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Posts Tagged ‘Starbucks’

feel goodToday I decided I would stop on my way to work and get a cup of coffee at my local Starbucks. This is not something I do on a regular basis – I was in the mood.

I pulled up to the speaker, ordered, and pulled forward; I was the third car in line to the window. The line progressed quickly and I watched as the car in front of me stopped at the window. The guy in the car started to hand the girl at the window his card and stopped. Obviously, there was some conversation. She handed him his beverage, they completed his transaction, and he pulled forward.

I moved up to the window and as I did I noticed that the guy in the car ahead of me was waving at me. At me? Didn’t make sense. I looked behind me to see if he was waving at someone behind me. The guy in the vehicle directly behind wasn’t even looking. Hmm. I noticed the guy in the car in front was looking at me in his side mirror, smiling and waving. I didn’t immediately recognize him, but then again…

Well, the girl was at the window now and I focused on her. She reiterated my order, I told her that was correct and started to hand her my card. She told me the guy in the car in front of me had paid for my coffee so.. no need to pay. Confusion – why I asked her?

She explained that everyone that morning was paying for the coffee of the person behind them; I wasn’t obligated to continue, but that was how the morning was going. Wow, I thought. I asked her what the order behind me was – she told me. I quickly thought I am not going to be the one to break this, even if it was twice my order cost, and handed her my card – I’ll pay for it, I told her. She laughed, took my card, and shortly handed me back my card and receipt.

“You have a great day,” she said. “You, too,” I replied and pulled forward.

As I pulled away I waved to the guy behind me knowing that he hadn’t a clue on who I was and why I was waving. I drove up to the stop sign and looked back. I saw the girl talking to the next customer; he looked confused. I smiled and thought, I hope he doesn’t break this feel good feeling…

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Allegedly Starbucks pays their supervisors a low wage and expects that they will make up for any pay difference by sharing in the tip money. How crazy is that?

This week a California judge has ruled, in a class action suit, that Starbucks owes its baristers, present and former, “the sum of $86.7 million, plus awards interest of 7%, for tip pool money that the coffee retailer used to compensate shift supervisors.”starbucks.jpg

A former barister went to court over the issue in October 2004 when he felt it was wrong that Starbucks’ supervision should be dipping into the tips.

California state labor laws were on his side as it is explicitly stated that owners, managers or supervisors may not share in tip pools.

David A. Lowe, lead trial attorney stated, “Starbucks was subsidizing labor costs for shift supervisors by diverting money from the tip pools to shift supervisors instead of paying more to them out of Starbucks’ pocket.”

Wow! Life at Starbucks isn’t as wonderful as it looks from the outside!

Hope this doesn’t mean a regular cup of coffee that is now $1.65 will have to go up in price exponentially to make up for the increase to supervisions’ pay and the multi-million dollar pay-out Starbucks will be making…

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On Tuesday, 2/26/08, approximately 7100 Starbucks stores shut down for an expresso tutorial/pep rally. Starbucks “baristas” learned to properly pour expresso into a coffee drink from a shot glass. Starbucks management felt that the mini-training session was well worth some loss in profts in order to ensure that “perfect coffee drink.”

Am I excited over this? No. I’m still waiting for the cost of a regular cup of coffee to drop from $1.69 to $1.00. I liked when Starbucks talked about this idea but I guess the idea died.

The regular cup of coffee doesn’t even require much expertise in pouring it from the pot to the cup and then presenting it to my hand. Hey, I can even pour it myself – I don’t need special training.

Another thought, Starbucks could even sell me the cup for a dollar and allow me to dispense the coffee for myself freeing up the “baristas” for really important drinks requiring special expresso attention. The company should be looking at protecting their investment (barista training on expresso) and unloading the less labor intensive aspects. Right?

Sounds like a good trade-off to me…

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Starbucks’ Star is Fading?

_41210482_starbucks203ok.jpgIt looks like times might start getting tough for the coffee giant, Starbucks. According to an article in today’s BBC News Business Section Starbucks is expecting sales to drop next year as U.S. consumers tighten their belts against the rising costs of food and gasoline. Starbucks is expecting its current customers to go to other establishments that sell cheaper coffee!

If this is the case then why doesn’t Starbucks consider dropping the price of their coffee so that they don’t lose their current customer base? In fact, they may increase their current customer base if they do drop their per cup price. I guess that would be too simple or maybe it’s a matter of pride.

What do you think?

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