retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Starbucks, saying that it wants to stress quality over quantity, is telling its baristas “to stop making multiple drinks at the same time and focus instead on no more than two drinks at a time - starting a second one while finishing the first ... 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.

“Starbucks says the changes - which it expects to roll out nationwide and across Canada by next month - are part of its ongoing effort to make stores operate more efficiently. But some baristas worry it will create longer lines.”
KC's View:
I can see it now...

Riots at Starbucks all over town. Film at 11.

I could be wrong about this, but I suspect that this is one of those initiatives that may sound better at headquarters than it plays in the stores. (A common mistake that takes place in a lot of companies.)

And again, maybe I’m wrong, but couldn’t the same goal be served by simply raising staff levels in the stores? Of course, that would be a hard cost against the bottom line...and just slowing things down may not have as quantifiable a cost. Until people go elsewhere for a cup of coffee because speed is an issue.