Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Surviving the day without Starbucks

Have you ever stopped into Starbucks to grab a quick latte, only to find its training day for the new guy behind the espresso machine? Not only do you have to wait in a line that’s almost out the door, but the drink you pick up at the counter is nothing close to what you ordered. And you dare not complain in absolute fear that the process is just going to repeat itself.

Maybe you noticed a few weeks ago when your favorite caffeine dealer, Starbucks, was closed. Your caffiene fix had to wait until the next day (or maybe you just ran down the street to the closest Dunkin’ Donuts).

For 3.5 hours on the night of February 26 across the U.S., Starbucks closed it’s doors to customers in order to collectively train its 135,000 employees.

The training was an effort to “transform the company and reignite its connection with customers.” See the press release here.

Closing 7,100 stores nationwide on the same day may seem a bit drastic. But, their method may actually be genius.

Shutting the doors to the public allowed Starbucks to perfect their craft, all without irritating caffeine-hungry customers. Employees could also learn in a stress-less, customer-free environment, void of an annoyed and growing line behind the counter.

Sure, you may have had to find a substitute for your favorite coffee that evening, but, I bet your non-fat half caff triple grande quarter sweet sugar free vanilla non-fat extra hot foamy Caramel Macchiato was made just right the next day.


Jenny from HRdirect said...

That's awesome to see a company like that believing in the value of training their employees.

I'm floored by lack of customer service skills I see in people who manage counters of shops like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.

Ten people may be waiting in line during the morning rush, and the two people at the counter are talking to each other rather than belting out "how can I help the next customer?"

Hadar Hazay said...

I think that training a new employee in front of customer is very unprofessional. not only it annoys the customer, it also put unessesary stress on the Trainee's.
It's a very smart move of Sturbucks and I think all of the service oriented companies should consider this method of training!

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