Starbucks (SBUX): Any Benefit From Re-Training?

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The staff at most of the Starbucks (NYSE: SBUX) recently went though a few hours for training. The nationwide program was designed to make the people working in the stores do a better job of serving customers that way that founder Howard Schultz thinks they should be served. If a customer is unhappy with a drink. he can simply ask to have it made again. What more could people want?

Investors would think that the action of closing so many stores and putting so much effort into improving service would show results immediately. These results might not last, but they would be a sign that management and employees both want to help the company’s results through better customer service.

A visit to a Starbucks in Mt. Kisco, New York indicates that no one was paying attention during the training day. The store was dirty. A cigarette butt at one door. A snow shovel against the new coffee makers on sale. Floors that had not been swept recently. The service area for getting milk and napkins in disarray.

Perhaps Starbucks workers should be paid based on the stock price. That might get their attention.

Douglas A. McIntyre