We have observed for a while that the service experience at Starbucks has deteriorated considerably. Getting operations leaner might give Starbucks an added side effect from squeezing more margin out of their operations. Their employees will not be as hurried as today and return to giving customers the service they presumably pay for when paying $4.25 for a coffee that across the street costs $1.75.
From the WSJ:
Starbucks Corp. built its business as the anti-fast-food joint. Now, the recession and growing competition are forcing the coffeehouse giant to see the virtues of behaving more like its streamlined competitors.
Under a new initiative being put into practice at its more than 11,000 U.S. stores, there will be no more bending over to scoop coffee from below the counter, no more idle moments waiting for expired coffee to drain and no more dillydallying at the pastry case.