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February 29, 2012


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Why is anyone encouraging this? It's bad enough baristas have to look like idiots, now customers should buy this book so they can look like idiots too? There is nothing wrong with ordering a medium latte. I don't get who wants to order at Starbucks so well that they're buying an instructional guide.

Peter Olafson

Not something I'd be likely to read myself -- I drink my coffee black -- but the persistence of the So-and-So for Dummies line suggests this might sell.


Kenneth, this is a very cute idea but please change your website. White on dark green is impossible to read. I know you are echoing the Starbucks colors but you are doing yourself a disservice because your website is unreadable.

Coffee Soldier

I could read it just fine...I like the about the author part. Managed hundreds of employees over 4 years...his turnover must have been horrendous! I wonder if he could not legally use the word partners?


Sorry but no. I'll encourage people to not buy it. Sorry, anyone could write this. I could and so could millions of others. You know he's shared some secrets that should not be shared. He'll be sued. the book won't make it. The end.


I say Hooray for Kenneth. The book looks fun. Starbucks has an enormous fan base. If you work there you understand the cultlike following of Starbucks. I am just happy for a partner who was motivated to communicate our menu better to paying (and TIPPING) customers. Disappointed in the comments that are so negative. Leave the bitterness for something that matters, like not enough labor hours and QASA stress.


Hi Guys,

Thanks for the genuine comments. I can speak to a few of them and give you some clarification:

- I haven't had any other concerns about the white text on green background but I'll take another look at it.

- I worked in a lot of stores and moved around a lot specifically to train partners.

- Certainly, I haven't shared anything in the book that Starbucks would consider "secret".

- The book is simply meant to be fun for those who are enthusiastic about the topic. There is some fun information and some fun stories in there. That's all it is.

- QASA....ugh.


Kenny, here is some reading on the readability of inverted color schemes. Lots of fun comments.

Reading light on dark gives me eyestrain and headache. If I remember right, when Malcolm Gladwell did his blog, he started off with white on black and got so many complaints that he switched.




Thanks for the info. I flipped it and I have to admit: I like it better. Nice call.


I had the pleasure of working with Kenny in upstate NY. It's rare to find a partner that always gives 100% and is enjoyable to work with. Luckily for me, Kenny is both. Although neither of us are with that store now, he'll always be considered family there.
It's nice to see a book written about Starbucks that doesn't bash it. This seems like it's just a fun, informative read.
I wish him much success with the book.


So much better, Kenny, thanks. It's great you are so open to constructive criticism.

Some years back Starbucks had its own little "how to order" book. We had it in English and some of the other locations had it in English and Spanish. I passed out a lot of them because customers seemed to find them really helpful.

Now, all you need is for your apron to include a Starbucks logo.


Is there a chapter on proper placement of the tip jar?


I remember that little book and I agree that customers found it helpful.

Re: Starbucks logo - it's called being overly cautious.

Re: Tip jar - nothing about the tip jar. But I would think that a customer who better informed and happier with their service/drink will tip better.

Shout out to upstate NY!


Not that I know every detail of the book, but isn't it in the company policy to not disclose company information for outside gain?


Re: Osgood9

A common question. Certainly I wouldn't have gone this far with it without some solid legal advice. I can shed a little light for you...

- There's no proprietary information about Starbucks in the book, obviously.

- A majority of the book isn't anything close to company info, just related info: info about coffee, tea, caffeine, customer quirks, skills that make a good barista, etc.

- Also, with beverages, a latte is a latte and a mocha is a mocha at every coffee shop. I left out drink recipes and focused on drink components.

Hope that clarifies for you.

Mr. Who

As for the cup markings on the cover - the correct way to mark a syrup is the amount, then the symbol for the syrup. No dashes, lowercase p's, colons, or the like. So unless the fun cup markings are advertising a couple peppermint beverages, the book already contains errors.


Re: Mr. Who

A debatable point but one taken nonetheless. A lot of stores use lowercase p's so the pump amount isn't mistaken for shots.

Thanks for the comment.


This just interests me in terms of whether or not one can be sued for this sort of thing. Not for revealing any particular secrets, but for using the Starbucks brandname for monetary gain. I'm ignorant of the topic and curious about how that works.


Re: frapatte

I can shed some light for you...

- There's no defamation involved.

- I'm not selling under any trademarked names, symbols, or logos.

- I'm not pretending to sell as Starbucks.

Those are your general criteria. A perfect example would be the book "How Starbucks Saved my Life"


you can't sell this book! all employees when they sign their new hire package sign off on just this. all starbucks information is confidential and can't be discussed or disclosed-no matter how small.


I've seen cafes use lower case p for pump. But never understood breaking standards for this. A number alone with the type of syrup already indicates this. There is no need to add to that. So yes, it's incorrect.

Coffee Solider

I'm assuming he doesn't work for the company anymore??? And in that case, Starbucks cannot do anything to stop him. I hope he makes a ton of money and is much happier then he ever was at Starbucks!

Coffee Soldier

oops spelled my own name wrong!

That Guy

@Mr. Who
Was it hard to find something to comment on? Was that really headline news that you had to bash the book for "inaccuracies".

Long Timer

Good luck Kenny. I find it amusing that people continue to say that this can't be done for legal reasons etc. It's obvious Kenny has secured proper legal counsel prior to investing time and energy into this project.


This is going to be squashed by Sbux very soon.

Business Is Not A Charity

Why would anyone donate money to a profitable enterprise like this? If the book is as good as he claims, then he won't have any problem selling enough copies to cover his printing costs.


Because you have to publish the book first. Books don't just appear. Negative Nancy.

Business Is Not A Charity

teagal: He could take pre-publication orders, he could find investors, or he could take out a loan. But it's weird for a business venture to ask for donations.


and the p for pumps is often confused with p for peppermint


Actually "Business is not a charity" it isn't weird at all. Haven't you heard of Kickstarter? People donate for all kinds of things. YOU don't have to donate anything, but others should if they want to. Kthxbye.


I really don't think there is anything to be learned by someone that would perpetuate incorrect cup marking on a guide book about customization and ordering for the consumer. Taking a liberty with something so simple, in my experience as a store manager, meant partners usually were taking liberties in other areas of drink production, ie. not following standards. Once again--no "p" when specifying the pumps of syrup. R1 is correct, it is confused with peppermint.

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