Brace Yourself

Starbucks is planning a nation-wide service hiccup later this month. On Feb. 26, according to the Seattle Times, the ginormous coffee retailer plans to close all of its roughly 7,100 nationwide stores for three evening hours to retrain its roughly 135,000 employees. From the Times:

“We will have all new standards for how we create the drinks,” said spokeswoman Valerie O’Neil. “They will be trained in creating the perfect shot, steaming the milk and all the pieces that come together in a drink.”

Some people have speculated Starbucks will return to manual espresso machines, but O’Neil said the espresso-making equipment will be the same. “It’s really about ensuring that the customer experience that we provide is the best that it can be.”

Well, that’s unexpected. This must be a super big deal, as a three-hour training seems like the kind of thing most stores could fit in on a by-the-store basis, allowing other stores to remain open for overflow during the closure. Could closing the whole chain for three hours also double as an experiment to see how much people miss their beloved frappuccinos? Suppose we’ll find out.

Meanwhile, the company’s roughly 4,000 kiosks and counters will remain operational.

Starbucks Is Closing Their Doors For Three Hours [Yumsugar]
Starbucks stores to shut 3 hours on Feb. 26 for retraining baristas [Seattle Times]

Brace Yourself