Starbucks Doesn't Care If You're In A Hurry

In an effort to make your stay at Starbucks as long as possible, the company is telling baristas to slow down and make no more than two drinks at a time, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal, which says it has reviewed company documents detailing the need for the slow-down, says that the policy is a reaction to customer complaints about so-so quality and taste inconsistencies. To that end, Starbucks isn’t just asking baristas to make fewer drinks at a time.

Writes the paper:

Baristas are also supposed to steam milk for each drink rather than steaming an entire pitcher to be used for several beverages. Other instructions include rinsing pitchers after each use; staying at the espresso bar instead of moving around; and using only one espresso machine instead of two, according to the documents.

The policy changes are expected to roll out to all North American Starbucks by next month. But some of those who have already begun working under the new regulations say it’s only slowed down the workflow.

One barista in Minnesota tells the Journal that the new policies have “doubled the amount of time it takes to make drinks in some cases.”

Starbucks tut-tuts these concerns, saying, “As with any new behavior, it will take time for baristas to become comfortable with the new method.”

The company says the new single-serve steaming policy “ensures the quality of the beverage in taste, temperature and appearance,” while its two drink at a time limit “reduces possibility for errors.”

However, Starbucks does confess that some drinks will take longer to make because of the new policies. In such cases, employees are to “let the customer know their beverage will take a little longer and may be out of order due to the time it takes the milk to settle and the foam to rise to the top (approximately 60 seconds).”

Do you think this will cause a long-lasting slowdown in beverage service at Starbucks? Or will baristas eventually catch up to where the time difference is negligible.

At Starbucks, Baristas Told No More Than Two Drinks [WSJ]

Comments

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  1. SonarTech52 says:

    Is it weird that I have never been to a starbucks? Am I the only one?

    • Tongsy says:

      Yes, you’re the only person who has never been to a starbucks.

    • ktetch says:

      never been either. Never caredto. Don’t drink that foul muck. I’ve got my 36oz mug of hot tea I brew myself (brew for 5 hours, then a small splash of milk)

      • GrantRyan says:

        How would you know if you’ve never been? Also their fake coffee drinks (like Pumpkin Spice latte) are heavenly.

        • ktetch says:

          When we visit friends in Atlanta, one of them always has to go. I’ve also been past the ones in bookstores. Just doesn’t even smell nice. Most of the tea they sell is weak stuff too. I buy only the best imported british mass-market teabags (PG tips pyramids)

          • yusefyk says:

            Funny to see someone be so stuck up about tea in bags, its like being a connoisseur of fast food restaurants.

        • Gramin says:

          The PSL is not a fake coffee drink. It’s not coffee, it’s a latte!!! Geez. And it contains shots of espresso.

          • GrantRyan says:

            Fine, fake latte. The point is that everyone knows Starbucks is to coffee as McDonalds is to burgers. Not real, not the best, but damn delicious sometimes.

    • msky says:

      Ive never been there either. I used to live in NYC midtown, where there is a starbucks accross the street from starbucks.

      • heybebeh88 says:

        Shoot, man, there’s a Starbucks across the street from a Starbucks in suburban “downtown” Chula Vista, CA.

      • BocaMan says:

        I wish I can say the same thing. Since moving from NYC, I often have no choice down here in Floriduh. Visiting friends in midtown, you better believe there’s no setting foot in the Starbuck’s across the street… Zibetto, Joe, etc… support the little guys!

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      We’ve had Starbucks in Madison for about 10 years. I have only patronized them during the last 3, and only then because there is one in a location far, far away from any other coffee alternatives (besides gas stations). The thing about Starbucks in Madison though, is that there are several local, top-quality coffee roasters and many, many local coffee shops that kick Starbucks ass. They survive because we have a fairly large contingent of students from either coast, but I think that’s the only reason.

    • Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

      My then-girlfriend, now my wife, used to crow proudly that she’d never set foot in a Starbucks- right up until I dragged her into one. Now she’s a regular.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      You’re not the only one. I like regular coffee and don’t really understand their ordering system.

    • eccsame says:

      I bet you don’t own a television either.

    • anker says:

      Never been to one either, but I pass it every day.
      Love my home brewed maxwell house.
      I’ve been tempted though, every fall people seem to fall all over themselves for the pumpkin spice latte. What’s that all about?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I love pumpkin and cinnamony spices. A really hot pumpkin spice latte is my signal that fall has arrived because I love to drink one when it’s blustery and chilly outside. When I don’t need caffeine, it’s apple spice cider all the way.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        I like those flavors but find that drink to be bland. The peppermint mocha (which you can get year-round) is really good.

    • pdj79 says:

      I got a hot chocolate there once 5 years ago…it was overpriced and the chocolate flavor was pretty weak. Never again.

    • outis says:

      Had them twice. Had to explain how to make my drink the first time, and a coworker bought me a drink from them once. I’m a bit of a coffee nut but I can’t say they were bad. They were thoroughly mediocre. The price was what I’d expect from a high-end coffee house though, so I think I’ll stick to brewing my own and occasional visits to the holes-in-the-walls.
      Can’t really say I understand the hatred someone’s choice of coffee establishments engenders however.

    • Stiv says:

      I’ve been in a handful of times. Once when I was serving jury duty and couple of other times while traveling (airport and hotel). I found it amusing that they used to have two Starbucks on Congress Ave here in Austin within just a couple of blocks of each other….

    • rookie says:

      I had never been up until this last spring. I got three $10 gift cards for Christmas, how are these decisions made? *shrug* I used the last of the last one in August. I brew cold-brew my coffee at home. Very smooth…

    • drjayphd says:

      Yup. Kinda like an old editor of mine who had never been to McDonald’s. Yes, they do exist.

    • lexsaur says:

      It’s not weird, but it’s also not interesting.

    • kenskreations says:

      No, you are not alone. My niece is even a manager of one (in Washington). But where I live, there just isn’t any around for over 100 miles. I have heard good and bad about them. Same as Walmart, Best Buy and others. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

  2. Dragon Tiger says:

    I thought they made more money in high volume than low volume, since the (exorbitant) price isn’t changing. My mistake; it’s clear they know what they’re doing.

    • Gulliver says:

      Or maybe they want to serve a higher quality product that will encourage more repeat business. It amazes me. If they put out shit and did it fast and made it crappy people complain. If they take longer and make it right, people complain. If you need it fast make your fucking own coffee or go to Dunkin Donuts or Mickey D’s. Last I checked there wasn’t a monopoly on coffee service.

      • Dragon Tiger says:

        Not disagreeing with you, as your points are valid. But they are supposedly already putting out a higher quality product, as evidenced by the price. I can see that they may not always be able to do it fast and make it right, but they should try. As it stands, it already takes 6-10 minutes to get a coffee, even when they’re not busy.

    • milkcake says:

      The headline should be Starbucks cares about customers

  3. ConsumerPop says:

    The Starbucks by me is slow as shit now, and they get my order wrong 75% of the time…so not sure this is really going to help…

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      Complain to the manager. If that doesn’t correct the problem, ask for the number to the district manager and complain.

      I know it sounds crazy to escalate a quality problem on coffee, but Starbucks is serious about customer satisfaction. Usually the manager will take care of the problem right away. If not, the DM will put some serious hurt on the store.

    • AllanG54 says:

      But yet you keep going. How dumb is that?

  4. apd09 says:

    So your business is to offer high quality coffee, and in order to insure that the coffee is high quality you are telling your employees to slow down and make the drinks a few at a time and if people have a problem with that then they can go else where.

    This to me seems like a non-story since it is Starbucks trying to make sure that the coffee is what the person expects and is not rushed because as if you don’t like how long it takes or how it tastes you don’t need to go there.

  5. TouchMyMonkey says:

    If you’re in a hurry, you’re not standing in line at Starbucks.

    I think if I’m about to spend $6 for a cup of coffee, it had better be made right.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      A cup of coffee at Starbucks is not $6. Why do people keep saying that? I get the 20 oz. for about 2 bucks.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Unless you order the largest size in the most complex iteration possible, it can’t possibly bloom to $6 a drink. People harp the same line all the time and it’s ridiculous.

        • drjayphd says:

          And let’s not forget complaint price inflation. Wasn’t the trope originally about $4 coffee drinks? Pretty sure in a couple of weeks, the standard-issue complaint will escalate to involve second or third mortgages.

      • Michaela says:

        I think they are talking about the iced, fancy drinks.

        My large coffee costs me about $2.25 ($2.80 w/ syrup). However, I have seen people ordering drinks in the $5.75 range.

      • robina says:

        yeah, but the $2 venti black coffee is not what you’re going to have to wait for, as that takes about 10 seconds to pour and hand over to you.

        • NumberSix says:

          Not true. Everyone is in the same line, so you still have to wait behind all the fancy drink orderers. The starbucks in my building is already pretty damn slow. I don’t need them dragging their butts on purpose!

    • jessjj347 says:

      There are tons of people in a hurry waiting in line for Starbucks in the city, even for “fancy drinks”. I agree that drinks are very inconsistent (whether in the same location or not), which deters me from going there very often. I’m not sure that Starbucks is making a good move, though. On the one hand they try to present high quality, but what typically sets them apart from competitors of higher quality is their speed. Most local coffee shops will take a lot longer than Starbucks to make a similar drink.

  6. CaptainSemantics says:

    I’m okay with this. How hard is it to make an iced venti, three-pump classic, green tea lemonade? It’s not that hard, yet it seems that lately they keep screwing it up. Every store I go to has been slacking lately.

    Has Starbucks changed its hiring procedures? It seems like it’s the B-team every time I walk into the dang place.

    • DonStanhouse says:

      Speaking as a former employee, I can only offer my anecdotal evidence that there is a massive talent drain from the company. While I can’t speak for you store without knowing its region, I can tell you the Starbucks locations in the DC-Baltimore region are absolutely dreadful due to lack of management, executive mismanagement, pay freezes, and employee mistreatment. What was once an awesome place to work, with a lot of happy people ready and willing to have a good time serving customers became no different than a typical assembly line fast food joint.

  7. georgi55 says:

    I only go to SB when I’m really tired – 3, 4 times a month. When I pay $5 for my Coffee Frappuccino with one espresso shot, I want it to be perfect. Depending on location, sometimes they’d forget the espresso shot I paid for or won’t leave the drink long enough on the mixer so you get big chunks of ice getting stuck on the straw. Other times they’d mix it for too long and bottom will be melted. If I want cheap drink I will get one from McDonalds. If I’m paying double, I want it to be perfect.

  8. Dover says:

    I personally prefer to wait for better-made drinks, but this is going to kill stores during the morning coffee rush, especially drive-thrus where folks who just want drip will have to wait for the fru-fru drinks in front of them.

  9. mandy_Reeves says:

    um If I am in a hurry I don’t go to Starbucks as a rule. I like to take my time with Starbucks coffee and relax…when I’m in a hurry and need caffeine I go to wawa or 7-11 or a gas station with a convenience store.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      The reason I go to Starbucks rather than convenience stores is the stores in my area serve Sex on a Boat* rather than coffee.

      * f—ing close to water

    • sagodjur says:

      This also will depend on how busy the Starbucks’ are in your area and what kind of drinks you order. If it’s just coffee…I still marvel at people who go to Starbucks for real coffee. They excel at the expensive candy coffee. Real coffee tastes terrible no matter where you get it from. Candy coffee, on the other hand, is different at different places.

      My local SB is usually very fast and doesn’t get my order wrong unless I mumbled my order (though that tends to get me a free drink coupon…). It’s all about context.

  10. lettucefactory says:

    I’d rather my four dollar latte be right than fast. I like Starbucks enough that I find a good latte a worthwhile occaisional indulgence; but if I’m in an OMG HURRY, well, that’s not their fault. And they do have a point – I’ve worked at a coffee shop before (not Starbucks) and we would complain about every new process and procedure like it was the end of the damn world, it would RUIN US! But three weeks later we’d settle into the new routine, no problem.

    I do feel a little bad for the guy standing in line waiting for a drip coffee behind a herd of ten minute drinks, though.

    • Wolfie XIII says:

      I get my drip at starbucks, but I always get it from the same one. All of the staff know me, and I always get a drip. I’ve never had to wait for my coffee regardless of how long the line is unless they needed to brew more. The big change is going to be for people ordering 10 minute drinks having people ordering quickies getting put ahead of them in the lines.

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “Do you think this will cause a long-lasting slowdown in beverage service at Starbucks? Or will baristas eventually catch up to where the time difference is negligible”

    No, it will cause customers to start going elsewhere.

    There are plenty of die-hard Starbuckers, but also just as many fair-weather fans. And plenty of people who don’t have strong coffee preferences. The last two groups won’t decide to wait a long time every time they go to Starbucks and eventually choose another company to get their coffee. And they’ll laugh at the ones in the long Starbuck’s line.

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      Well, if any many people leave as you’re guessing then the lines shouldn’t be too long at Starbucks. Where I live, the drive-thru line outside the Dunkin Donuts is often longer than the drive-thru line at the Starbucks.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        My thought exactly actually. Lines will normalize as people leave. But I don’t see it will help SB’s bottom line.

  12. Jesse says:

    If people would just get regular, black coffee, wait times would be null. I hate waiting in line at my local coffee shop behind all those people getting their iced mocafrappawhatchamacallits. However, I keep going there because I prefer halfway decent coffee which most of the fast food chains and gas stations don’t have. :)

    • rpm773 says:

      What’s needed is two lines. The coffee via dispenser line, and the bar drink line.

      A few Dunken Donuts have figured that out….one line for the eat/drink-on-the-run folks and one line for those ordering boxes of donuts.

    • alaron says:

      I think the black coffee from Sbux tastes like a**. Therefore I don’t buy it. When I want a sweet, creamy concoction, I go to Sbux.

  13. sp00nix says:

    If im in a hurry, i can be in and out of a WaWa in about 2 minutes during peak times.

  14. Foot_Note says:

    hmm, maybe the real reason is if people stay longer, will buy more?

    • msky says:

      You think?

    • ophmarketing says:

      That idea might work if you’re in a Starbucks that has seating. But if you’re talking about, for example, one of the downtown Chicago Starbucks that barely has room to stand in while you wait for your drink, there’s absolutely no advantage to making people ‘stay’ in the store. You want them out as quickly as possible, because other people are waiting to get in.

  15. frank64 says:

    The headline, and to a lesser extent the text, is the best example of negative spin I have seen is some time. Good work Chris! Find a candidate and be is PR spokesman.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not sure how much spin he’s putting on a story with more quoted material than unquoted material.

      • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

        The full WSJ article doesn’t have any mention wanting customer to stay longer or not caring if you’re in a hurry. How much more spin do you need?

        • frank64 says:

          Yep, the headline is an editorial.

          • DingoAndTheBaby says:

            Agreed. And I’m not sure how much the Consumer’s Union and Consumer Reports would want an affiliated website adding editorial spin to what is supposed to be OBJECTIVE reporting. Then again, when has Consumerist every TRULY been impartial.

            Everything on Consumerist has to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes, though, you need a full bag of rock salt to get through an article and the comments section.

  16. u1itn0w2day says:

    LOL, for quality my butt. This is another feeble corporate attempt to make it seem like they are doing something which they now have to do for lagging domestic sales. Burnt coffee sucks.

    LOL LOL LOL

    • frank64 says:

      Both you and Starbucks are right, it is to increase quality due to slow sales.

      They changed their machines to automatics a few years back for speed, I don’t think they are switching back. If you want a real espresso drink you really need to go somewhere else because the shots are real bitter and lack flavor, also partly due to the over roast and bean age. One problem is some of the smaller places do it worse. Getting good coffee is like it used to be a few decades back to get good beer. With beer though all the places have to do is serve it. Good coffee apparently is very hard to do consistently well, especially espresso. Even the cappuccinos are made with too much milk, and I have such a hard time getting it to the 1/3′s principle that I gave up. They tell me they are going to fill up a 12 oz cup for a double cappuccino! That would be way to milky.

  17. Bojangles says:

    I wasn’t aware that Starbucks employees are unionized, work slower to accomplish a task is reserved for union employees.

  18. WagTheDog says:

    I wish there was a separate line for just coffee….but silly me, who would think to go to Starbucks for just coffee.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      Some locations do that – I’ve been to a couple in Northern Virginia at the peak hour in the morning where they have one register/employee solely dedicated to coffee-only. It works beautifully.

  19. A42NT1 says:

    The normal “project triangle” rule (fast/cheap/good – pick any 2) seems to fail with Starbucks. Now you only get one of the three (hopefully).

  20. BoredOOMM says:

    $5 a cup and they slow it down.

  21. Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

    Not sure I get the spin of this article- seems like a pretty straightforward case of “slow down and do a better job” to me, at the risk of losing sales due to longer lines/wait times. If so, this is directly counter to the current corporate trend, and should be applauded, not condemned!

  22. eddikat says:

    It sounds like Starbucks is trying to find a balance of speed and quality. Maybe these policies are the answer, maybe not. Time will tell.

  23. Damocles57 says:

    There is an old business maxim, roughly stated:

    High Quality
    Quick Delivery
    Low Cost

    You can pick any two.

    I’m all for raising the quality bar and a few extra seconds in line are not a big deal.

    The few times a year I go to Starbucks is because I am away from my local coffee shops where they make each drink in the order received, one at a time, and at a lower price than Starbucks.

    I go to Starbucks when I’m on the road and want a consistent product and don’t want to take the time to search for the quality local coffee shops. If I’ll be in the area awhile, I will scout out the local coffee shops. I may also go to a Starbucks to use their wifi. In all cases, I don’t get my coffee beverage to go. I am there to sit, read the paper, check email, or relax.

  24. JulesNoctambule says:

    Sounds like a great way to scorch/waste milk and piss off people who want coffee but don’t have time to wait around.

  25. sodium says:

    I’m so glad I: a) Make my own coffee at home to take with me (really people is it that hard?) or b) Make a stop at 7Eleven for coffee if I am out of coffee at home.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I’ve started making my own as well and after trying quite a few fancy beans, some locally roasted and supposedly sublime, we settled on Community brand. It’s really good–the best I’ve been able to make at home.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        CR did a story abuout coffee… turns out those brands that are cheaper rate pretty high. One of the worst? Folgers!

        I will never pay as much as starbucks charges.

  26. sweetpea12 says:

    This week I went to Starbucks to order a passion tea lemonade. The barista apologized and told me it would take a little longer because he had to make a new batch of tea and then he handed me a coupon for a free drink for my next visit to apologize! It didn’t even take THAT much longer than normal. If every Starbucks followed this policy, I think most people wouldn’t mind waiting.

  27. ndonahue says:

    individually prepared coffees and steamed milk… Hey, now if only they could improve the quality they could be just like Peet’s instead of not as good at Peet’s.

    • Pinklette says:

      Peet’s was the most ridiculously awful cup of coffee I’ve ever had! I will never go there again. (I tried three different locations and they were all the same. At least they are the same across the brand.)

  28. Anonymously says:

    I’m sure they’re still expected to meet the same productivity goals though. It sounds like the sort of thing an Undercover Boss will realize is stupid.

  29. denros says:

    Slow = smooth = fast.

  30. smo0 says:

    Steamed milk is soooo bad for you.
    Steamed soy is soooo yummay.

  31. Sunflower1970 says:

    I rarely go to Starbucks, but when I do, I’d rather have a correct order and a good tasting drink as opposed to something made quickly and could be made incorrect (I’ve had that happen a few times), so this is a good policy.

    • brinks says:

      Same here. They’ve been screwing up more often at two of the three locations I regularly go to. Slow down, make it right, and make it worth my $4.

  32. coffeeculture says:

    why don’t pharmacies do this…

  33. kataisa says:

    This won’t go over well in NYC.

  34. scubasteve555 says:

    I worked at a Starbucks in a mall and I started in late November. The line would stretch out the door and past a couple stores, all day, every day until after the holidays. We would put an employee in the line when we closed. There would be about ten cups on top of the espresso bar the entire time. I’d like to see how this policy would work in a store with that much traffic.

  35. jasw says:

    Used to be a Starbucks regular during my first 2 undergrad years (we could pay with our meal plan dollars at the on campus location). No point in going there now since I can’t fall back on meal plan bucks and can just make my coffee at home and not deal with the overwhelming pretentiousness.

  36. plasticorange says:

    i think its great—–this isnt mcdonalds—-if you want crap in less than a minute drink a VIA. If you want a latte, wait 5 minutes.

  37. Yentaleh says:

    I live in Seattle and all I can say is, FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS DRINK STARBUCKS! (Or as I like to call them Starblech) I would rather go to Cafe Ladro or Katy’s (on the corner of 19th and Union, they make the best homemade muffins!) for my coffee. Also Cafe Ladro and Katy’s are cheaper then Starbucks and they aren’t corporate! Support your local small coffee shop today!

  38. JollyJumjuck says:

    More haste, less speed.

  39. Endgame says:

    This is fantastic, It will hopefully get rid of all the Dunkin Donut customers that ocassionally come to Starbucks, they annoy me and make the lines longer then they should be in the first place.
    Quality not Quantity, thats always been my Motto!!

  40. BettyCrocker says:

    Good for them. Make it right. I don’t care if I have to wait an extra few minutes.

  41. Chaosium says:

    They make crap coffee, they get complaints. They slow down to make better, fresher-tasting coffee, they get complaints. Not big on the Bux, but they can’t win here.

  42. sopmodm14 says:

    why do executives, who probably have never been a barista, think they know how its done ?

    if they simply wanted it to be even faster, why don’t they mass produce it, then sell it ?

    i get my coffee from tim hortons, probably a bit better care than mcd or bk, as its not their bread and butter (bread and meat more like it)

    i don’t need all those fancy-smancy things in my caffeine fix….if i wanted those, i’d put sprinkles in it

    if i see a heck of a line, i either wont order, or just order something basic….so either they don’t get a sale, or wont get a higher total transaction

    thats not good for business as a specialty shop

    • Marshmelly says:

      what?

      They do “mass produce” it…if you ever go to a grocery store you’ll see Starbucks coffee there.

      They didn’t say anything about wanting it to be “even faster”. I believe the article states the exact opposite.

      Some people like fancy things in their drinks. That would be why they go to Starbucks.

  43. brinks says:

    Two different Starbucks locations that we patronize regularly OFTEN screw up the drink my fiance always gets, and my usual tastes different sometimes, too. I’m not excited about the extra wait, but, for what they charge, they need to get it 100% right. If this is what it takes, I’m fine with it.

  44. The Moar You Know says:

    Until they get rid of the automatic espresso machines (as we used to call them, the robo-baristas) their drinks will always be shit. Period.

  45. majortom1981 says:

    IF yo uwanted a good cup of coffee that is made fast why in the world are you at starbucks. My local creperie has much much much better coffee and i am in and out when i need to be. I am usually not though because i stop and talk to the owner.

    Starbucks coffee is horrible and i only have it when there is no other option.

  46. dah2 says:

    Starbucks has been all about the quality of their beverages and satisfaction of their guests since they became a company. The company has only become more atimate about these things over time, working on their methods in order to always improve satisfaction.

    One thing that many people don’t understand about Starbucks is the level of training that goes into creating a top notch barista. Any other coffee company that you may visit to get your morning cup of joe may have coffee and people who know how to make it, but none of those companies stress customer care and satisfaction like Starbucks.

    For those people who doubt the intentions of these new methods, don’t forget the fact that Starbucks has made these changes to make it’s guests happier. It is something to be respected in a company, when there are so many companies out there that could care less what you think as long as they get your money. Starbucks has never sacrificed quality and care for it’s customers in order to make a quick buck.

    As with anything new, it will take time to adjust to this routine. As a customer, we must be patient with businesses like Starbucks. We must respect the fact that this change in policy and procedure is done so that every drink that is made by a barista will have the same high quality and taste. I think we can all agree that a good drink is worth waiting a little longer for if it means that the first drink you receive is made the right way.

  47. kittylauper says:

    Baristas should be rinsing pitchers between drinks anyway, re-steaming milk is disgusting. Any professional barista knows you should steam your milk individually and rinse your pitchers between drinks.

    • DonStanhouse says:

      Former employee here. Starbucks had a big to-do about resteaming milk over two years ago. It has always been policy not to resteam milk.

      These new guidelines are in reference to steaming milk for each individual drink. For example, if I had two drinks to make (two standard tall 2% milk 180° lattes), I could simply steam one pitcher of milk for both. Under this new policy, if am reading it correctly, I would not only have to steam two separate pitchers of milk for each, I couldn’t even multitask while doing so.

  48. Clyde Barrow says:

    I already knew this. I have two choices in the morning; Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. And going to either depends upon how much of a hurry I am in or how much time I have in other situations. I know that at the Starbucks near my house, I’ll wait at times up to 15 minutes to get through the line.

    At my Tim Horton’s I have never waited more than 2 minutes. Those girls know how to make coffee and to complete an entire order if food is involved. They kick butt because they are very organized and fast.

    • drjayphd says:

      Tim Horton’s? I’d assume they kick butt in a very polite and humble manner, befitting their Canadian overlords… ;)

  49. sgmax2 says:

    I stopped patronizing Starbucks in the US when their penny-pinching resulted in only half a cupful of coffee. Whatever size you ordered, you got half a cupful of contents, plus 1/4 cupful foam and 1/4 cupful free space. It is even worse at the airport outlets – you are lucky to get 1/3 cupful.
    Now I make my own coffee, I have discovered how great the taste of real espresso latte can be. Even using Starbucks’ own coffee beans, I can make a better cup of coffee than the local Starbucks coffee-house.
    In contrast, Costas in the UK are really great. Wonderful tasting coffee, full cups, and helpful, friendly service … :-)

  50. sgmax2 says:

    I stopped patronizing Starbucks in the US when their penny-pinching resulted in only half a cupful of coffee. Whatever size you ordered, you got half a cupful of contents, plus 1/4 cupful foam and 1/4 cupful free space. It is even worse at the airport outlets – you are lucky to get 1/3 cupful.
    Now I make my own coffee, I have discovered how great the taste of real espresso latte can be. Even using Starbucks’ own coffee beans, I can make a better cup of coffee than the local Starbucks coffee-house.
    In contrast, Costas in the UK are really great. Wonderful tasting coffee, full cups, and helpful, friendly service … :-)

  51. sgmax2 says:

    I stopped patronizing Starbucks in the US when their penny-pinching resulted in only half a cupful of coffee. Whatever size you ordered, you got half a cupful of contents, plus 1/4 cupful foam and 1/4 cupful free space. It is even worse at the airport outlets – you are lucky to get 1/3 cupful.
    Now I make my own coffee, I have discovered how great the taste of real espresso latte can be. Even using Starbucks’ own coffee beans, I can make a better cup of coffee than the local Starbucks coffee-house.
    In contrast, Costas in the UK are really great. Wonderful tasting coffee, full (large) servings, and helpful, friendly service … :-)

  52. Splendid says:

    if you are really in a hurry then go to McDonalds.

  53. VeritasNoir says:

    This doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me. . . a leisurely experience at a coffeeshop sounds like a good thing. Why so much QQ from everyone about this?

  54. GameHen says:

    I patronized the independant coffee shop across the street from Starbucks near my house twice…once when they first opened and again a few months later. They took so long both times that I’ve never been back. If Starbucks is going to start taking just as long, I’ll start going back there again.

  55. Drivebyluna says:

    Really as long as you pour the milk in before 10 seconds the espresso shot should be fine. If you have competent baristas they should be able to do this no problem.

  56. redbess says:

    When I worked at SB I was on the bar and could make upwards of 6 drinks at once without sacrificing quality or accuracy. SB is also terrible at training properly so maybe they should focus on training/retraining.

  57. pot_roast says:

    It’s the damn frozen drinks that really slow the lines down. :/

    This isn’t a bad thing. I would rather they take an extra minute to make the drink right the first time.

  58. banmojo says:

    If you live in a large overcrowded city expect long waits for nearly every service one would have to wait in line for. I NEVER have to wait more than 2 minutes for my coffee at our local Starbucks. This policy change is NOT designed to make higher volume (which equals higher profit) but rather higher quality control on their product, which equals higher customer satisfaction therefore more likely to have repeat business. ME LIKEY THIS APPROACH. ME GO TO STARBUCKS, ORDER EXPENSIVE DRINK, ENJOY AND CHILLAX :^))