Starbucks is a great company that cares a great deal more about it's people than the rest of the hospitality industry. Remember, you get what you put in, and I do not mean hard work, I mean ATTITUDE. No matter how hard you work, if you have a bad attitude you are not going anywhere....I am a 10+ year partner who is proof that a great attitude (and yes, hard work...being one of the best companies in the world is not easy work) will get you good raises and get you promoted.

I <3 music

Is it better to sell my stock now or wait till pepsi buys sbux?


I also had the carrot dangled in front of me. After four years of busting my arse and still getting the runaround, I decided Ramen noodles probably tasted better than that damned carrot (by the way, Ramen tastes like freedom to the willfully unemployed).

In my final district, we went through THREE DMs in a fiscal quarter. Ironically, the DM who took over was the DM of my previous district (which I left partially because I lacked confidence in her ability to lead). She is like a cockroach in the respect that she has somehow managed to secure her job when the neighboring DMs were dropping like flies...

I definitely would not liken a non-hourly partner to an insect if I had any future plans of returning to the BUX.


Maybe the "groundbreaking" thing is regional or even district only. We just had a district SM meeting, and I just had my review with my DM, and I haven't heard of anything big going down.

The only "news" our DM has told us is that Playbook will be launching FY12, and that it's the only major rollout for the year, so STILL no new scheduling system we heard about in New Orleans a couple years ago :(


The game changing announcement is about our whole bean, its been hinted to me. The new scheduling system will be coming around the third or fourth quarter in '12.

Herman M.

Hey, hipsterdufus, I work for the same company and had some of the same thoughts. Getting laid off as a Starbucks Tech was one of the best things, it turns out. Now I'm a SmartGuy at that technology company, make good money, and don't wake up every morning wondering how the company is going to stick it to me or if today is the day they decide to cut my job. Heck, we just earned another SmartGuy position...

And the culture is what Starbucks almost had when I first worked for them back in the mid 90's. Almost, but not quite.


Okay, as an 8* year partner I have seen the good times and then the VERY crappy LEAN times. I had the carrot dangled with promises of becoming an ASM. I worked my rear off as a SS. When our SM was on vacations I would do ALL of her work and still MORE was expected. That is what happens. The more you give the more they expect and you get nothing in return.

Then the ASM position was literally done away with and the position of SS became very stressful with all the new demands, ordering etc., that was placed upon them with no expectation of a pay increase. Just your usual reviews and nickle dime raises, but much more workload.

I gave it up! Took a very small pay cut and went back to being a barista. Make more than most of the newer SS and have no stress. Still get good work hours, pay and insurance and no big demands that must be met during very busy work hours.

Like some of the previous comments I also smile and wave, make the job work for me in this unstable economy. I sure don't want to be looking for another job now! Many former baristas are trying to come back as the jobs they thought they were going to were going to be so much greener.


It should read 8+ years.

Coffee Soldier

The game changing announcment is very similiar to about hmm maybe 4-5 years ago when they already did this change...think about the categories of coffee it's going back.

Remeber how Guat and Verona were both considered Smooth then they changed the categories and Guat went Medium and Verona Bold. I'm not sure what the categories are going to be called but it is all about that. I especially like how after insitsting Pike was a Bold for 2 years it is now not in the Bold category...typical Starbucks...change everything and make everyone relearn it!

I <3 music

I've seen the carrot also. I've jumped through hoop after hoop. I've came in early and stayed late. I've been just about every lead possible. I've been the person who closes on holidays so the others could be with family. I've been the ss baristas go to first. I'm easily the most knowledgeable in coffee. Customers love me. I'm never late. All of my reviews have been glowing.

I've gotten nothing.

I've watched kiss ass or spineless partners get promoted. I've seen an great asm get let go and really horrible asm keep their job during the layoffs. It's like a virus. These horrible people replace healthy cells with more virus.

This company is full of the virus now. It's like pyramid scheme. The ones at top don't do shit but trick others with if you get your team to sell x number of via you can be like me. Then it rolls down to the batista. Who is left pushing crap on people who don't want it.

So if you want to move up remove your spine and sense of right from wrong. Kiss any and all ass above you. Try to make your peers look bad at every chance.


Oh great, so the big change is about beans.....more pressure to push beans and VIA without incentive to the hard-working partners. Keep that 30 minute number up to earn labor, while you are offering the pastry of week (that is not reduced in price so why would the customer care about pastry of wee), then offer them a sample from the french press and try to get them to buy whole bean....but hurry, get them thru the line so we can brag about our 30 min number.......it just doesn't make sense...SBUX IS now fast food, clearly...maybe they should focus on a marketing scheme to drive whole bean and VIA sales in super markets and big chain stores...where people would probably more likely buy it as they are buying their weekly groceries.....and let they stores just sell hand crafted beverages and daily pastries....keep some retail and beans and VIA in stores but not let that be such a driver....allowing partners to focus on customer connections and creating the third place environment.......just saying.


Coco, in case you have not been informed, the company is no longer establishing baseline promotional goals for any product. Stores are supposed to identify areas where they are lacking/have an opportunity to increase sales and profit and take action to improve those. If you're offering a "pastry of the week" then it sounds like your store is already doing something like that.

There isn't supposed to be any sampling done during peak (which is when you would be striving to increase your transactions over last year) to make it easier for you to achieve those results.


Why wouldn't you sample during peak times? That's exactly when you should be sampling, because that's when the most customers are going through, increasing your sales.

Of course, you should be sampling during off peak times too.


"I've watched kiss ass or spineless partners get promoted."

I honestly don't want to sound snarky, but maybe you should try to kiss a little ass. Tell me one profession where just being good at your job ensures you success and instant promotions? That's right, there are none.

Being good at your job and achieving results should be the most important quality in a candidate for management, of course, but so is interpersonal skills, not to mention being able to navigate the politics of your company.

It's a sad but true fact that some unqualified people move ahead of better employees simply because they know how to play the game. HOWEVER, being able to play the game yourself doesn't make you a bad employee or spineless kiss-ass. It just means you are good at your job and know how to get ahead.


I love Waltie. He so says it the way it is.

Barista Ben

I get called a kiss a$$ sometimes. The truth is I really just like my job.


Drinks I miss:

1. Raspberry Mocha Chip Frappuccino (no, not using the new, watered-down have-it-your-way version)

2. Mocha Malt Frappuccino (see above)

3. Dulce de Leche Latte

4. Maple Latte


Ugh, you must of been one of our 4 customers that liked the maple latte. I dont remember exact numbers, but I think maple is the only promo drink here in CA that bombed harder then the honey latte from like 5 years ago.

I do agree with the dulce de leche, I like that one a lot too.

Barista Ben

I LOVED maple. That being said, just go buy some maple syrup.


I always felt the Dulce de Leche had a faintly off aftertaste...

I <3 music

Thanks waltie for being waltie. Your endorsement says it all.


Not true in the Midwest at all.


I have something for the open thread:

The "cheese & fruit" bistro box has 38% more protein than the "protein" bistro box. It's 18g versus 13g, for the curious.



jake - where does it say the protein bistro box is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Happier Now

And don't forget if you get promoted internally (and therefore know the business and your employees better), you get extra screwed pay wise. They are the lowest paid SMs out there because the company played their little carrot mind games with you. So much happier now.

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