Tomorrow evening, starting at 5:30 p.m. local time, all of your favorite 7,000+ local U.S. Starbucks are closing for re-training. The average Barista receives 40 hours of training, but today’s Starbucks is not the same as it was 10 years ago. Management direction has been all over the place with several new directives. They’ve gone from being a simple coffee shop with great coffee to, a "3rd place" with cozy seating, offering movies, music, books, toys, candy, Apple products, sandwiches and more.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m still a big fan and if anyone can steer this ship back on course is Howard Schultz. Getting back to the basics is a great way to get back on track and it’s great foundation for the basis of any marketing plan.
In fact, every year’s plan should start zero-based and with a review of how well you deliver on your brand promise and core basics.
I doubt that three hours of training will immediately reverse the challenges Starbucks is facing, but I applaud Shultz for his candor and leadership as this move serves as a Clarion call for greater things to come.
Would you have the guts to do what Shultz is doing!
Starbucks – check that, no one – can be all things to all people and they need to get back to recognizing that speed and convenience (such as McDonald’s) pales in comparison to really good coffee.
My bet is you’ll be back because in the end, I believe Starbucks simply cares more.
P.S.: They need to start gathering more customer information from their stored value card instead of just money! Lots of good information is there to collect per each customer.