Manila, Philippines

Starbucks: Always Warm Service and Coffee

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I am not a frequent Starbucks customer, but my experience as a customer so far has been consistently good. I visit Starbucks only around once or twice in two months, so in that regard you may actually consider my sample population as very small on one hand, but very random on the other hand.

Anyway, as I’ve said, with all the times I visited a Starbucks shop, customer service has always been very good. I don’t know, maybe it’s the aroma of coffee but the baristas are always perky, lively and seemingly happy. They look like very satisfied Starbucks employees. Service with a smile. Plus, note the accent when they call out our drinks and our names. Trademark Starbucks.
So kudos and great job to the training unit of Starbucks for training its people very well. No matter what branch I go to, the service level is consistently high, the baristas are consistently friendly and engaged. Great business model, at least in terms of training.
You see, that is a significant achievement: consistent service from your people. Large companies have found a way to standardize their menu, their recipes, the ambiance, and of course the coffee mixes. These are fairly easy compared to standardizing how your people work. Standardizing  service levels and employee engagement is a daunting task. Makes me wonder now why the baristas are as engaged as they have shown me so far…
I sense the satisfaction, engagement and product ownership from their baristas. I am sure it takes more than a good hiring process and sophisticated business model to do that. What makes them happy? If I am not mistaken, Starbucks calls their baristas ‘partners’, as if they are co-owners of the company. In the truest sense, does this mean baristas own some shares of stock of Starbucks, like an employee stock ownership plan? The company is not listed in PSE so shares, if ever offered to baristas are traded abroad. If not shares of stock, are they well compensated? It will be interesting to find out what incentive scheme brings out that warm aura of customer service.
How about unlimited White Chocolate Mocha daily?
PS. Shoutout to Anne of Starbucks in Bonifacio Global City, Net Quad branch. Your service prompted this post!
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