12 little-known facts about Starbucks

Mental Floss recently spoke with a handful of Starbucks’ employees to learn some behind-the-scenes secrets. Here are the things they revealed:

  1. Starbucks employees are referred to as partners, not baristas. They’re referred to as “partners” because a year into their employment, they get a small percentage in the company.
  2. The apron color means something. Black aprons were given during a time when something called a Coffee Master program was in effect. Other apron variants include a red version for holidays and aprons with embroidered names to signify seniority.
  3. Partners aren’t amused by the funny names you use. Names that have been overheard include Captain America, Spider-Man, Daddy, and Barry Allen (a.k.a. the Flash).
  4. Partners sometimes have to deal with customers who won’t give their names. In the event of a no-name situation, partners will usually just call out the drink order.
  5. Working at Starbucks makes you a caffeine fiend. One of the big benefits of being a Starbucks partner? The free coffee. One big drawback? The free coffee.
  6. Partners might “decaf” rude customers. That’s when a caffeinated order is swapped out for decaf out of revenge.
  7. Partners are happy to serve your dog a “puppuccino.” Partners are generally pretty happy to see dogs and may even offer to prepare a “puppacino”–a cup full of whipped cream.
  8. Partners know you get confused by the drink sizes. A tall is 12 ounces; a grande is 16 ounces; a venti hot, 20 ounces; a venti cold, 24 ounces; and a trenta (only available for certain drinks), 31 ounces.
  9. New hires are known as “green beans.” During that training process, they’re referred to as “green beans.”
  10. Partners want to create a connection with you. Starbucks partners have a corporate mandate to be friendly. It’s called the “customer connection,” and it’s highly valued by the company.
  11. Partners can run out of patience with drive-thru customers. A good percentage of people who were rude at the speaker box seem to be nicer when they approach the window.
  12. Latte art can be tricky for partners. It’s really difficult and a learning curve because of the shape and size of Starbucks pitchers.




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