Starbucks tells baristas to slow down

(Wall Street Journal) - Starbucks Corp. is telling its harried
baristas to slow down — which may result in longer lines.
Amid customer complaints that the Seattle-based coffee chain has
reduced the fine art of coffee making to a mechanized process with
all the romance of an assembly line, Starbucks baristas are being
told to stop making multiple drinks at the same time and focus
instead on no more than two drinks at a time—starting a second one
while finishing the first, according to company documents reviewed
recently by The Wall Street Journal.
Baristas are also supposed to steam milk for each drink rather than
steaming an entire pitcher to be used for several beverages. Other
instructions include rinsing pitchers after each use; staying at
the espresso bar instead of moving around; and using only one
espresso machine instead of two, according to the documents.
Starbucks says the changes—which it expects to roll out nationwide
and across Canada by next month—are part of its ongoing effort to
make stores operate more efficiently. But some baristas worry it
will create longer lines.
The new methods have "doubled the amount of time it takes to make
drinks in some cases," according to Erik Forman, a Starbucks
barista in Bloomington, Minn., who says his store began making
drinks under the new guidelines last week. Longer lines have
resulted, says Mr. Forman, who is a member of the IWW Starbucks
Workers Union...
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Reply to
will it improve the quality?
nope. just give the customers the illusion they are working harder to make the drinks.
Reply to
the scribe
the scribe writes:
I dunno, maybe some of it might improve quality (the pitcher vs non-pitcher thing does seem a real difference, for instance).
Reply to
Miles Bader
Maybe I've just been spoiled by my experience with more traditional coffee houses in the SF Bay area, but every time I've been to Starbucks I've been amazed at how long it takes it takes the baristas to come up with a simple cappuccino --- it's like it's the first day on the job for everyone behind the counter. I think they just lack experience and are never able to get into an efficient rhythm. To have them slow down any more is going to make for very edgy customers . . .
Reply to
"alan" writes:
No doubt sbux in general have much more inexperienced and lower-grade "baristas" (ugh what a cloying term) than smaller shops, but that may well be exactly what's prompting this change -- they want to stop their slide downscale.
It'll cause some shakeup amongst the "wait in a long line for my morning XXX" crowd, that's for sure, but maybe that's considered an acceptable price...
Reply to
Miles Bader
I never understood the logic of standing in line at Starbucks and such for one's morning cup of joe (or espresso, etc.), especially if one is in a hurry. I've found it to be a lot faster to brew a cup at home. Even making an espresso drink at home isn't that complicated or slow, be it with a dedicated espresso machine or a moka pot.
OTOH, as an afternoon pick-me-up, or while traveling, going to a Starbucks or any quality cafe is definitely a convenient option.
- Peter
Reply to
Peter Lawrence

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