Forest Hill Village
IMPROVING THE BARISTA EXPERIENCE
Founded in 1971
Operates in 55 countries
Full time employees as of Aug 2013: 151 000
Total Annual Revenue in 2012: $13.29 Billion
Total Stores in 2012: 17, 572
-People talking about
Starbucks outside of
-All the regulars
-They’re all regulars
- Trusty coworkers!
-I want to go
-Coworkers/friends -Orders all day long
-Manager telling me to
take out nose ring
though I can’t
tired to leave
-How people think
Starbucks is a cool
place to work???
-All the cups from Tea.. Can’t stand
Starbucks I own, in coffee
which I drink tea
Tea that is not
- I don’t want
to go back..but
#1 Customer Service
• From a business standpoint, I believe Starbucks could change how it views customer service and
their Baristas. Their determination for World Class customer service has gone overboard. Yes, it
makes for an awesome experience to have your drink remade if you’ve spilled it even though
that’s your fault, but our policies make it so that baristas are disrespected constantly and feel
utterly degraded. Their policies and high prices allow for disrespect to their employees.
Ex. Customer asks for a 190 degree no foam latte. Barista makes drink a few mm short of the
rim. Customer gets mad that we’re cheating them out of product, when really we just don’t want
to spill that on our hands because no foam lattes spill on our hands all the time. Barista kindly
explains this. Customer is still mad and makes Barista steam more milk even though there are 10
drinks in line.
• An improvement would be to still provide great customer service, but allow your Baristas to
make certain decisions.
• Starbucks is famous for their language of customizing drinks.
Ex. Half Decaf, solo, Grande, Nonfat, No foam, 190 degree, 2 raw sugar Latte.
• Starbucks target audience is everybody from all walks of life. We are not to judge them for
who they are, and they are encouraged to personalize their drinks. One common complaint
from Baristas, and pretty much all my coworkers, is that we are not allowed to show tattoos
or piercings, dye our hair any unnatural colour, have crazy haircuts, or look any way out of
the ordinary…even though we work in a coffee shop. If customers are encouraged to be
unique, why can’t Baristas? Considering probably 98% of Baristas and supervisors are
young people and students with a high turnover rate, I believe all Baristas would be happier
if the dress code was less… militaristic. In fact, when I show my tattoos and wear my
piercings when my manager isn’t around, I get a tonne of compliments and end up talking
to customers more because we have something to talk about.
• Music: Starbucks does not allow its employees to play their own music. They provide preset
playlists we can choose from. Recently, Starbucks created an 80’s playlist that everyone is
loving. It makes working their so much more fun, and dealing with difficult customers so
• Ex. When Baristas play their own music at night when the manager isn’t around…
Customers are constantly asking us what is playing because it is so good.
• A better experience for everyone would be if Starbucks obtained some sort of licensing
with iTunes or some other company. This way, Baristas can play what they want (within
reason of course). Even during off peak hours, this would be beneficial. If royalties are
too expensive, perhaps Baristas playing their own paid for CDs shouldn’t be prohibited.
• Garbage can next to espresso machine so we don’t have to turn around and walk 4 steps to
throw away the tip of a milk bag. We have taken to placing a short cup next to the machine
to throw things away, but that is a health code violation and also incredibly wasteful. Every
year we waste at least 365 cups.
• Shorter counter space at hot bar and especially at cold bar. Syrup pumps are much too far
and make it difficult to reach. Everything we use is too far back on the counter, making us
have to bend over the counter to reach things like the blender. A smaller ice bin that isn’t
incredibly hard to open would also make working easier.
• Shorter counter space at POS systems. We constantly have to go on tip toes to see over the
pastry case to take orders, and also lean over the counter to hear customers because they
don’t speak loud enough and it’s loud behind the counter.
• Forest Hill Village Starbucks serves mostly this one little community,
meaning that it is always busy, and all the seats are taken by PhD students
with their laptops using the place as an office. Most of these people are very,
very nice people and we enjoy having them there, so we need to create more
space. If we put a counter between the two espresso machines, Baristas
could actually use the espresso machines and not have to walk around each
other to hand off drinks, making everything much safer and ergonomic. The
bar area should be turned into more seating, possibly with plugs. This would
create more space, and also more opportunity to chat with customers.
• Pamphlets explaining our naming conventions and describing the best way to
order a drink would simply make our lives much easier. They could have
charts to go through the steps. Not only would our lives be easier, but it
would help us provide better customer service.
• Ex. Customers constantly order drinks and move on to their next drink
without saying a size. By the time we get to ask them what size so we can
write it down on the cup, we’ve forgotten their drink and have to go through
the whole order again.