The Big Starbuck’s Scam of 2008

No, I’m not talking about charging $4 for a latte. I’m not talking about the fact that Starbucks has wormed their way into so many of my MBA classes as a company to be fawned over. I’m talking about their much trumpeted 3 hour employee training that closed every single U.S. Starbucks tonight. I called shenanigans when I first heard about it – this seems far more likely to be a marketing move – get everyone to talk about Starbucks focusing on “quality”, and maybe they’ll come back to Starbucks a bit more often.

There’s no logical reason you have to close a store for 3 hours to provide decent training, and it’s even less likely that you’ll be able to provide decent training at 7,100 different stores at the same time.So what’s involved in this “training”? Apparently it meant watching a DVD on a portable DVD player. I’ve attached a picture of this, though it didn’t come out all that clearly from my Treo, and I felt hurried as the manager inside glared at me and contemplated chasing me away.

I passed by this Starbucks several times during this training. I saw them looking at paper, watching a DVD, sitting arround, but never did I see them actually touching coffee. Not that I saw the whole thing. But it seems really strange that a company that pays above market wages and benefits can’t teach their employees to properly push the espresso button on the machine, write my name on a cup, and read my name aloud when the drink is ready without kicking out customers. Bad stores need better managers, not 3 hours without customers for one day. Does this look like service-revolutionizing training to you?

Starbucks “Training”