Have you experienced crazy-long lines at Starbucks lately? If so, some of the company’s staff say there’s a reason for the longer waits: the coffee chain has been cutting back on worker hours, leading to declining service in stores.
As a money-making business, Starbucks has been on a roll lately — the coffee chain reported another quarter of record sales and profit last week. So it baffled many of the company’s hourly employees in the U.S. when, as business boomed this spring, they noticed a dramatic change: they weren’t getting enough hours of work.
Eight Starbucks employees from several cities around the country told BuzzFeed News that since May, the number of work hours assigned to stores by the chain’s Global Labor Scheduling (GLS) system has fallen far below both what they need and what they normally receive. The change came with no warning or explanation from executives; some staff say their schedules were cut in advance, while others have been sent home during their shifts. Many have taken to social media to complain, with some threatening to quit.
It’s an unexpected turn for the Seattle coffee chain, which has long considered itself an employer of choice in a fast food industry infamous for bare-minimum pay and benefits, and demoralized workers. An internal communication portal used by the company has received numerous complaints from staff — “partners,” in Starbucks lingo — about reduced hours and declining morale, according to screenshots provided to BuzzFeed News.