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All US Starbucks stores to close tomorrow


jsmeeker
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Yes.. Yours will close. And yours too..

Tomorrow evening, we will come together in an unprecedented event in our company’s storied history.  We will close all of our U.S. company-operated stores to teach, educate and share our love of coffee, and the art of espresso.  And in doing so, we will begin to elevate the Starbucks Experience for our customers.  We are passionate about our coffee. And we will revisit our standards of quality that are the foundation for the trust that our customers have in our coffee and in all of us.

http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/pressdesc.asp?id=833

Little surprised I didn't see this already in this forum. Will this help the troubled franchise? Do you even CARE? Will the streets of the United States be littered with people unable to get their "fix"?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Until Starbucks junks all the automatic espresso machines, a year of pep rallies won't help.

I think this is just the company-owned stores. Franchise owners can choose to close or stay open and I know one local one is staying open. They are open longer hours than many others because they have a drive-thru and cater to commuters who leave very early in the morning.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Until Starbucks junks all the automatic espresso machines, a year of pep rallies won't help.

I think this is just the company-owned stores. Franchise owners can choose to close or stay open and I know one local one is staying open. They are open longer hours than many others because they have a drive-thru and cater to commuters who leave very early in the morning.

it is company owned stores.

As far as the automated espresso machines, Holly. When were they introduced? Was it after Howard Shultz left the company?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Until Starbucks junks all the automatic espresso machines, a year of pep rallies won't help.

I think this is just the company-owned stores. Franchise owners can choose to close or stay open and I know one local one is staying open. They are open longer hours than many others because they have a drive-thru and cater to commuters who leave very early in the morning.

it is company owned stores.

As far as the automated espresso machinesm Holly. When were they introduced? Was it after Howard Shultz left the company?

I think 1 1/2 to 2 years ago in Philadelphia.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I'd love to see a copy of the agenda for the day. I'm assuming all the staff are being paid to spend the day "refreshing" their commitment to good coffee.

As mentioned above not sure what can be accomplished in one day when the automatic machines and the roasting style are at the root of the majority of the problems.

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My husband and I are both Starbuck's baristas part-time. From what we've been told, the three-hour closure (some stores will reopen afterwards, some won't) is focusing solely on espresso beverage standards.

There have been a lot of standards changes lately. Since I'm new, they are pretty easy for me but hubby has been with them for three years and his habits have been harder to break. This mandatory training is meant to get everyone back on the same page.

So far I'm expecting a brief review of the new coffee and milk standards, a letter or video from Captain Howie, and then our manager making us demonstrate our new skills. If there's anything more fabulous than that, I'll report back. :)

"Vegetables aren't food. Vegetables are what food eats."

--

food.craft.life.

The Lunch Crunch - Our daily struggle to avoid boring lunches

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I think it's great they're doing this. The bottom line is, no Starbucks can ever compare to the espresso I make at home. My milk is steamed better, my shots are never bitter nor sour. But I travel a lot. When I'm in Chicago, Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver, I'm going to go to the upscale joints(which are usually cheaper anyway) like Intelligentsia, Stumptown and Vivace. But if I'm in Ames, Butte, or Toledo, I'll hit Starbucks. Many times the milk is overheated, the espresso is bitter or sour, and barely drinkable. I usually just get a 4-shot and pour milk in it, just for my fix. It's servicable. But even with super-autos, the quality doesn't have to be so bad. I hope they do better.

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It's good from a business model to get everyone up to the same standards in a large franchised company. That is what franchising is all about. Standardization.

For those that hope for more meaningful changes. As long as the buying public uses Starbucks as the gold standard of higher end coffee then there will not be any significant changes in their coffee/drink quality.

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True, but I think the general public has no idea what real espresso is. Most people assume that espresso is bitter by default. That's why they douse it in hazelnut syrup or caramel. If the average coffee drinker had a shot from Vivace in Seattle, they'd be amazed at the flavor, all without a drop of milk or sugar.

It's the same with food. Most people don't really care enough to seek out the best quality. They're cool with the bloomin onion and baby back ribs at TGI McFunsters.

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Well, I'm back from training. There were several videos from Captain Howie, he's actually pretty inspiring.

We were all taught the new standards for espresso shots. This includes calibrating the machines more often, using shot glasses so we can visually inspect each and every shot, and only pulling double shots, not singles, as the machines are meant to be best calibrated for double shots.

We were also retaught how to steam milk properly. We had to taste un-aerated milk as well as properly steamed milk, there is quite a taste difference.

I still can't quite believe the financial investment this evening must have been for the company. Just paying all of us for three hours was probably a couple of million, not to mention 3-6 hours of lost business.

Even though this is a part time gig for me, while the real estate market is down, I like knowing we are getting back to basics. Howard's main message to us was that quality and customer connections are the top priorities for us as a company and should be priorities to each of us as individuals.

"Vegetables aren't food. Vegetables are what food eats."

--

food.craft.life.

The Lunch Crunch - Our daily struggle to avoid boring lunches

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thanks very much for the insight.

Of course all the inspiration and retraining means nothing if managers let things get too slack. A lot of people feel that the new standards are also a way of "weeding" the troops, getting rid of people who think it's just an easy part-time job. (Yes, it's part-time for me, but I actually have a lot of respect for the company after seeing how my husband's been treated. A few years ago I thought they were an evil empire.)

It probably sounds cheesy but as a barista I honestly do want to make a great drink and get to know my customer. I was a daily customer in my store before getting hired and always felt like a celebrity when I walked in. Now I try to pass that on from the other side of the counter.

At the end of the day it's JUST coffee. But I was always taught that whatever you job, you do it the best you can. I think that's really what they are trying to reteach us, and perhaps hoping to get rid of those who don't agree in the process.

I hope it works.

"Vegetables aren't food. Vegetables are what food eats."

--

food.craft.life.

The Lunch Crunch - Our daily struggle to avoid boring lunches

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I'm going to midtown later today, maybe I'll stop in. How do I know which ones closed yesterday?

If it was a company owned store (i.e. not in a Target, etc) then odds are it closed.

"Vegetables aren't food. Vegetables are what food eats."

--

food.craft.life.

The Lunch Crunch - Our daily struggle to avoid boring lunches

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