Has Starbucks gone to pieces?
Starbucks today and the Starbucks I worked at in Chicago and set my historical fiction novel Tripio in, would have a hard time recognizing each other. For one, there are about 25,000 more stores and 200,000 more employees around than when I wore the green apron. Those numbers tell the story in the way only numbers can. I thought I would confirm them and at the same time illustrate the change of culture in a different and hopefully humorous way.
So, as I read From Barista to Boardroom, I highlighted ten phrases that were found in Barista and used by some of those 200,000. Barista was published inn 2021 and covered Starbucks growth over the past 25 years. I then took the list and asked the protagonist of my novel, Jay, who is still in 1992, to see what he thought they meant to him his crew of a dozen or so at his store on the corners of Diversey, Clark and Broadway…let’s listen…
The answers from someone who should know
“Jay, would you describe what the following ten terms mean to you and the crew at store #204?
1-“Customer service piece” – “That happens when the doors open.”
2-“Promoted to customer”- “Remembering the customers names, jobs and family members.”
3- “Implementing a new customer relationship management system”- Deciding who’s going to be on the espresso bar at rush time.”
4 -“Project deliverables’- ” Making sure there we’ve ground enough drip coffee ground for the next day’s rush.”
5- “Mentoring relationship’- “Explaining to a customer that Starbucks has nothing to do with that skater, that the logo is not a mermaid, that Starbucks is not a franchise.”
6-“Highly matrixed organization” – “When everyone in the line of customers is all asking the barista, “Is this one mine?”
7-“Brainstorming sessions” – “Where are we going after close tonight?”
8-“Mindshare” – “Knowing the regular customers drinks so well that you start on them before they order.”
9-“Transformation Agenda’- “The weekly schedule.”
10- Partner Resource Director – “Whichever manager counts and divides the tips.