And if I was sleepless - and I was - it was from excitement and caffeine intake!
We were a group of international executives - mostly European, but also guys from Chile or Hong Kong - and we were supposed to increase our knowledge about coffee and our job as such, build a network, but most importantly soak up the corporate culture and implant it into our organization back home. Back then SBUX was only beginning to grow internationally. When I joined my market, there were about a dozen stores in Switzerland and a handful in Austria.
It was an unforgettable experience, a combination of camp, field trip, office party, shopping spree and just having coffee with new friends. A lot of coffee and a lot of friends! I saw some of them again when we attended international leadership conferences the following years. With others I am connected via FB or LinkedIn, and if any of them would advise me of an upcoming trip to Switzerland I would pick them up at the airport and show them a good time around here.
We also had an opportunity to meet Howard Schultz. At the time he hadn't been involved in the operational business anymore, but he made time to talk to us and answer our questions. Most of us newbies had read his book and thought we "knew" him.
We were surprised to meet a regular guy, almost shy. Forget about him owning the Sonics or a private jet, he is one down-to-earth guy! If I had to take away just one thing from that encounter it'd be to "do the right thing". In business, in your private life, listen to your core values and let them guide you.
I would learn later that the Mission Statement within SBUX was so much more than a framed piece of paper displayed at the reception desk. The fact that people lived and breathed it made it a fantastic place to work for.
|Annie, who had helped hiring me over the phone, |
recognized me in front of the elevator.
We have been close friends ever since ❤
I can't believe I forgot the name of the legendary ponytail guy at the roasting plant. He had been around forever and finished every third sentence with "that's our commitment to quality". I do, however, remember that Guatemala Antigua was his favorite coffee.
Our favorite beverages would soon become our distinctive mark, and we would learn how to mark the cups and call the drinks with all the attributes in the right order.
How to Order Like a Pro at Starbucks:
Cup - Customers may request a ceramic “for here” cup, or take a drink “to-go” in their own travel mug
Iced - Is your drink hot or cold? Say this first so your barista can grab the right cup.
Size - What size drink do you want? The sizes are Short (8 oz.), Tall (12 oz.), Grande (16 oz.), Venti (20 oz. for hot and 24 oz. for iced)
Decaf - Do you want decaf? If so, then say this next.
Shots - How many shots of espresso do you want in your drink? All Lattes, Cappuccinos, and Macchiatos have the following shots:
- Tall - 1
- Grande and Venti (hot drinks) - 2
- Iced Venti - 3
Syrup - Do you want a flavored drink? Here are the main syrups: Vanilla, Hazelnut, Mocha, White Chocolate Mocha, Cinnamon Dolce, Toffee Nut, Raspberry, Classic, Peppermint, Caramel and Chai. Sugar Free: Vanilla, Hazelnut, Cinnamon Dolce and Caramel. There are also seasonal syrups so check the menu ahead of time to see if there are anymore choices.
Milk - What kind of milk do you want? Whole, 2%, Nonfat and Soy are your choices.
Custom - If there’s something else you’d like to specify say it here. Examples: No Whip, 180 degrees, No water.
Drink - What kind of drink do you want? (Examples: Latte, Mocha, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Americano, Hot Chocolate, Frappuccino, Tea, Coffee)
“I’ll have a tall, decaf Cappuccino"
|Legendary green apron!|
|May walked me through HR practices|
|SBUX HQ - I loved the fact that the whole building |
smelled of coffee at any given time of the day!
|Learning everything about employer branding from Carrie|
|Christoph, my Swiss partner in crime, without a doubt the |
greatest CFO I have had the pleasure to work with!
Even though I didn't know that from the very beginning ;-)
|Of course we did some sightseeing, too|
OK, hit me! What's your favorite beverage, did you have to wait too long in line the other day, do you miss a certain pastry item? I can't help you, but you can tell me anyway ;-)