Starbucks is Closing for Training? Aw, They Really Do Care

A day of reckoning approaches, friends, for on February 26, 2008, between the hours of 5:30PM and 8:30PM local time, the billion dollar global retail coffee monolith known as Starbucks will close all 7,100 US company-operated stores to train--or, as they call it, retrain--their employees in the elusive art of pulling espresso shots. Well, my word, this is news!

Questions most definitely arise in the wake of this announcement. Is this decision to close for a whole three hours an admission of overwhelming guilt? Perhaps an acknowledgment that, through the many years of endless additions of unrelated coffee product, they sadly lost focus on why they're in the business by not training their baristas well in the first place? Maybe, maybe not.

Either way, let's hope that Mike can get some decent espresso drink justice when he bravely returns to the North Oakland Ave. Starbucks after February 26. But truly, friends, only time--and training--will tell.

Link (via Coffee Talk)

Post originally published by Milwaukee Specialty Food and Coffee.

Views: 16

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Comment by Mary Dally-Muenzmaier on March 15, 2008 at 7:53am
"I believe as Barista's it's our job to educate consumers that that demand can be met in a superior way somewhere else???"

Agreed!
Comment by Dale Harris on March 15, 2008 at 1:26am
I've done a lot of work with the super-automatic machines Starbucks use in the UK. though traditional machines are my passion and focus these SA m/c's fill a market need and if used correctly they can make very good shots (minus all the theatre, skill and passion that brings most of us to this business) provided they're supplied with good starting material i.e. beans.
I honestly beleive that SBx start with a damaged product through their roasting process and even with the greatest Barista and the most perfect mc they would be unable to create a great espresso, capp or coffee experience. Add to that their business model which is fast food through and through and you end up with theBig Mac vs Gordon Ramseys steak sandwich analogy.
Starbucks are amazing at creating and replicating the starbucks experience and a demand for it - I believe as Barista's it's our job to educate consumers that that demand can be met in a superior way somewhere else???
Comment by Alex Brooks on February 13, 2008 at 8:00pm
ai, i do hope
Comment by Stickman on February 13, 2008 at 7:57pm
I sound like a luddite railing against both the man and the machine, huh? But thus far microwave ovens and gourmet tv dinners have yet to spell the end to professional chefs and I think there is more in common with a barista and a chef than there is between a barista and a train conductor.

Until I can say, "Espresso," to the replicator in the galley of my spaceship I'm pretty sure there'll be a position open for a good Barista.
Comment by Alex Brooks on February 13, 2008 at 7:57pm
Lol!
Comment by brett hanson on February 13, 2008 at 7:39pm
It's always good to keep an eye to the future, though...
http://coffeegeek.com/opinions/georgesabados/12-27-2006
Comment by Stickman on February 13, 2008 at 7:34pm
If you're losing sleep maybe you should cut down on your consumption of beautiful, hand-made, crema-rich, syropy, caramelly, espressos.
At Starbucks crema will cost extra for a long time to come.
Comment by Alex Brooks on February 13, 2008 at 7:29pm
lol I hope, but would our generation put a machine in place of a person? naaa not us! this is getting off subject... Whats good for starbucks is good for my job security. They get people used to a $4 coffee. Thats my official position. Tho I am still curious as to what this "training session" entails. I'll probably lose sleep over it.
Comment by Stickman on February 13, 2008 at 6:29pm
No need to worry yet, I don't think. People are what makes a great experience in a coffee shop. You're at least a generation away from losing business to machines...imho
Comment by Alex Brooks on February 13, 2008 at 6:21pm
I know the Franke machines are easily adjusted for extraction times... wonder what's up... I'm scared for the day when a machine can make a "great" espresso... I've heard rumors its already here...

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