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We all know that patience is a virtue, and when it's required before your first cup of coffee, it's basically impossible. Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz has admitted that the wait time at Starbucks is not as swift as it used to be, but they're working on it. With the growing usage of ordering via the mobile app, register lines have shortened, but it's taking even longer to get your drink, as the baristas are swamped with simultaneous orders. There's no need to fret, however, because those lattes that you know and love and surely not going anywhere.

Sara Tane
January 30, 2017

It’s no secret that literally everybody on the planet was ready for 2016 to end and looking forward to turning over a new leaf in 2017 for bright, positive beginnings. Unfortunately for Starbucks, the hope of a successful start to the new year did not quite come to fruition, as they’ve just announced their lowest sales growth for the first fiscal quarter of 2017 since 2009. Ouch. However, this drop in sales comes as a result of customer experience (people are actually entering the store and leaving without purchasing anything), not the product. Don’t worry—those lattes* taste just as good as they always have.

You may have noticed upon recent visits to locations of this coffee chain powerhouse that there is a noticeably shorter line at the register, despite a longer wait time to finally get your drink. This is not due to barista fatigue, an ailment that has never occurred in any Starbucks employee that I have encountered. The reason you might find yourself twiddling your thumbs as the baristas are frantically slinging drink after drink is because more and more customers are relying on their mobile app to order, thus resulting in a shorter line at the register, but a straight up clusterf*ck for the barista tasked with making them all.

Courtesy of Starbucks

Hear me out—I am a proud and loyal Starbucks customer, despite the fact that I don’t use the app on my phone. I don’t really know why I’m holding out on this inevitable ordering time-saver, but I guess I like to consider myself a Starbies purist. However, I am all for technology integration, especially in the name of efficiency. Particularly for consistently-swamped locations, using this sort of technology to divert traffic from the register and give some relief to the poor soul tasked with scribbling order after order. It is, without a doubt, a sensible solution, Starbucks just needs to figure out how to respond on the production side (maybe bringing on more hands?). I'm confident they'll figure something out. 

Related: See how to make Cold Brew Coffee. 

 

Basically, Starbucks is one of the most celebrated brands globally, and its loyal allegiance of followers (like ME) is not going anywhere just because of a little impatience. The growing usage of the new mobile app ordering program has simply put a strain on the workflow of the cafe, and the bright-minded people of this beloved brand simply need a minute to go back to the drawing board to find a way to make the magic happen once again. I mean, come on, too much demand is a damn good problem to have.

Gingerbread Latte image

Photo: Daniel Agee; Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

If the lines at Starbucks are just too much for your anxious, caffeine-deprived body to handle, then it might be best to steer clear for the next couple months while they work through these growing pains (although I do not suggest this as a diehard, every day solution, because a life without Starbucks is not one worth living IMO). Instead, unleash your inner barista and brew a gingerbread or a peppermint mocha latte in the comfort of your own home. No lines, no crowds, just you and your java. In the meantime, you can find me, thumb-twiddling and all, patiently awaiting my drink at the end of the bar.

*If you haven't marched your ass into a Starbucks and tried the new cascara latte, you're missing out.

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