Starbucks to Baristas: No More Multitasking

Critics fear longer lines
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2010 7:08 PM CDT
Updated Oct 16, 2010 8:00 AM CDT
Starbucks to Baristas: No More Multitasking
A file photo of a Starbucks barista handing over a drink.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Starbucks is changing the way its baristas operate—it wants them to focus on one drink at a time, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company is looking to shed what coffee aficionados see as an assembly-line process, but it runs the risk of angering everyone else with longer lines. The changes "doubled the amount of time it takes to make drinks in some cases," says a barista in Minnesota who's been testing the process.

The company says the changes will make stores more efficient in the long run, with the bonus of better-tasting drinks. But company documents acknowledge delays for drinks such as no-foam lattes. Baristas should "let the customer know their beverage will take a little longer and may be out of order due to the time it takes the milk to settle and the foam to rise to the top (approximately 60 seconds)."

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