There Might Be Some Significant Changes Coming To Starbucks Stores

Amid over 200 stores unionizing (via Forbes), coffee behemoth Starbucks is announcing a suite of changes that make it clear the company is gearing up for a complete refresh (perĀ The Wall Street Journal). From how drinks are made to the actual design of stores, Starbucks is planning for a massive overhaul. But what sparked such an urgent change? Well, a multitude of things that center around profitability. Despite an increase in sales in the second quarter, the company reports that its net income was down by 21% due to rising costs, according to WSJ.

The demand for Starbucks is approaching the point where changes need to be made to ensure sustainability, retain employees, and maintain customer satisfaction. Stores that previously would handle 1,200 orders daily are now required to handle 1,500 with the same infrastructure. Multiply that across stores nationwide, and it becomes apparent that a crisis is looming around the corner of left unaddressed. Thankfully, CEO Howard Shultz is ready to go through the old playbook and start from scratch.

Ushering in a new era

According to The Wall Street Journal, one in four new hires at Starbucks quit within 90 days, a significant change from the initial turnover rate of one in 10 employees. Part of the issue is rooted in understaffing and inefficiency. CEO Howard Shultz has decided the company needs to make an extensive overhaul from store design to employee satisfaction to their drink-making process.

At their Seattle headquarters, the company simulated the drink-making process for some of its popular offerings to get feedback on how to cut down the time. The feedback suggested included placing the equipment closer and making milk dispensers, ice bins, and syrup pumps that work more efficiently.

The head of the training center, Natarajan Venkatakrishnan, mentioned his desire to update Starbucks' blenders and have a machine that would reduce the time required to make cold brewed coffee. "You put a cap on it, you put it in, you blend it, you pour it out, you have to rinse this, you have to rinse the lid. All of that takes time," he told WSJ. Given Starbucks' dominance in the coffee industry, whatever the company decides to do will have a big impact on how fans enjoy their next brew.