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January 20, 2013


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Some of the barristas up in Boston have had aprons embroidered with their names for a quite a while now...


Stupid. The end.

Starbucks Gossip webmaster

No harm in knowing the name of the barista who serves me every day.


Much better than the side-of-hat names that some NYC Starbucks have had for a while. Good move.


Some of my friends work for Starbucks, and the last thing they want is for their customers to come up to them in the grocery store or at the mall because the customer knows their name. The barista likely won't remember the names of hundreds of customers, which will make an awkward interaction. I see the point of customer connection with the name tags, but I personally don't agree with it.

A former partner

Lame. Just like names on cups are lame.

Names should be learned as a natural consequence of connecting with one another.


personally against it as I had a stalker situation happen at my old store...man found out my name, eventually found out where I lived and started following me everywhere. Had to move, transfer stores and get a restraining order.
Connecting with a customer is a good thing, but I would rather someone get to know my name through conversation and them being able to read it on a tag.


If a 'stalker' wants to know your name, they'll get whether or not your names is on an apron. As soon as you head into the back room, they'll just ask another little naive barista. #truthbetold

barista in nova

I'm a Barista and I don't care either way. But for our store, we have approx 15-20 partners and only 4 name tags! Today we were already down to 2. Whatever.


I'm surprised name tags weren't required before now... Every retail/food service job I've ever had EVER requires name tags, including the B&N cafe I'm currently at.


I had issues with an ex at work - tire slashing and whatnot. I'm not comfortable with wearing a nametag with my real name.

Fake names everyday! Today, I was Lt. Deb Morgan. Tomorrow, I will be Mrs. Cumberbatch.


It does make things easier if a customer wants to talk about (i.e. complain) about an employee instead of saying "You know, it's the girl (10 girls in the store)...she's a brunette (everyone is)...she's kind of short (alright, that narrows it down to 8)..." so on and so on.


Considering Starbucks has a corporate identity program that doesnt allow for deviation, it seems surprising they would allow hokey hand written name tags, rather than having them engraved with the baristas name.

Grande Latte

In case you haven't seen it check this out.

This is how it is in downtown Chicago.


"Why am I calling you by your first name? I don't even know who you are. I still call my boss Mr. I've worked for him for 7 1/2 years, I walk in here and all of a sudden I'm a total stranger, I'm calling you Rick and Shiela, like were in some kind of A.A meeting. I don't want to be your buddy Rick, I just want a little breakfast."

This is the EXACT situation that Starbucks is pushing on it's employees and customers.

These people are so fake it makes me sick, and I downright REFUSE to change my personal identity to satisfy profit I never see.

AND NOW when a customer insults you he can cut into you deeper, using your name.


Megan: who said:
"one of my friends work for Starbucks, and the last thing they want is for their customers to come up to them in the grocery store or at the mall because the customer knows their name. The barista likely won't remember the names of hundreds of customers, which will make an awkward interaction. I see the point of customer connection with the name tags, but I personally don't agree with it."

This has actually happened to me. I was in the check out lane and this random creepy guy comes up to me and says, "Your David right? You work at starbucks!" Previously I had been mugged and had a suspicion this person was him. The very fact that he knew my real name and where I worked freaked me out enough. I told him that I was Paul and I get the whole David thing a-lot.
The way around this I found is to sacrifice your name for the workplace, and come up with a name for yourself OUTSIDE of work. So people will think your real name is a fake name, leading to confusion via deception.
My mother gave me my name, and it was chosen and communicated via ways unknown to her from a Divine Spirit/God/etc. I feel ALL NAMES are this way. To think I have to give that up for my safety is outrageous! It would be different if it was aliens, but it's psychotic entitled customers with inflated ego's.


Someone reading my name off a tag does not constitute a connection. If you want my name, ask. They did this back in 2004 and it failed then, for the same creepy stalker reasons it will this time. My store is not in the nicest area, and the last thing I want is random crackheads knowing my name.

Barista Ben

I could care less if people know my name. It's not like if someone is going to attack me / stalk me / mug me - a name tag will be the tipping point.

I don't think I will ever say "if not for this name tag, you'd never have figured out my name or where I go on my time off!"


I believe that it is okay to use your middle name on your name tag as well or a nickname (ie Elizabeth = Liz, Beth, Liza, etc.)


Having been with the company now for almost 9 years I find this move laughable. When I first started with the Bux it was seen as a very desireable job and people really want6ed to work for this company. We seemed to be so different from all the other "quick" food service places.

As the years are passing Howard is taking us closer & closer to being just like McD's. Tacky name tags, sell tacky crap, take away benefits a little at a time.

The Bux used to be unique and now it is just another corporate giant.


bart: rather than having them engraved with the baristas name.

Somebody already figured out that barista turn over would drive the engraved name tag bill sky high.

I <3 music

Customer care has been lacking since labor cuts. This is their fix. It won't fix all of the problems. It's a jok.

Exfl barista

"We don't have name tags because we're not McDonalds"- my ASM on my first day way back in 2005.

Is funny how so many things were seen as a point of pride back then have changed -- free drink "punch cards," no commercials ("we don't have to advertise!") flavored coffee, instant coffee, etc.

Oh well- I guess it's naive to assume nothing would change. It was a good place to work for all those years.


I'm one of those baristas who doesn't like it, but that said, it's my job, and it's not that big of a deal. The vast majority of service workers at most companies wear nametags, it's nothing new. I think people are being a little dramatic.
You can always put your nickname on the tag rather than your actual name if you feel that's too personal. While I find it funny how much corporate has changed their tune, nothing SB does surprises me anymore. I also wouldn't be surprised if this doesn't last.


FYI: we have been told by our SM & DM that nicknames are not allowed. Real names only on our tags.


"My mother gave me my name, and it was chosen and communicated via ways unknown to her from a Divine Spirit/God/etc. I feel ALL NAMES are this way. To think I have to give that up for my safety is outrageous!"

Unless your name is Rumpelstiltskin, I don't really follow you.


i work at Starbucks and i think its stupid just like asking customers for their names...writing it on every F*****G cup. it take away from "speed of service". Starbucks demands SOO much from their employees and gives back nothing. and the customers who order drinks and "forget" to take them...so stupid. Starbucks is not what it use to be and the customers seem to get stupider by the day.

oh and the reason they are doing the name thing is to identify and link Barista to the service they provided. Starbucks could care less about employee safety.....hope to be out of Starbucks soon.

Coffee Master

I don't know about you guys, but the partners and I at my store have had our names stitched into our aprons for the past year and a half.. Never had any type of problem come from it either..

The name tags do look tacky though. It should be stitched or not on there at all.


My understanding from baristas at my store is they are to get aprons with their names embroidered on them. The clip on nametags are an interim measure. I don't see a problem with customers knowing the name of their server since they have to give a name for their drink cup.


Downtown Barrington IL used to have the best Starbucks! They brewed decaf coffee all day and were one of the few stores where you didn't have to settle for the "pour over" which is like Folgers instant coffee.

Now a new manager has come in and decided they lose $20 a day on brewed decaf so it has been stopped. I wonder if they factor in the other spending they will lose when I stop visiting for my afternoon decaf!

Any other brewed decaf lovers our there?


I'm okay with it. Enough silly rants.


A nametag, embroidered or chalk-penned, does not identify one who is skilled at customer service.

His or her skills do so.

End of story.


"one of the few stores where you didn't have to settle for the pour over which is like Folgers instant coffee."

The only real difference between pour over and the brewing urns is that the water is poured through the ground coffee manually instead of mechanically. It's the same coffee and the same water and the same basic process.

I'll admit the wait is annoying, both for the baristas and the customer, but a savings over $7000 a year puts it into perspective.


@ Mr. Decaf.... Spoiled much. So you want them to waste coffee each and every day for your one cup of decaf? Ask them to brew it in the urn instead of the pour over. They won't mind, but to think it should be there all night when you are the only one who orders it is wasteful.

Grande Latte

How does some stranger knowing your first name put you in danger? Get over it.

And that manager in Barrington, while he may be saving 7K a year, knows nothing about taking care of his customers. He fails to see the big picture. Sounds like corporate.

just saying

..tell the farmer who has to pick cherries from sun up to sun down that their hard work is just getting poured down the drain as 'taking care of customers' and you may see another big picture.

each coffee tree only produces about 1 pound of coffee per harvest.

if 3 pounds are going down the drain in EACH store, EVERY day...that's some wasted effort - never mind the cost savings.

Grande Latte

The farmer is getting paid for it whether or not it goes down the drain. The farmer just wants his money just like the rest of us. Get off your high horse. And like the SNL "commercial" would say, "Just sayin'"


The quality of a pour over should be no different than that of a brewed cup of coffee, if it is done correctly and with freshly ground coffee. A tall or grande takes less than a minute to make. and then you're guaranteed a fresh cup of coffee, instead of some decaf that's maybe been sitting in that urn all night because nobody orders it.

...just sayin.


So ... Howie and his buddies spent a bunch of money on nametags but we still don't have our total pay package back?

Grande Latte

decaf should be in an airpot, not an urn. And it shouldn't be sitting longer than thirty minutes. Refusing to either make it in the brewer instead of a pour over is lazy and not good customer service. The pour over, even if done well is not the same. But then again some can't tell the difference. Just sayin'.


Wow! After all of these years, SBUX FINALLY went the name-tag route.

"Back in the day" when the Company thumbed their noses at name tags (yes, to encourage us to build relationships with the customer) ... chalk this up to one more "let's be like our competitors."

PS: Remember the days when you could earn your name on the apron (nicknames even!) when we handed out MUG Awards or earned the five Green Apron cards?


Starbucks is showing commercials for Blonde Roast and every store is having tons of $$$ taken out of their P&L to pay for it. Howard said we'd never have name tags, drive thrus, or sell sandwiches. Looks like he is quietly selling his company down the river. Hold on tight!!

just saying

grande latte: when you waste more, you devalue the product (and it's production) as a whole.
If we sell only 1 cup per batch then the batch is only worth one cup. even if the farmer is being paid for their work - the work becomes less valuable the more we waste, since the value only comes from the end product not the beginning.

so while it may seem high and mighty to think of the people who produce the beans when not wanting to waste it - it's actually not.
In the end it profits the farmers and pickers way more when the end product is more valuable.

Julicifer McJiggis

You ask us for our names, so lets have yours back. Even Wal Mart has name tags. You no better.


I have still yet to hear one good reason against name tags. I don't really care either way, it's just funny how angry some people get for no reason.


Baristas at my Starbucks began wearing these yesterday. One gal hates them apparently (not sure why) but another one says it is no big deal. I like it personally. I like to know their names.


"You ask us for our names, so lets have yours back."

If you really believe this, then why not just ask for a name? At least my store is full of pleasant customers with some sense of social courtesy and will delightfully say "Oh, my name's Bob, what's yours sir?"


We've had them in the UK since last summer? Oddly enough we were told ' They're doing it in the states?! ' ha ha


If I recognized a SBUX barista on the street and said hi to him/her, whether s/he did or didn't wear a name tag on the job wouldn't influence me one way or another. If I didn't know the person's name, I'd say, "I think I know you from Starbucks." Of course I'd try to be aware of the cues as to whether the barista wanted to continue the conversation.


Me being shy (both as customer and as partner), it's hard to get courage to ask ones name, even if you do see them often. I feel like even though you are seeing them on a daily or weekly basis, sometimes it just feels awkward to ask their names if there was never a formal introduction to begin with. I feel like name tags take away the pressure of asking the awkward "so.. I see you everyday, what's your name?". Since the name tags, I've had customers ask me questions by name not by "hey you", I've gotten compliments on the customer voice surveys (which always feels awesome), and it's just easier when there's a line out the door and you have no time to sit there and introduce yourself to every customer. I understand that in some places name tags might be a safety hazard but then again, but as many people have said if someone wants to know your name and personal information there are a lot of other ways to get it. Who cares if Starbucks is trying to make a profit? All in all, it is a business and a business will adapt to make money, Starbucks is no different. If you really hate the ideals, there are plenty of "indie cafes" to work at where you can be an individual and hate on the consumer.

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