This past week I had the opportunity to interview a barista that works at the Starbucks in the Purdue Memorial Union. This Starbucks is rumored to be the busiest one in Indiana. I even had a friend that worked there last year and she claimed that this rumor was true. I couldn’t find any proof, but Darby Mackintosh did have a lot to say about her always busy Starbucks.
For this post, I will be getting the inside scoop on the Purdue Memorial Union Starbucks and comparing it to my Starbucks. I work at a very tiny Starbucks kiosk in a grocery store and when I say tiny, I mean TINY. There is literally no room to do anything and you are constantly running into the other baristas there.
Compared to the Starbucks that I work at, Darby’s Starbucks blows mine out of the water when it comes to business.
“We’ve actually had people quit in the middle of shifts because they’ve gotten too stressed. Personally I’ve never felt it. I don’t find it that stressful. The most stressful is when you’re on hot bar. Then you have the lines of cups that keep going. It’s like it’s never ending.”
My Starbucks is normally pretty busy in the morning and evening, but never to this extreme. I would say the most cups we ever have in line is around 5 0r 6 and almost never more than 6 people in line.
I asked her to tell me about the busiest times she has ever seen it and she replied, “I would say when I’m working during the day. Anywhere from 1 p.m. to 5 or 6. The rush usually starts around 2, 2:30. It’s just like lines and lines of cups and you’re just go go go. Luckily I’ve never worked during frappuccino happy hour.”
Frappuccino happy hour is the WORST. Don’t get me wrong it’s for sure a steal and a great way to make sales, but it’s so stressful and exhausting, even at our store. Frappuccinos just take way longer to make than other drinks and when you get a line of them, you really get behind. The whip cream on top also make a huge mess sometimes!
Darby even talked about how frustrating it is that they don’t have room for more than two blenders or room for two people to be working on frappuccinos. I feel her pain because our store is even smaller and we only have one blender.
Another difference is that Darby’s Starbucks has stations. This is a foreign concept to me because when I work a shift in my itty, bitty kiosk, I multitask and do everything. She explained that they have five stations: register, hot bar, cold bar, orders support (someone who handles the oven and food), and store support (someone who is constant restocking ingredients and supplies).
Another big difference between are stores is the average shift length and the number of employees that our stores employ. Darby said, “The average shift is 2 to 3 hours. They do that for us because of the whole stress factor and the fact that they are working around schedules for students.”
Her Starbucks also employs around 60 people. I was in shock when she told me this. At the most we have 7 baristas.
When it comes to opening, I thought it was interesting that both are stores take around 30 minutes to get everything set up (minus the pastry case). I just figured that it would take their store longer because they have more customers and it’s bigger.
Lastly, Darby brought up how her Starbucks is in a competition with the other Starbucks on campus, Third Street Starbucks. The winner is whichever Starbucks has the highest check average. Today she was able to send me a picture of their score chart.