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Week 51: The Starbucks Experience & Pizzelles


I started my career working at Starbucks and was a supervisor in my early 20s. I had a pivotal moment in my career where in 1999 I was going to go back to school and learn computer programming (a 1 year intensive programming, database, web development program) or potentially move up at Starbucks. Those days at Starbucks were fond memories of getting to know the customers and learning about the 3rd place. So needless to say in my 20s it was great. ⁠

If I could sum up this book it would be discipline and consistency when it comes to making great coffee. Starbucks spent years trying to solve the issue of spoilage because in the early days the beans would spoil after 7 days. Starbucks would take the beans back because they did not want restaurants serving bad coffee. They found that a 7 cent valve would allow gasses out of the bag but not allow air to enter and this increased the shelf life of the beans from 7 days to 6 weeks. This is how they were able to expand into the Northwest.⁠

The saying retail is detail speaks to me. Knowing your regular customers and their drinks was really important to me when I worked there. In the morning if there were 5 people in line I would already start making their drinks and the regulars would really appreciate it. You have a few minutes in the day to potentially brighten up someone’s day and the details matter. ⁠

The book has 5 principles:⁠

Make it your own-being knowledgeable about the coffee and listening to the customers⁠

Everything matters-missed details produce dissatisfied customers who go elsewhere⁠

Surprise and Delight-your efforts to surprise others are a contagious force⁠

Embrace resistance- when errors are made, take responsibility and fix them⁠

Leave your mark - people want to do business with, work for and invest in socially conscious companies⁠

The book was written in 2007 so you may have read it years ago. If so, tell me what you think?⁠

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