Baristas Go Back To School

Mar 11, 2004

By George Anderson

Starbucks is significantly expanding its paid employee training program, says the company’s chairman, Howard Schultz.

A report in the New York Post says, “The world’s largest coffee chain is boosting paid training time by as much as one-third, to 32 hours, for the most motivated employees. The
idea is to make employees better educated about coffee and, by extension, better at selling more brewed coffee and bags of whole beans.”

The program will go into effect at all of the chain’s 4,200 stores in North America this month and is expected to cost Starbucks $2.25 million.

A restaurant-training expert, Jim Sullivan, chief executive of Sullivision Inc. told the Post, Starbucks training investment could generate 10 times that in sales, while
reducing employee turnover and hiring costs at the same time.

Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to Starbuck’s employee training improvements?

We had a few reactions.

  1. Starbucks may yet see continued exponential growth, even if the company is warning investors against that expectation.

  2. Based on the last story, will music education become part of the training program?

  3. We want to be a coffee master. Can we take part in the program even if we don’t work for Starbucks? George
    Anderson – Moderator

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