Starbucks Baristas Are Receiving Sensitivity Lessons During the Current Wall Street Crisis


‘We know your stocks are falling at an alarming rate, but here’s some extra whipped cream to brighten your day.’

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is at it again, carrying on his initiative to promote sensitivity in his stores.It started out with the short-lived Race Together campaign. Now, baristas are being urged to show some sensitivity in the light of the recent financial crisis.

Over the past few days, the Chicken Littles of the finance world have had their worst fears confirmed as the sky (and stocks) fell, and continue to do poorly. Wall Street is in a tizzy, and in a memo, Schultz is asking baristas to “be very sensitive to the pressures our customers may be feeling, and do everything we can to individually and collectively exceed their expectations.”

He then went on to predict that some customers may become testy when ordering their morning lattes, saying, “today’s financial market volatility, combined with great political uncertainty both at home and abroad, will undoubtedly have an effect on consumer confidence and perhaps even our customers’ attitudes and behavior.”


Perhaps the reason for negative customer attitudes has more to do with the late arrival of the iconic pumpkin spice latte this year.