Starbucks tells baristas to slow down
The coffee chain listens to customer complaints and tries to restore the quality of its drinks.
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.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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