New Starbucks CEO plans to remove barista teams from stores every month

new York

New Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan announced his plan for the company in a letter to employees. This includes working at Starbucks stores as a barista once a month.

Narasimhan officially became the coffee chain’s chief executive on Monday, taking the reins from Howard Schultz about two weeks ahead of schedule. But he’s been in the coffee business for months: Narasimhan joined Starbucks as interim CEO in October and has since spent time getting to know the business, including earning a barista certification, which requires 40 hours of in-store training.

“The last six months of my immersion in the company have been shaped by so many of you teaching me about our very special culture at Starbucks,” Narasimhan wrote in Thursday’s letter to employees.

“With you, I experienced all aspects of the business to learn what it really means to wear the green apron. You have welcomed me into our stores, trained me as a barista…all to help me understand in depth what we do, how we do it, and the challenges and opportunities we face” , he wrote.

“To stay close to the culture and our customers, as well as our challenges and opportunities, I intend to continue working in store for half a day each month.

In the letter, Narasimhan also explained how he plans to continue with the reinvention plan presented by Schultz over the summer. Starbucks has made more than $1 billion in investments to update training, improve equipment, raise wages and add other benefits to non-union employees, among other things, to help modernize the brand and make it more relevant.

“With our reinvention plan introduced last year, we will continue to focus on improving the store experience, the customer and of course the partner experience,” Narasimhan wrote, using the word “ partner” to refer to an employee, as Starbucks does. This includes more digital offerings for customers, scaling faster while reducing waste, expanding globally and “further [elevating] brand through coffee,” he added. Recently, the company launched a new line of olive oil coffee.

“Essentially, we’re going to reinvigorate our culture around what it means to be a partner at Starbucks,” Narasimhan continued. “I will always be a strong advocate for our partners and our culture,” he added.

Narasimhan, who hosts Starbucks’ annual shareholders meeting on Thursday, takes over the company during a tense period as it tries to fight off a wave of unionization. This effort has been lousy at times, casting a shadow over Starbucks’ reputation as a progressive company.

Starbucks employees react and cheer to the sound of honking motorists supporting them in a nationwide strike at Starbucks at 1601 W. Irving Park Road on December 16, 2022 in Chicago.

Starbucks has engaged in “gross and widespread misconduct” in its dealings with employees involved in efforts to unionize Buffalo, New York stores, including the first location to unionize, the Council’s administrative judge recently said. National Labor Relations, Michael Rosas. Starbucks repeatedly dispatched top executives to Buffalo-area stores in a “relentless” effort, the judge wrote, that “probably left a lasting impact on the importance of voting against representation.”

Starbucks previously said of Rosas’ order that it was “considering all options to obtain additional legal review,” adding that “we believe the decision and remedies ordered are inappropriate given the record in this matter. “.

Despite Starbucks’ actions, nearly 300 stores have voted to unionize and have been certified by the NLRB, so far. There are approximately 9,300 company-operated Starbucks stores in the United States.

Unionized workers hope Narasimhan will be more open to the union than Schultz, who has led the company’s efforts against the union since becoming interim CEO last year. Schultz, who remains on Starbuck’s board, is scheduled to testify about Starbucks labor practices at a Senate hearing next week.

“We hope Laxman Narasimhan will chart a new course with the union and work with us to make Starbucks the company we know it can be,” Starbucks worker and union organizer Michelle Eisen said in a statement this week. week.


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