Starbucks Baristas Told to "Slow Down"

By: From CBS News
By: From CBS News

Starbucks fans may be facing longer lines as the company tells their baristas to slow down and only work on two beverages at a time, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reviewed company documents instructing employees to steam milk for each drink individually, rising pitchers after each use and using only one espresso machine. The company says the changes will make the stores more efficient, but baristas who have implemented the changes argue that they create longer lines.

The documents mention customer complaints, including that the quality of espresso drinks at Starbucks is "average" and that beverages are inconsistent among different baristas and outlets.

Starbucks has used "lean" manufacturing techniques over the last few years to try and shave off wasteful activity, the Journal reports. The company has also made changes to face the economic downturn, including closing stores and boosting perks in its loyalty-card program, which has paid off in the last quarter.

The Journal reports that earnings at Starbucks rose 37 percent while revenue for the quarter ended June 27 increased to $2.61 billion from $2.4 billion in the year-earlier period. Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 9 percent in the quarter thanks to more customer visits and higher average spending.

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