Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Training 135,000 employees in one day - Starbucks closes stores to do it!

Most of you out there have probably heard the news by now - on Tuesday evening, February 26th, Starbucks closes every store in the US for a few hours to train ALL of their 135,000 employees.

The press release on the Starbucks website can be found here...

Check out this quote from the article...

In one of its most significant efforts to transform the company and reignite its connection with customers, today Starbucks is conducting an unprecedented in-store education and training event for more than 135,000 partners (employees) in U.S. company-operated stores. As part of this major customer-focused initiative, Starbucks is also introducing a promise to exceed customers’ expectations by delivering the perfect drink every time.

At the end of the night, all of Starbucks U.S. partners will pledge their commitment to upholding the uncompromising standards and quality that have made Starbucks the world’s coffee leader. The promise will be prominently posted in every U.S. company-operated store, and baristas will demonstrate a personal commitment to their customers by signing the promise upon completion of tonight’s training.

So, what was your reaction to this?

My first reaction were the numbers. They actually trained 135,000 at the same time - this is unheard of! Secondly, I did the math to show how much it cost Starbucks for this 3 hour training. If I assume that each Starbucks partner (employee) makes $9/hour then they spent about $3.6 million dollars in payroll for this time - all while not selling even one drop of coffee - that's $0 in revenue during this time. Numbers like these truly shows their commitment to rejuvenate their workforce.

For those of you that are Starbucks addicts were you able to tell a difference from Tuesday to Wednesday? Did your coffee taste better? Did their employees appear to be more energized with a new commitment and emphasis on quality?

Since I'm not a coffee drinker I wouldn't be able to tell you. So, if you've got a story to tell, let me know my leaving your comment...