starbucksIf you enjoy waiting awhile for your customized Starbucks coffee beverage, then rejoice! Because the line's about to get a whole lot longer.

New guidelines from Starbucks management instruct baristas to make no more than two drinks at one time (versus making multiple drinks all at once). The goal behind the new procedures is to increase efficiency and quality -- even if it means the lines are twice as long and the customers are twice as pissed off.

Customers across the board complain that Starbucks' quality is average and inconsistent. In an effort to serve drinks that are fresher and hotter, the new guidelines direct employees to do the following:

  • Make only two drinks at a time -- specifically, start a second drink while finishing the first.
  • Steam milk for each drink rather than steaming an entire pitcher for multiple beverages.
  • Rinsing pitchers after each use.
  • Staying at the espresso bar instead of moving around in between drinks (to the blender to make a Frappuccino while the milk for a cappuccino is steaming, for example.).

Practically speaking, all of these methods -- at least until the baristas get the hang of them -- take extra time. Which isn't such a bad idea in theory: There's something exciting and theatrical about going to an espresso bar. You're willing to wait because you know you're going to get a great cup of quality coffee.

Perhaps that's part of Starbucks' master plan. Raise its credibility by bringing back some of the anticipation and theater of the whole coffee experience.

But the reality is that people go to Starbucks out of habit and because they want their coffee in a hurry -- not because they want to see a good show or expect top-notch perfectly roasted beans. If you throw a gargantuan line into the mix, won't that ruin the entire experience?

Will you be annoyed if the line at Starbucks gets longer?

 

Image via action datsun/Flickr