Monday, June 15, 2009

Corporate Wastefulness

Abby says:
Americans are wasteful. Up until now with many companies downsizing and going belly up, I have never really paid that much attention. One corporation that comes to mind is Starbucks. With my business, I conduct a lot of breakfast meetings where I bring coffee and the like for small to medium groups. I often utilize Starbucks. When ordering a tote of coffee (serving 8-10 people) I typically ask for the accompanying "condiments". Rather than giving me enough for 8-10 people, I typically get enough sugar, sweetener and stir sticks for 50+ people . That is no exaggeration, and it happens every single time.

I recently purchased a coffee tote for my friends at the gym and counted 200+ sweeteners and sugars. Probably 60 stirs. The leftovers went right into my kitchen drawer for personal use. While I am thrilled I don't have to buy this stuff (it's NOT cheap) for quite some time thanks to Starbucks, it makes me a bit crazy.

Starbucks recently closed stores in my hometown, Indianapolis, and have been "right-sizing" across the country. I bet if their corporate powers-that-be knew of this practice they would cringe. Multiply me by even 500 customers a day and look at the wastefulness! Maybe they should train their staff to ask customers how many accompaniments they would like. Think of the dollars they could save.

Sheri says:
On the other hand, every fast food restaurant in the country has bounced to the other extreme. Does no one use ketchup or salt anymore? Why do I have to ask for it? Why does it only make it into the bag about half the time?

I realize cost-cutting measures are in order and in theory, I support them. But I long for the days when common sense and customer service prevailed. I long for the days when employees were allowed to think for themselves -- she ordered fries, I'll stick some ketchup in the bag -- rather than follow some robotic policy of "No ketchup unless someone asks for it."

I also wish we still lived in a society where companies didn't have to worry about every patron taking advantage of their generosity.

Abby says
Ahh...common sense. I guess it's gone by the wayside with the ketchup robots.

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