18 Apr 2018

Starbucks Takes a “Grande” Shot to Their Brand, and Their Bottom Line

Starbucks Takes a “Grande” Shot to Their

18 Apr 2018

Starbucks Takes a “Grande” Shot to Their Brand, and Their Bottom Line

Company to close 8000 for staff training, highlighting the importance of proactive staff training.

With over 90 billion dollars spent on training every year in the US alone, you’d think we would have it all figured out by now, and yet operators continue to list hiring and training as a top concern. The country’s already enormous spend will see a “grande” bump on May 29th, when we tally the wage cost and lost revenue at 8000 Starbucks stores that will be shut down for staff training. If you’re scoring at home, our math suggests a hit of over 20 million on the afternoon!

The closure comes in the wake of an incident where two black men were dragged out of a Starbucks after being accused of trespassing. In response to the incident and subsequent flood of negative PR, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a formal apology and announced that all team members will be undergoing racial sensitivity training.

Increased social activism and heightened media attention no longer allow events like this to be swept under the rug. As hashtags like #boycottstarbucks continue to trend, companies who are reactive in their training efforts will continue to see massive damage to their brands, and their bottom lines.

Whether we’re speaking about protecting the physical or mental health of an employee or guest, it is paramount that employers are proactive in establish proper communication and training channels with their front line. With a growing number of inexpensive (or free) training platforms available to businesses of all sizes, there’s no excuse for companies to be constantly patching these holes.



In an increasingly connected world, there’s still a disconnect between the brands who preach a progressive culture, and the employees hired to deliver on that mission and vision. A country-wide shut down for training is a nice gesture, but culture and community are not a one-day event. Communication must be continuous, engaging, and proactive, but increased wage costs make this a difficult proposition for those using old-school training techniques.

Businesses must ditch the dust-covered training manuals and snooze-filled seminars and replace them with a digital platform that ensures every employee, at every location, is prepared to deliver the guest experience that corporate intends. If not, employers will continue to have a trillion-dollar training problem on their hands…

Ironically, the solution to this communication breakdown might already be in the hands of their employees…

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Raja Bhatia