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Tiki Central Forums Beyond Tiki Anyone here ever worked at Starbucks? What was that like?
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Anyone here ever worked at Starbucks? What was that like?
Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2005-02-16 03:00 am   Permalink

Anyone here ever worked at Starbucks? What was that like? How about any other coffee houses such as Peets, etc? I'm especially interested in hearing about anyone that was a manager or assistant manager at one of those places.

The reason I'm asking is that it career changing time. I'm tired of riding out this low job market wave here in the S.F. Bay Area. Finances are starting to get a little tight, and I've been assessing what the hell I'm gonna do with the rest of my life, or at least the near future. Opening up my own coffee shop has an appeal, but of course I have no experience in that arena so far. So I'm thinking about selling my soul to the Devil (or at least leasing it out for a while) and going to work in a Starbucks or similar venue to learn the trade. I'm thinking manager or assistant manager position.

I do have a college degree in Business with an emphasis in finance and accounting, and have prior work experience in public accounting, and some retail experience (but not in management, just sales associate) to boot.

I'm definitely smart enough to realize that I can't just go out and do it and be successful long term with absolutely no experience in this field whatsoever, especially with such high overhead in the Bay Area such as commercial rent, etc. I need to learn the intracacies, such as how large of a staff I would need, how many man hours a week it takes, equipment needs and costs, product costs, how to manage inventory, and much much more. I was thinking that working as a manager or assistant manager for a Starbucks or similar venue might be a good place for me to start out.

So would anyone care to share their experiences in working in one of these places, whether it be in management or a barista? What was the experience like? What were the hours like? What was the pay like? I've always had a yearning to run my own independent type of business, whether it be a coffee shop, independent record store, boutique type retail store, etc. I'm tired of working for the man and just getting by - tired enough that I'm getting ready to strike out on my own to try to make my own fortune. Any feedback would be much appreciated!!! Mahaloz in advance!


 
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Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2005-02-16 08:32 am   Permalink

Mai Tai,
My wife worked for Starbucks back right before we got married. She was not a manager, but she seemed to enjoy it mostly. There was extensive training. They sent her to a 2-3 day class in coffee. Now, I don't mean just how Starbucks corporation works, but how to taste coffee, where its grown, the difference between the various kinds, how to make a perfect shot, etc. Very deep.


 
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dangergirl299
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Feb 18, 2003
Posts: 893
From: Bay Area
Posted: 2005-02-16 10:18 am   Permalink

A good friend of mine worked for Starbucks for a while up in Oregon. She was really happy with it. I think they were paying for her college or something like that. She seemed pretty interested in becoming manager and it seemed like an easy thing to do, with good pay.

She ended up ultimately working for Nike, making big bucks.

Say what you will about the evil marketing presence of Starbucks, they make a damn hairy strong cup of coffee! Imagine unlimited amounts of that, free, all day...


 
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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5820
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2005-02-16 2:26 pm   Permalink

Here is a hilarious cartoon about Star Schmuccs Coffee House.
WARNING:Explicit Content

Star Schmuccs

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ZebraTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 530
From: Enchanted Bay Area, CA
Posted: 2005-02-16 3:04 pm   Permalink

Go for Peet's over Starbucks, they have better chance for promotion from within, better benefits, and treat their people fairly. The Starbucks guys started out working for Peet's. Peet's HQ is near you in Emeryville last time I checked. Your chances of getting into management are better if you haven't already been a manager or district manager anywhere previously. They're honestly more interested in a positive attitude than experience, which is refreshing.

 
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cynfulcynner
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2005-02-16 3:47 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-02-16 15:04, ZebraTiki wrote:
Peet's HQ is near you in Emeryville last time I checked.



They're still there, including their roasting plant.


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mrs. pineapple
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2003
Posts: 611
Posted: 2005-02-16 5:49 pm   Permalink

Starbucks is consistently ranked in the 'top 5 best places to work.' I was really anti-starbucks for a while, mostly because they seem, ugh, ubiquitous, like, there are literally places in the east bay where they're on both sides of the street, etc. BUT I changed my tune on them a while back when I read that they are one of the most progressive and employee friendly places to work. They also give giant amounts of money to progressive /environmental/social causes. Sure, they're taking over the planet, but they pay a living wage and provide great benefits!

Peet's on the other hand, is the best coffee on the planet, and they're local!
Having said all the nice stuff about Starbucks, I'd cross the street to go to Peet's!

I'd go talk to the worker bees, if you really want to know. Retail happiness is highly dependent on the store management. Go in when they're not busy and ask the cashiers. They'll tell you the truth! I was pondering the Trader Joe's route a while back when things looked bleak and I was burned out on psycho creative directors, and I talked to the kids at the TJ's I shopped at, and they RAVED about what a great company it was, the benefits, the managers were awesome, etc. Retail has an extremely high turnover, if the employees have been there for a while and they seem happy and normal, the management is good. Good luck, and let us know where you decide to go, we'll come by and leave you big tips!
mrs. pineapple

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[ This Message was edited by: mrs. pineapple on 2005-02-16 17:50 ]

[ This Message was edited by: mrs. pineapple on 2005-02-16 17:50 ]


 
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Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2005-02-23 04:53 am   Permalink

Much mahaloz to everyone for their feedback. It will either be Peet's or Starbucks for me. So far from what I've heard, they both seem to treat their employees well (a rarity these days). And yeah, that is cool to know that Peet's headquarters and roasting plant is in Emeryville, which is near where I reside, on the exotic island of Alameda.

I will definitely interview some of the worker bees to get their feedback as well.

Quote:

On 2005-02-16 17:49, mrs. pineapple wrote:
Good luck, and let us know where you decide to go, we'll come by and leave you big tips!



Thanks! I'll keep everyone posted! Also, if anyone reading this thread has worked in a Starbucks, Peet's, or similar place, especially as a manager or assistant manager, please let me know what the experience was like. Thanks again!


 
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limptiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2003
Posts: 137
From: bay area
Posted: 2005-02-23 10:26 am   Permalink

I have to say pal, knowing you as I do that I don't think you can move fast enough for a corporate coffee gig, and I know you can't get up early enough for the 1st shift!

 
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MonkeyBoy
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 17
From: The Big Nowhere
Posted: 2005-02-23 4:03 pm   Permalink

Hey there MaiTai!

I started with Sbux in July, '02. My prior backround was 25 years in nightclubs and fine dining. I started at the bottom and worked up to asst. mgr. in14 months. I got fired in May, '04 for something really stupid on my part. Though they didn't want to let me go, they had to. I took the summer off, built a tiki bar on the deck:

http://tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=10547&forum=2&30

and re-hired, at the bottom, in Aug., '04. I'm getting promoted *again* next month. Never in all my years, working for perhaps 15 different establishments, have I ever been treated better. Sincere interest in my well-being, real respect and an 'employee first' attitude. Most stores have their 'Mission Statement' posted, and they truly do live by it.

Management starts in the 30K range, depending upon your education and experience. You go through an 8 week training program before being assigned to a store, usually as an asst. Promotion to manager is usually a year. On top of your salary, based on an enforced 40 hour, no more!, work week, you get quarterly bonuses which can be quite nice. It has worked well enough for me that I'm willing to work my way up again.

That is my two cents, hope this helps, Tim

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[ This Message was edited by: MonkeyBoy on 2005-02-23 16:04 ]


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Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2005-02-23 4:09 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-02-23 10:26, limptiki wrote:
I have to say pal, knowing you as I do that I don't think you can move fast enough for a corporate coffee gig, and I know you can't get up early enough for the 1st shift!


Well you should see me move furniture! As for making the first shift, I'll just go to bed after it's over!


 
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Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2005-02-23 4:38 pm   Permalink

MonkeyBoy, I sent you a personal message. Thanks for the feedback.

 
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RevBambooBen
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 12, 2002
Posts: 7454
From: Huntikington Beach
Posted: 2008-07-06 9:28 pm   Permalink

Hmmm.....

600 Starbucks stores closing!

The need to be turned into Mai Tai Bars!!!
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Haole'akamai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 2272
From: The Polynesian Port of NOLA
Posted: 2008-07-06 10:22 pm   Permalink

I really enjoyed working for Peets!

 
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Mai Tai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1436
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2008-07-07 12:32 am   Permalink

Heh, I seem to have a reverse midas touch when it comes to career choices. Practically all industries that I have pursued or shown a strong interest in have gone belly up or soon will. I have been thinking of becoming the next Kreskin for predicting markets that will fail.

You should see the next industry that I'm trying to get into. If it fails, you all will panic, shudder, and gasp!!! Until then, I'm investing everything into opening up a hot rod shop that restores Edsels.
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