In a viral TikTok, a former Starbucks barista explained the perceived difference in the quality of different Starbucks locations. The rant came in response to a video of another TikToker asking why the Starbucks inside of Target stores are “always the worst.”
The TikToker, known as Ryan W Coffee (@coffeefanatics), said he worked at a standalone Starbucks store plus one inside a Target and another inside a Barnes & Noble. Therefore, he said, he’s the “most qualified” to explain which Starbucks is best.
According to Ryan, most Starbucks baristas believe that Target Starbucks workers aren’t trained at the same level as other Starbucks workers—but that’s “absolutely false,” he said in the video.
“All of their training modules are the same,” Ryan said in the video. “And then they have extra training for Target-based stuff. Do they have the recipe cards? Yes. And we have to sign off whenever we’ve read one to make us accountable. And if we screw up it’s on us.”
So why is regular Starbucks better? Ryan said they’re not. In any retail business, customers never know what kind of service they’re going to get.
“It’s not about training. It’s about management,” Ryan said.
If you go to a Target Starbucks that’s worse than a standalone Starbucks, it’s probably because they only have one to two people on staff, the TikToker said. According to the training playbook, he added, those locations should have at least three or four employees.
At a standalone Starbucks, the location might be fully staffed and still have bad management, leading to bad service, Ryan said.
“Do I blame the person making my drink? No. Unless they’re the manager, in that case I will,” Ryan said in the video.
In a comment on his video, which by Monday had over 156,000 views, Ryan clarified that the answer is that no Starbucks is “better.”
“No Starbucks is better! They are all beautiful beans,” he wrote.
His video prompted a round of support and thanks from other Starbucks baristas who said they’re tired of being misunderstood. Some shared their own stories of being the only barista in a Starbucks.
“Thank you because I’m sick and tired of ppl talking trash about us,” one barista commented on the video.
“I use to work at the Starbucks in an airport and it was not fun I was always by myself such a long story,” another former barista commented.
“From a old target worker, Starbucks sometimes didn’t get enough coverage and target people had to cover or shut it down,” one viewer said.
“Former target barista here, our backup was always a target employee we had to train on site,” another user wrote.
Several viewers also seconded Ryan’s explanation that it’s all about management, saying their bad experiences were mostly due to bad managers.
“Yes !! This! we had a terrible manager who did not train any of the staff, talked bad about everyone, etc.,” one viewer said.
“My first manager was the worst on bar,” another viewer commented.
The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and Starbucks via press email.
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