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Starbucks Retrains Its Employees and Promises New Standards

Did Your Starbucks Improve?

As you know — or maybe found out on accident — Starbucks retrained its employees last night. So did it help?

I did a very unscientific poll at the Sugar HQ, and the responses ranged from "I didn't notice anything different" to "Totaaaalllly. It was 100 percent better tasting." Several folks thought the staff seemed more cheerful, but they thought perhaps it was because of the nice weather. Sort of a mixed bag really, but not one complaint.

However if there had been complaints, there's a new policy that would have helped out. Starbucks has stated that if the customer is not happy, it's not happy. The new post-training promise is, "Your drink should be perfect, every time. If not, let us know and we'll make it right."

Another change that also went into effect this morning is that instead of pouring shots straight into the cups, they're going into shot glasses first. This way the baristas can see the quality of the shot, something they didn't do before.

So tell me, have you been to a Starbucks today? If so, have you noticed any changes?


pinkmermaid23 pinkmermaid23 9 years
I used to work at Starbucks and I always had to put the shots right into the shot glass...that was actually the only way the espresso machine worked. It is nice to see the espresso changes colors. I also always re-did people's drinks if they weren't to their liking....I guess I had a really strict boss because we we trained to do all of those things in the first place!
lotta-cooties lotta-cooties 9 years
"on accident" ?? really?
ann418 ann418 9 years
No worries. :)
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
I wasn't catty, was I? :( Totally didn't mean to be. My apologies.
ann418 ann418 9 years
Wow, sorry. I didn't realize we were getting catty over coffee.
Baby-Girl Baby-Girl 9 years
I do drink non-fat lattes, but I find the Seattle's Best and Juan Valdez Cafe better than Starbucks. The dark roasting does make it too bitter.
DMBloyola6 DMBloyola6 9 years
luckyme, thanks for the tip! That's so strange. The whole thing reminded me of when I worked for GAP in college and we'd have these insane Sunday morning meetings that essentially involved being there at 730AM, eating old donuts, and trying to construct new outfits on other sales associates. Very bizarre.
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
Wrong, Ann. If a shot is pulled properly the crema will be beautiful no matter what container it's pulled into. The less you mess with it before adding the steamed milk the better. If you pull it into the shot glass and then pour it into a cup you will destroy the crema by forcing it to mix with the body of the espresso. It's best to pull the shot directly into the cup, but if you must use a shot glass- like when the drink is large and the cup won't fit- the shot must be poured carefully and against side of the cup so the crema remains on the top. I have been a barista for over 12 years, I know my shit. ;) I'm not at all surprised that Starbucks employees weren't checking the espresso quality before serving, but you do *not* need to use a shot glass, you just have to use a clock and your eyes to make sure the crema is that certain caramel colour and marble-like appearance, and your nose. An experienced barista can smell a good vs. bad shot.
Jessamae22 Jessamae22 9 years
"Several folks thought the staff seemed more cheerful, but they thought perhaps it was because of the nice weather." haha, for some reason that quote made me laugh:):) Anyway, didn't notice much of a difference this morning...I've been gravitating more towards a local coffee shop here...they have so many fun drink combos, I'm getting addicted!
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 9 years
starbucks has its ups and downs but i like it!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I hate starbucks, too bitter and expensive. I go to Barneys.
sarlafrock sarlafrock 9 years
p.s. - they do claim to be fair trade, but if you look into their policies and go to the coffe farms in Africa (I have) you see the truth. Just some helpful info for those who care.
luckyme luckyme 9 years
DMBLoyola (LOVE DMB, by the way), one of my really great friends is a barrista, and she told me that if they didn't show up, it went on their "record" as a no show, no call. Maybe their manager was particularly lenient, but I'm pretty sure it was required. Quite honestly, I think they did this because of the layoff's. I think it was an employee confidence building thing.
sarlafrock sarlafrock 9 years
I'm with Syako. Starbucks coffee is not fair trade. And that is apalling!
syako syako 9 years
I don't like starbucks :( I think their coffee tastes gross and I think it's better to support local coffee shops, ya know, mom and pop shops! ;)
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
Starbucks could never be better to me, because I hate all of their coffee. Their fruity drinks are nice, though.
ann418 ann418 9 years
Nope, it took the drive-thru by my house 15 minutes to make my drink yesterday (and it was wrong) and 15 minutes today (but it was right)! I'm not sure 3 hours will really make a difference. My boyfriend and I have worked at coffee shops, Starbucks and local, for years in the past, and honestly it's all in the experience of the barista. Kayla and September - there are different techniques when it comes to pouring shots. If you pour the shot right into the cup, you don't get the crema (the yummy stuff that baristas use to make pretty designs on the top). If you pour right into the cup, the shots can turn out bitter because you get all of the residue from the pour. Some places do it this way, and some don't. It all depends on where you go! :)
MsMO MsMO 9 years
I noticed nothing with my Cinnamon Dolce Latte or my daughters hot chocolate. I did get a free sample of a Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte though. I asked what they tasted like and viola, free little skinny :P. I didn't like it by the way.
Kayla-Cupcakes Kayla-Cupcakes 9 years
My baristas at all of the starbucks in my area ALWAYS pour into shotglasses. Weird
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 9 years
My starbucks barista always poured the shots into shot glasses before putting them in the cup...I thought all of them did that.
Lolafox Lolafox 9 years
funny thing, i usually never go to starbucks. but today i went twice. go figure. i didn't notice anything different. my baristas are always pretty nice. just needed the extra jolt today hence the two trips.
lexichloe lexichloe 9 years
I went today. I ordered the skinny cafe mocha. The barista made sure I had tried the sugar-free syrup before, b/c alot of people don't like it. They were nice and helpful, and the coffee was good.
DMBloyola6 DMBloyola6 9 years
I go to a Starbies in my neighborhood Pavilions. They had up the signs for their new drinks, so I asked about their training last night. They told me they DIDN'T HAVE TO DO IT, but that their manager would be doing it in a few days. Thought that was interesting. In any case, they were wonderful as always, very personable, know my drink by heart. They rock, extra training or no!
Sunny-Rodgers Sunny-Rodgers 9 years
My manly Barista at the Starbuck's in Calabasas must still be waiting to become an actor because he still wasn't happy with his job today. :( Maybe if he'd "act" happy, things would go better for him. Obviously the 3 hour training didn't sink in for him.
wingedkiare wingedkiare 9 years
I didn't have any coffee, but my Carmel Apple Cider was extra great - and they were extra personable.
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