starbucks barista performance management

University Ca’ Foscari of Venice
A Starbucks’ Barista provides customers with Starbucks’ high quality beverages and products
but also has to provide a prompt service and maintaining a clean and comfortable store
There are a wide range of aspects, or dimensions that determine an effective job performance
for a barista.
We decide to focus on the following dimensions and corresponding indicators:
Approach and treatment
Waiting time
Focus on results
Waste of time
Problem solving/ Ambiguty
Build Professional rapports
Learn quickly
Adapt to changes
Now we analyze in detail each of these dimensions and respectively indicators.
1- Customer Focus Dimension
Since the barista is the Starbucks’ face we think that
the costumer service that he/she provides is one of
the most important aspects from which a barista
must be evaluated.
In order to provide an effective customers service a
barista has to welcome all customers being friendly,
outgoing and polite. He has to treat them with regard and respect.
He has to serve them promptly and be responsive to customers’ needs and requests but also he
has to improve, if possible, their satisfaction in order to let them coming back again.
A Starbucks’ barista has to care about the work environment organizing the workspace and
keeping the places clean. He has to be able to use the various equipments in order to prepare
beverages and meals.
To be customer oriented a barista has to responds and clarifies customers needs and also use
their feedback in order to increase products and services.
He has to make sure that customers’ need are carried out efficiently and effectively
establishing and maintaining an ongoing relationship with them. A good example of a nice
barista is the one who remembers the usual request of a regular client.
The Starbucks company motto is “Just Say Yes” and the Starbucks Barista needs to embrace
it wholeheartedly”.
2- Result Oriented Dimension:
We choose this dimension because we believe that the final result is another important aspect
to keep in mind when evaluating baristas’ job performance.
The barista has to be result oriented in the sense that he has to stays focused on results
obtaining them appropriately and implementing the plans to increase sales.
If possible he has to anticipate costumers’ needs simply looking at the customer that he/she is
serving. For example, at a baby girl a barista won’t serve a coffee.
He has to know how to organize his work and figuring out the process to get things done
eliminating downtime so he should be punctual both in serving clients and coming at work on
If some problems arise a barista has to promptly provide creative solutions examining the
customers’ perspective and drawing upon past experiences.
3- Colleagues Dimension
This dimension is important in evaluating baristas’ performance because he has to (must)
work in a team but also because Starbucks believes on the strength of teamwork.
In fact is a fundamental element:
each member plays an important
role because they bring to the team
different skills and knowledge
therefore everyone in that team can
meet their needs for getting
acquainted with different
colleagues and learn new skills
from each other.
A barista working in a team has to enhance collaboration reinforcing relationships even with
an outwork meeting. If asked, he should be open to do tasks that are not the usual ones.
He also has to recognize if a colleague is not feeling well and contributes in helping him.
He has to welcome new partners assisting and encouraging them by positively reinforcing
successful performance.
4- Product Preparation
An aspects of the product preparation is the serving size of a product. It is not only a measure
of quantity but also a measure of value for money
The average serving size for Barista’s main product categories is:
Hot Coffee (2 kinds)
240 ml / 300 ml
Cold Coffee
340 ml
300 ml
340 ml
He has to provide customers with the knowledge of the Starbucks’ wide range of products
making customers curious in tasting new kind of products and also he has to be updated on all
new promotions helping to meet the company’s sales goals.
On average the time requested to prepare 10 drinks in succession is 75/66 seconds but a very
good target could be 65 seconds anyway from the Wall Street Journal: “ Baristas say it can
take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute to make an espresso-based drink.”
A barista’s job performance is also evaluated on the basis of his skills on making hot, ice, and
blended drinks.
He does not have to settle for sufficient performance but has to understand how his role has
an impact to the company’s profitability so he has to find a way to increase efficiency and if
possible he has to find ways to achieve better results.
He has to seek support to accomplish tasks and if needed monitors own progress toward
completion of goals.
An improvement of a barista’s job evaluation would be his ability to be an “acrobatic
barman” that could help to achieve more clients. In so doing his work becomes also
something that amuse consumers and this would surely make them come back again.
5- Personal learning dimension
It is also important to evaluate the barista in a personal point of view, for this reason we
choose this subjective dimension in order to have a global vision of how a good barista should
A Starbucks’ barista has to learn quickly and embrace changes and suggestions given by his
supervisor, colleagues, and
He should be able to learn how to
make new products efficiently
in order to be ready for preparing
and suggesting them.
He has to seek improvements,
analyzing both successes and
failures but also he can act on
constructive feedback from which he can also get some opportunities to learn even if he has to
enter into a potentially uncomfortable situation such as new job assignments.
He has to be adaptable to various kind of changes such as new job requirements, company
policies and strategic directions however maintaining flexibility.
Since he has to interact with a variety of people he has to be adaptable to cultural changes
working comfortably with people of diverse cultures or backgrounds.
During periods of high volume or times of chaos he has to be able to fend without having the
total picture of the situation facing risk and uncertainty concentrating on issues that he can
Barista at Starbucks are trained to be Pleasant,
Polite and Positive.
Starbucks provide new or current employees with the skills they need to perform their jobs.
Poor hiring decisions are likely to cause problems from day one. Consequences could be a
loss of sales and/or tarnish of Starbucks’ reputation. Unqualified or unmotivated workers will
probably require closer supervisor and direction, they may require additional training yet
never reach the required level of performance.
Starbucks’ training process is divided in:
1. Needs Analysis (labor demand): the organization determines the staffing needs that is
the process conducted by the Human Resources Department after the Strategic
Planning process.
2. Recruitment (labor supply): Starbucks creates a pool of qualified candidates
comparing KASs required with those of them.
3. Training Process / Socialization.
We will focus on the training process and particularly in those for baristas.
The first step is to understand completely the goals to be accomplished.
There are many different methods of training.
The following methods are most relevant to barista positions in Starbucks.
On-the-job training (OJT)
In this approach the trainee works in the actual work setting under the guidance of an
experienced worker supervisor or trainer that diminishes his/her direct role as the barista’s
performance improve.
Low cost: since it does not require additional materials in addition to the workplace.
Task-based: because it focuses on the tasks that a barista has to perform while doing his
Assist trainees in developing the professional and interpersonal skills necessary for
success in the workplace.
Job rotation: at the barista is given several tasks in succession, to gain experience of a
wide range of activities.
Barista safety: trough this method a barista learns how to use all equipment so that the
workplace is safer and more secure.
Inconsistent: Trainers are different
between one another so what is learnt
by the Barista depends on who is
assigned as the trainer.
Incomplete: Since OJT does not have a structured lesson guide, trainers often forget to
cover important information. The trainee is likely to learn what happen during the
training days rather than what a new barista needs to know.
Bad habits might be passed to the trainee.
Job Instruction Training
This method focuses on a step-by-step training.
All necessary steps are listed for the barista to follow and learn during the training process.
This method prepares the trainee with an overview of the job, its purpose, and the results
desired. It also demonstrates the tasks and skills required by the job.
Barista safety: trough this method a barista learns how to use all equipment so that the
workplace is safer and more secure.
Cost effective: without training a Barista might be running around asking for help and
clarification on every project or task, which could mean later work hours, more help
from other employees and less completed projects overall.
Meeting standards: through the training process the employee learns the company’s
culture, internal procedures and standards.
The Barista is away from his work environment and this allows him to absorb more
information as he feels less under pressure to perform.
The overall cost of the course might be expensive.
There is no guarantee that the skills and knowledge will be transferred or valued.
Trainees are usually forced to progress at a predetermined rate.
Not all the trainees starts with the same knowledge and skills.