Starbucks tells baristas to slow down

The coffee chain listens to customer complaints and tries to restore the quality of its drinks.

By Kim Peterson Oct 13, 2010 12:54AM
Credit: (© Anthony Bolante/Reuters)
Caption: Starbucks baristaStarbucks (SBUX)baristas know how to make drinks quickly -- a little too quickly, the coffee chain has decided.

The company has begun telling its baristas to slow down, The Wall Street Journal reports. No more frenzied multitasking; baristas are now allowed to make only two drinks at a time.

The new policy might make for longer lines, but Starbucks isn't worried. The take-it-slow approach stems from customer complaints, the Journal reports. Some people weren't happy with the assembly-line feel that hangs over a Starbucks counter.

To make sure baristas take a breather, Starbucks is implementing new rules designed to slow the process. In the past, baristas might have steamed an entire pitcher of milk for speedy latte preparation. Now they must steam milk only for the specific drink they are preparing.

Baristas should use only one espresso machine instead of two, according to company documents shown to a Journal reporter. And they have to rinse pitchers after each use. They can start a new drink only while finishing the first one. Post continues after video:
One barista told the Journal that the new rules have doubled the amount of time needed to make some drinks. The rules are being rolled slowly out over the next month.

So the downside is that people will have to wait longer. The upside? Starbucks says the drinks will be of better quality, with improved taste, temperature and appearance.

Starbucks should be concerned about quality. Company documents say that customers think the chain makes "average" espresso drinks and that the quality can vary by store.

With a growing number of competing coffee shops that truly focus on handcrafted espresso drinks, Starbucks knows it must improve. Let McDonalds (MCD) perfect the assembly-line approach to lattes. Starbucks needs to restore some of the ambiance and distinctive service that attracted customers in the first place.

More from MSN Top Stocks:
12Comments
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

133
133 rated 1
286
286 rated 2
441
441 rated 3
737
737 rated 4
614
614 rated 5
606
606 rated 6
621
621 rated 7
441
441 rated 8
317
317 rated 9
122
122 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
BBBYBED BATH & BEYOND INC10
TWXTIME WARNER Inc10
COPCONOCOPHILLIPS9
HDHOME DEPOT Inc9
VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS9
More

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.