Which, you know, I pretty much always am. Or at least that's what I'd like Mr. Daddy to believe. But at least I will admit when I'm wrong, unlike some people. (That sound you hear is all the people I know laughing their heinies off!)
But I digress.
So have you heard the news about Starbucks? They're closing for three hours today for barista training. According to an article I read, Howard Schultz wants all the employees to be re-educated in the "art of espresso."
You know, back in the days when Mr. Daddy was a barista, they used to have to actually pull shots of espresso. It had to be timed just right and if your shot didn't pour for a certain number of seconds it wasn't a good pull and you were supposed to toss it. In recent years, in an effort to speed things up, Starbucks switched to automated espresso machines and all baristas had to do was push a button. Easier? Yes. Faster? Definitely. As good? I don't think so.
Back when Mr. Daddy used to manage a Starbucks he used to have problems with his baristas not making drinks properly. Every drink has a very specific recipe and baristas are supposed to follow that, with the exception of customer directed changes (i.e., an extra pump of syrup, dry, wet, extra hot, etc., though I have always said that customers should be limited to three adjectives per drink!) Mr. Daddy's boss did not support Mr. Daddy's view on this and actually told Mr. Daddy that he shouldn't be so hard on them for not making drinks properly (or actually showing up to work on time -- oh the humanity -- but that's another story altogether!)
This used to infuriate me. See, I'm a huge proponent of excellence in customer service. Add to that the fact that I'm a very strict recipe follower and you have yourself a good old fashioned know-it-all -- me! Have you ever had a mocha with not enough mocha in it? Blech! If I'm going to pay $4+ for a coffee drink, it better damn well be the most delicious thing that ever crossed my lips, you know what I'm sayin'?
And that's another thing, Mr. Schultz. You have 7,100 stores. I know we're all about making a buck, but I think you could afford to cut the cost of your coffee just a little bit. Do you know why McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts are cutting into your market share? Because for the average American, a $2 mocha at Dunkin Donuts tastes just the same as a $4 mocha at Starbucks. I bet if you cut the price of your coffees, your profits would double because more people would buy. Heck, I could sure afford a $2 coffee more often than I can a $4 coffee.
So, go ahead, close your stores for a couple of hours. Train your baristas to make the drinks the way they were meant to made. And next time you wonder what to do? Just ask me. 'Cause I could have told you all of this four years ago.
5 years ago