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March 17, 2012


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What's the big deal? You ask the customer what their names are for the cups, why shouldn't the customer know what the employee's name is...get over it.

Coffee Soldier

Why can't a customer say, "I'd rather not say," if they don't want to give their name? I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't mind giving their name. If enough :rather not sayers: start that and all the grande nonfat lattes start to be taken by wrong customers they will soon realize they should have said their name! I wonder if they refuse to take a # at a deli too for fear someone may call out to #465!


I've always thought that Starbucks' policy of asking for names on cups was an ill conceived and not very successful attempt at creating some kind of "intimate" experience for the customer. The policy is inconsistently enforced--one store asks for my name, another one right down the street doesn't. Either decide that all stores do it or that none do! Another example of Starbucks half-assedness. If you really want to make a connection with your customers, all you have to do is offer a sincere friendly greeting (no name needed!) and prepare their beverages quickly and to order. Stop complicating it Starbucks--what you do is not rocket science!


I hate being asked my name so I can pick up my tea/coffee. Sometimes I give my real name, but usually I give a fake name--a different one every time. I'm not doing it to be a shit (because I don't go in often enough they'd even notice), I'm doing it because the practice creeps me out. It's one thing to give a name for some restaurant reservations, but the fake friendliness is just weird.


What starbucks customers don't realise is that our smiles and general friendly manner is in no way fake. It's genuine. It takes a special kind of person to work for us, and if the above is not in your nature, then you working in the wrong place. We want to know who you are because we want you to feel at home. Starbucks wants to offer you that 'third place'. The place between home and work, where we know your name, and give you that sense of belonging. If that makes you uncomfortable, then something is very, very wrong!


SistaB is right. Starbucks hires personality. I've worked in more than one store and I have never worked with anyone that didn't deserve to be liked a lot. Every single barista I've known has been an outstanding person. P.S. I'm not a young person and I've met a lot of Aholes in my life. But never at Starbucks.


I don't think I've ever heard anyone at a Detroit-area Starbucks ask for anyone's name. Here they mostly still write on cups, too, though there's the rare store that uses a labeler.

We just got Trenta this past week. As a huge iced-coffee fan, this development made my spring/summer! It came completely out of the blue (to me), when a barista suggested I "super-size" my venti IC to the new Trenta size. Yes, please!


That may be the case where you live and work, but it sure isn't that way at the stores in my neighborhood. My local Starbucks' have some of the rudest, laziest, uncaring baristas that I've ever seen. Not all of them, mind you, just ALOT!


There is nothing genuine about Starbucks except their bottom line


ncsm: I appreciate your honesty, and can guarantee you that my comment above is not just simple rambling. I sincerely believe that what I said is true of Starbucks staff. If in fact the baristas working in the Starbucks in your neighbourhood, I would appreciate it if you would report this. Starbucks takes customer service extremely seriously, and uncaring, rude and lazy are certainly not in our job description. Something will most definitely be done about it, if you report this issue. I take great pride in working for Starbucks, and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the company is not tainted by a handful of bad apples that landed in the Starbucks basket.


SistaB@ I commend you for your dedication. I have in fact complained to both managers and district managers about the poor level of service in so many of local stores. I always receive very polite responses thanking me for my feedback and assuring me that steps will be taken to correct the problem. And then--absolutely NOTHING happens! In fairness, I have been told that most of the managers and many of the dms in the area have either quit or been fired in recent months. There seems to be a serious lack of mid management leadership here. Hard to maintain high service standards when the leadership isn't present.

Mrs Katzenellenbogen

I regard it is an invasion of privacy and will shop at Costa in future.


The tried that out in the German market some years back and then abandoned it.

My (actual) name, for example, is very uncommon and I had to spell it every time. Then when they would call me, they would mispronounce it. So it was really, really annoying.

Also, it's just weird: Guys, I don't wanna be your friend. I want you to get me a cup of coffee. ;)


I mean no disrespect Mrs. Katzenellenbogen, but I'm thankful that I don't need to write your name on your cup :)

Bill Lee

Much like this province's liquor buying 'regulation' where you had to sign in (no checking) to get your liquor--a few million John Smiths appeared over the years.
No one blinked an eye.

Still it is very, very foreign and unsettling to civilized people outside of America.

Bill Lee

How about giving various numbers like 2.71028... or 3.14159... or 317, 631, 7499 or other primes. Unique and memorable.


Theodore Q VonWildersteinburgsmithington III

Have them write that on the cup. The entire thing, too.


Dear goddd, its just a name for god's sake, it helps customers not to confused their own drink with somebody elses.. That's not a big deal. If u don't want to give out ur precious name, just give them a fake one, or better, tell them to call u mr/ms awesome, ha! U get ur drink right, and everyones happy, its not that hard u know.
I personally think it must be annoying for the staff to ask every single customers for their names, and expected to prenounce it right too, but I appriciate it that they try, it means they care to make the 'connection' that starbucks always try to offer.
I found some coffee house in my city also do the same thing.


Here in the Seattle area, asking for names is extremely uncommon. I used to work at a Starbucks in SoCal however, and asking for names was mandatory. I think the farther you get away from Seattle, the farther the stores get away from true Starbucks policy. During an extremely crazy rush at my new Seattle store, we tried asking for names and SO many people were completely nonplussed. "You want my name? Why? I don't have to tell you that." Personally, I think asking for names on cups is a waste of time and just leads to too much confusion due to multiple people having the same name or not being able to read someone's handwriting or just unique names being mispronounced. Moreover, if your barista is doing his/her job, they'll get to know your name regardless-- if you choose to get to that level, anyway.

Coffee Drinker

I knew a man who gave restaurant hostesses "Richard Nixon" back in the day.

Have fun with it. "Queen Elizabeth" "Princess Leia" "Adele" . In a pinch, "Bob" is easy.


Actually I think that giving your name to the Barista is important in a few ways. One, it makes your drink YOUR drink. People are very specific and picky when it comes to the way they drink their coffee. Two, it saves the Barista confusion. On a busy day it is easier to write your name and the details of your beverage on the cup pass it on and the next Barista will make your coffee of choice. If this wasn't the case no one would know what to make and you'd end up with a grande mocha chai latte with whole milk instead of the grande spiced chai latte with skim milk that you asked for. Finally, at Starbucks they are hoping to create a constant cliental. They are anticipating the financial analyst from two offices over to come in for his regular morning coffee or the interns from the local hospital making a stop to get her coworkers coffee before the long shift ahead of her. By gaining knowledge of your name they can get a sense of who their regulars are and when they come in their cup is already prepared.
It's all about the simple things in life...


When they ask for my name I always say "big king jizz rod".


I don't mind telling you my name. I do mind you writing it on my cup. Walking around with my name on my coffee is just stupid. It's like being at a convention with a nametag.


Frankly I think that's absolultey good stuff.

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