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Starbucks is unique in the fact that every employee is called a “partner.” There are about 60,000 partners worldwide, and each one is given health insurance and stock options. This creates an extremely high employee satisfaction rate, and very low turnover rate. The special training that employees go through is also an important part of Starbucks’ image. They go through both hard skill and soft skill training. The hard skills focus on learning how to mix drinks, run the cash register, etc. The soft skills, on the other hand, teach partners how to connect more personally with customers. By learning skills such as starting conversations, remembering customer names, and keeping a smile all the time, Starbucks tries to promote a friendly and more personal environment.

Starbucks has many different methods of measuring its service performance. It tracks service issues by the monthly status reports as well as the self-reported checklists. Starbucks also has a mystery shopper program called the “Customer Snapshot.” This program helps rate Starbucks on its service, cleanliness, product quality, and speed of service. These details are later used to determine whether or not Starbucks is living up to its standards in each of these categories. It can also be used to compare Starbucks to its competition and see where it needs to be improved.

Because Starbucks has faced a lot of competition from small scale specialty coffee chains, it implemented different growth strategies to differentiate itself. Retail expansion was one way Starbucks wanted to grow. With about half the U.S. population drinking coffee every day, and one-third of this consumption taking place outside of the home, Starbucks believed it could eventually expand to 10,000 stores around the country. They wanted to open up stores in new markets, while geographically clustering stores in existing markets. This often caused Starbucks to “self cannibalize” its stores. However, the company...
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