I thought I would take a quick poll about Starbucks and their treatment of employees. Has anyone had any issues with the company? Treatment?
Doing a film on this and was curious as to thoughts in forum. For a company who spends so much time and effort on the promotion of its employee treatment, it's surprising to learn about what they are doing behind-the-scenes.
However, some of you would know much better than I.
When we opened, we hired one young man who had worked at Starbucks. We though 'cool at one person who will know what a coffee bean looks like". We trained him with all the others and scheduled him to work.
Now I know what I'm about to say is in part to the individual's personality (or lack there of) but it is also in part to the way he was trained before he came to us.
He was arrogant in thinking because he had worked for a big coffee company that he knew more then the any of us (including the owners). His arrogance was transfered to how he handled the customers as well. He honestly thought he was a barista because he had pushed buttons on a fully automatic coffee machine and had tasted various coffees. It was so sad that he couldn't see that his prior training was limited and misguided. He couldn't understand the difference between drinking or tasting coffee as apposed to what is revealed during a cupping. Or the importance to every step of pulling a shot of espresso instead of letting a machine do it all from grind to cup.
Note the past tense... he did not work out for our needs.
i dont know that much about the management team for outside starbucks, here in UAE they only working to get more profit yeah i know thats why we do bussines but it's dosent mean you will forget who's the one get the customer, like what starbucks said be friendly,give customer satisfied all of the time...,baristas try to do it did you know "here in UAE 70% baristas in starbucks working for promotion,30%work by heart coz they have passion on that" there is some words here " when still barista your nice after barista you become evil" what i want to say is yeah its true what Denise said mostly people working in starbucks they think they knows everything and other coffee shop its nothing, they will learn until they get promotion only and after they will forget.
I try to be as fair as possible when it comes to Starbucks, because I think people go a little over board when they're hating on Starbucks. I mean, I hate to say it, but they *are* better than many small coffee shops. I'm at least confident my milk wont be curdled if I was to go there (I've had that happen at two different coffee shops in my town).
Aside from that though, I've only met one starbucks ex-employee or current employee who didn't have anythin but negative stories to tell about the company. If I were you, I would talk to the employees!!!
FWIW I know and have employees great people who have worked for Starbucks. One of my best managers was a former Bucks manager. Like any company 20% of their workforce does 80% of the work and 20% of their workforce is probably worthless.
Love it or hate it, Starbucks is the adventurous older brother of the American coffee scene in that it pushed the concept of espresso and "specialty" drinks to a consumption driven coffee culture early on. While I don't personally care for their specific drink preparation standards, my experience working there for a short time was one that showed a decent amount of interest on the company's end of both communicating what they wanted the employees to value in a certain level of challenge and continued knowledge through certain programs. I was offered insurance and stock options within the first six months of my employment, which is largely unheard of in most other coffee situations on a "barista" level. I find it a bit ironic that people spend so much energy berating the quality of what they do (don't get me wrong, I don't find much to what they do with coffee appealing) when they really broke open the intial concept of espresso as a desirable commodity for American culture.
I find it much to be like any development of standards and quality. There are some that make intial efforts in seeing a certain level of realization in quality development, and there are those who either continue from their own start or take cues from those who set initial quality standards to set themselves to the higher standard continuously. Starbucks is simply a founder of initial standards and still has a place in the market for those who prefer dark roasted coffee and consistency in expectations both in what they taste and see. Not all restaurants are gourmet, not all art comes from van gogh-like people, and not all coffee will be "third wave", and that's okay.
I worked for Starbucks and quickly became jaded. First of all, their coffee is mediocre at best and they're prep methods are even worse. I had a terrible assistant manager. The coffee training was terrible. I had 5 minutes of training and then was thrown on bar in the middle of a rush because they were short people. I hate that they call their workers baristas. I was not a barista. I was a button pusher.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a fan of Starbucks coffee in any way. That being said, I used to work for Starbucks and can honestly say that there is no way anyone can apply huge sweeping descriptions to anyone who has worked there. It is a huge company and therefore employs thousands of people. Can you think of a group that large that can be described without resorting to prejudices? Yes, there are some folks who fit into the "starbucks" category- they think they are the end-all-be-all of the coffee world because they are "coffee masters." However there are also those, like myself, who needed a job and Starbucks was the only place hiring. Yes, there are managers who are not good at their job and who treated the partners badly. There are also those who are amazing and do really believe in work-life balance. I would say however, that it did feel like the folks in Seattle (at the company headquarters) are disconnected to what it is like to actually work in a cafe. If you really want to look at the entire picture and find out the true "behind the scenes" look there.
I had a good experience as a "barista" working for Starbucks. This was 7 or 8 years ago though. Their training was not in-depth at all but they held a cupping and breifly explained where coffee comes from and showed us how to push buttons, pump syrup, and make frappachinos. I had no feeling at all that I was creating quality drinks, more just pushing syrupy bevrages and milkshakes over the counter. They did have pretty good customer service standards though. I felt like I was well respected and an important part of the company. This is pretty uncommon for a company of their size.
I still work for the bux, and while I am sadden by what feels like a loss of passion for coffee - i wouldn't be here or have the love for coffee that I have if it wasn't for sbux. I have tasted and learned a lot about coffee and the roasting process. I do not have an arrogance and think that because I push a button I am a master of coffee but I will argue that I am a barista. I know enough how to tamp and pull a shot on a manual machine. I also know that I am still a beginner in the world of barista's and working at sbux i'll never move past that.
That being said, what keeps me there and not a smaller, better, local shop? The benefits. Starbucks is paying for a part of college. ($750) It isn't much but I am not about to laugh at free money for school. I have fairly decent health insurance that is helping me to afford dental work and medical bills that I would NEVER be able to afford otherwise. My boss give's me any day I want off as long as I ask ahead of time. My work schedule changes almost every few months to change with my new school schedules and I have never been given grief for it. I am appreciated by my boss and doing a good job. I have a 401(k) that they match. I have stock options just for working with sbux worth around $2,000 now (which is a lot when you make less than $20k a year)
So over-all, this company, has treated me better then I might have expected. In my heart I am saddened by the lost passion for coffee but I still believe it is a good company who has treated me and my friends very well with our past few years working for it.
More often than not when I hear people gripe about Sbux it is the person whose the problem not the company. There are a lot of crappy sbux stores out there with bad manages but there are a lot of good stores with good managers too. I am fortunate to have worked in one that is good for the past 3 years.
The knowledge for coffee is there, for those looking. They give a step by step process to do a cupping in store. They allow the employee's to try and french press any and everything in the store. I think that is an overlooked thing, that they encourage employee's to try every coffee. I can walk into my store, grab a bag of coffee, open it and make a french press. I get bonus points if i share the bag with the customers. The knowledge is there, for those who really want to learn, but all too often people expect that they should be paid to learn more and most don't bother to go beyond the basic training.
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