Starbucks Leadership: ‘Everything Is Fine.’ Starbucks Customers: ‘Where’s My Coffee?’

Starbucks customers say lines are getting long, and the wait times are probably making customers cranky as they wait 15 minutes or more for their coffee. But Starbucks says everything is fine–and that its staffing algorithm, which supposedly led to the line issue, is “upgraded,” along with the company’s staffing policies.

I’m not a coffee drinker, so I rarely visit a Starbucks. But I can tell you that this is a classic case of how relying too much on technology becomes a problem.

Technology is often cheaper than employees, so if you can have an algorithm figure out your staffing needs rather than training a store manager to do so, that’s a tremendous cost savings. But it can lead to problems.

Algorithms and predictive models in general can be very helpful in planning, but you have to remember the very important programming phrase: garbage in; garbage out.

To keep reading, click here: Starbucks Leadership: ‘Everything Is Fine.’ Starbucks Customers: ‘Where’s My Coffee?’

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One thought on “Starbucks Leadership: ‘Everything Is Fine.’ Starbucks Customers: ‘Where’s My Coffee?’

  1. As a person who had to use a computer-generated schedule format to pre-make my schedule expectations, the AI-generated schedule never adjusted for the human factor of the staff. It expected everyone to fit the pegs as being able to function as the predicted sales state. It never adjusted for the fact that while I had a great customer-satisfying cashier, that specific cashier could never ring up more than $300/ hour at the same time, which meant that I had to schedule another person to handle all the orders for all the customers who had no patience to wait to be cashed out, plus could not use the customer service desk to help because it had a high amount of customer service tasks that don’t reflect on the ales–money order sales, Western Union requests. AI computer-generated schedules don’t reflect real-life situations, which a human would know about, and adjust the schedule to match real-life needs. So if Starbucks is going with this approach, it will create negativity in the staff and negative reactions from the paying customers who care little about labor costs. All companies must stop pleasing the shareholders over the staff and the paying customers.

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