Interviews were carried out with members of the staff to get an insight into why it is they think that the store has been receiving the recent number of complaints. These interview shown in appendices 4 have been useful in highlighting a number of issues as to where the store is going wrong and why these issues may have arose. The staff all seem to have a positive attitudes regarding customer service and are aware of the Starbucks standards and what is expected of them. However, in all of the interviews carried out the issue of being short staff was mentioned, which could be a main factor in the complaints that have been made.
The staff seem to have all the correct principles and understand the importance of quality and service which should reflect on the service the customers receive. In busy periods if the store is short staffed this could have a detrimental effect on the quality of the beverages and the standard of service and could be the answer to where the problems arise as staff won’t have time to give the customers the service which they expect. The assistant manager that was interviewed thought that the staff hour’s budget was too low in comparison to the revenue the store made and the number of customers coming through the doors and using the drive thru.
Also highlighting that the training procedures were followed correctly for baristas but when training assistant managers and managers it was stated that the company cut corners to deal with the vast amount of stores Eurogarages are opening quickly. As was stated in the interview with the assistant manager at the Starbucks Wrexham store it was also mentioned in the staff interviews that customers are not aware of the drinks they are ordering which suggests that the information regarding the beverages is not displayed clearly enough for customers to understand.
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These interviews have demonstrated extremely valuable information and highlighted a key issue affecting the Starbucks Blackburn store. In store observations Observations were carried out in store to get a clear understanding of the service and quality of the beverages that the customers are receiving in store and their overall Starbucks Blackburn experience from start to finish. From observing in store the service received was polite and the beverage received was correct, to the correct temperature and quality. However, the observation was carried out during a lunch time rush.
There was a long line of customers and what appeared to be a number of Drive Thru calls also being taken. There was only 3 members of staff to deal with the congestion of both the customers in store and also the drive thru and they appeared to be struggling and quite flustered but continued to be polite to customers. Over the course of the lunch rush no complaints were witnessed regarding drinks although it was clear that customers were getting impatient from the long wait queuing and then waiting for their drinks. The staff cleared tables whenever the queue died down but customers had to resort to sitting on dirty tables.
When visiting the toilets both the ladies and the disabled toilets had little or no toilet roll. The observations made have reinforced the opinions of the staff at Starbucks Blackburn that they are short staffed and there are clearly not enough members of staff on shift to deal with the capacity of custom being served in the cafe and through the drive thru. Secondary research The information found in appendices 5-10 has all been useful regarding the service and quality that Starbucks Blackburn is giving their customers.
Appendices 5 gives useful information about the success of the first franchise store that Eurogarges opened in Deeside and also shows comments from managing director Starbucks UK regarding the drive thru concept “Our customers want Starbucks coffee on the go, without compromising quality of the coffee or the service they get in our coffee houses” (Rymer 2010) this comment demonstrates what it is that Starbucks are expecting from Eurogarges when opening the new franchise drive thru stores.
Appendices 7 gives information on the new Starbucks expectations regarding only making two drinks at a time which shows that Starbucks is targeting the quality of the drinks the customers are receiving. However by doing so it appears to be having a detrimental effect on the speed of service “doubling the amount of time it takes to make drinks in some cases” (Forman 2010).
Appendices 8 shows information that the Starbucks brand itself has had problems With Will Smale reporting that its share price has dropped 40% over the past year and that its expansion has changed its image from upmarket and being regarded as the third place where customers could relax or work to it being viewed in the same light as McDonalds. Appendices 9 shows an interview with Howard Schultz, the managing director of Starbucks. This article is useful in showing how Starbucks have tried to tackle the speed of service by moving from couches to tables and chairs.
Extremely useful information has been gathered from the research methods used in this assignment. After collecting all the information it has been highlighted that Starbucks Blackburn is not the only store to have received negative comments and complaints regarding the quality of beverages and the standard of service. The research has also clearly shown that a factor which plays a big part in the service and quality standards at the Starbucks Blackburn store is the lack of staff on shift in peak periods in order to deal with the volume of custom.
The staff have shown positive attitudes and good knowledge of what is expected from them, if the store was able to put more staff on shift this may solve the issues. More information could have been gathered regarding the competitor coffee retailers such as Costa and Cafe Nero but this was difficult to obtain as it would hard to speak to managers and assistant managers as they were busy running the store and overseeing the shifts.
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