Major update at Starbucks as new tech promises a better customer experience – but it’s proving unpopular wi… – The US Sun

STARBUCKS has announced new technology that promises a better customer experience but workers fear it will change their jobs far too much.
The coffee giant is set to implement a system that will cut down on work done by employees with new automated tech – but baristas believe it could remove the handmade element from drinks.
The new Siren System Cold Bar introduced by Starbucks is a part of the company's "reinvention" strategy, which will use some momentum gained during the pandemic to push the business even further.
After identifying that cold drinks make up 70percent of the company's revenue, execs have decided to reduce the steps that it takes to make popular drinks like a Frappuccino.
Add-ins on cold drinks alone, like an extra shot of expresso, now account for more than $1billion in sales each year, the New York Times reported.
The company plans to introduce new technology to automate steps like digging into buckets of ice to make drinks in nearly half of the time, baristas demonstrated in a presentation.
"We will never replace our baristas," said chief technology officer Deb Hall Lefevre in May.
"Rather, our job is to automate the work and simplify it so that their job is easier."
However, some Starbucks employees have slammed the new system, saying that it will strip half of their job away from them.
One partner Yasmin posted a humorous TikTok after the announcement that says: "Please I am absolutely fine, there is nothing worry-," before cutting to her looking horrified in front of the Siren System Cold Bar.
She sparked a conversation in the comment section where other baristas aired out their frustrations with the "reinvention" strategy.
"My issue is at that point we're not baristas bc we're not making the drink, the machine is doing it for us," someone commented.
"Takes away the handcrafted element."
Another person said: "WHY DO WE NEED A MACHINE TO SCOOP ICE FOR US?!?!?! THATS THE EASIEST PART."
And someone else commented: "No because dt times will be terrible and I don't want to hear nothing about it."
This comes as Starbucks announced that it would prioritize its partners as a part of the new plan.
Many partners have been overwhelmed by the increased workload as sales have increased through the drive-thru and mobile orders.
The company acknowledged that some aspects like turnover rates aren't desirable, but noted that changes like implementing a $15 minimum wage on August 1 will hopefully alleviate concerns.
"We haven't lived up to our end of the bargain with our partners," said chief strategy and transformation officer Frank Britt.
More and more stores are unionizing due to frustrations like scheduling issues, causing controversy surrounding the company.
"One the subject of unionization, there are two paths," said chief operating officer John Culver.
"We can work together as partners, side by side, or we can have a third party between us.
"If we are working side by side, we can efficiently deliver solutions that support our partners in their jobs, support their physical, financials and mental well-being."
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