What has happened to Starbucks?

In my last two trips to Starbucks I have had experiences that seem rather out of the ordinary for a company that I have always associated with having a pretty high standard of excellence…

“Sorry we are out of that”

I encountered this statement at two Starbucks in the last couple of days in two different cities.

Now, there are some businesses where you just kind of expect this lack of service… some businesses just don’t have this standard of excellence, but I have to say it really caught me off guard at Starbucks.

Anyone else experienced a recent decline in their service?

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  • brandiandboys May 8, 2008  

    That happened to me at a Starbucks here in Nashville. Feel your pain.

  • Andrea Emerson May 8, 2008  

    I haven’t noticed any difference at my local Starbucks, but I’ve heard their brand has taken a dive and they’re fighting to stay on top — which is why they’ve launched a customer service web site, http://www.mystarbucksidea.com.

    Last time I checked, they were in the process of launching free wifi (and I think some “frequent customer” reward system) in response to the feedback on that site… (Click on “Ideas in Action” to see which ideas they’re acting on.)



  • Ally May 8, 2008  

    I’ve noticed that there’s less consistency in the taste of my drinks (cinnamon dolce latte and caramel macchiatos) than there once was–especially when I go to Starbucks in smaller towns; once the barista didn’t know what “skinny” meant, and another time a barista didn’t know what “upside down” meant. But all in all it’s still way better than the other coffee shops I’ve visited.

  • Grant May 8, 2008  

    I have experienced this. It is similar to a when, on a recent visit to KFC, I was told they were out of mashed potatoes. You’re WHAT?!?!

  • Rachel May 9, 2008  

    Starbux stock has dropped and they are closing stores. The coffee craze/fad is on its way out…at least for $4 a cup. People are realizing they can make their own coffee/tea at home and add their own syrups/milks, etc…for like, $1 a cup. With the imposing recession, Starbux is going to feel the hit and maybe that results in staffing issues as well as limited inventory. Maybe they will drop the prices (please, please, pretty please).

  • Aaron May 9, 2008  

    i haven’t seen a decline in their customer service…..at least not at the starbucks that i hit on the way to work……in fact, the morning crew there will start getting my coffee ready as soon as they see me walk in

    keep up the good work on your blog

  • loranlichty May 13, 2008  

    You know what’s funny? I experienced that yesterday as well? They were very polite…but still out of what we wanted (sugar free vanilla). I’m not complaining but it’s either a breakdown in their supply chain or a new cost savings company wide? Believe it or not, lowering the inventory on certian items can save quite a bit….challenge is….what do you loose when you can’t serve your customer?
    Great Blog Jenni