CNN Poll on Starbucks

In case you haven’t heard, Starbucks is closing for training tonight.  
CNN asks: How will you survive the three-hour Starbucks closure?
Visit another coffee shop 9% 5086
Hide under my desk 8% 4626
I don’t go to Starbucks 83% 47400
Total Votes: 57112

Come on people, you go to Starbucks once in a while. Admit it. It’s okay. There’s room for the fantastic independent coffee shop as well as the giant McStarbucks. Even I, who hope to have a lovely little coffeeshop someday, go to Starbucks sometimes.

I like the idea that 4,626 people will hide under their desks.

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Starbucks Closing Early Tomorrow

starbucks-sign.jpgBaristas are getting a bit of learning at the behest of chief Howard Schultz.

And now, he’s closing stores for training that he promises will re-energize baristas and enhance the customer experience. Translation: Baristas will learn how to pull the perfect shot again and steam milk to order, not just press a button on the automatic espresso machine. AJC

Starbucks to Train and Free WiFi

espresso-shots.jpgStarbucks has answered the call. 

Employees are going to get some learning and free wifi is coming. Starbucks is always a good second choice.

The comprehensive educational curriculum for all U.S. store partners will provide a renewed focus on espresso standards that will help ensure the exceptional quality of every beverage. As a result, baristas will be better prepared to share their passion and knowledge with customers. Customers will be able to truly enjoy the art of espresso as Starbucks baristas demonstrate their passion to pull the perfect shot, steam milk to order, and customize their favorite beverage. starbucks

Starbucks: Bring Back Calling

starbucks.jpgRemember the days when Starbucks’ Baristas used to “call” the drink order: “iced tall Americano” or “tall no-foam latte.”

That was part of what made Starbucks special.

Before Starbucks became the McDonald’s of coffee (funny, McDonald’s is going to start selling fancy coffee), I was one of those callers, cranking out the caffeine as a Starbucks barista in Las Vegas, when Starbucks only had a handful of stores there.

Customers loved it. They were mystified. It was entertaining.

Here are the basics in calling: always call size first, unless it’s iced. That way the person making the drinks could save time by grabbing the right cup. If it’s iced, the barista needs to know to grab a plastic cup. Then you would call by order of ingredient.

But now, they cheat and write on the cup.

That’s because Starbucks has had to train people quickly to keep up with store openings. When I trained, we learned for three weeks. We tasted coffees, smelled them, learned how to time espresso shots…It was an art.

Now that Howard Schultz is back as CEO, trying to fix the company’s tanking stock, that’s one thing I wish he’d change. Give the employees more training and make them call drinks. It would make Starbucks more special.

For now, Howard is cutting breakfast.