In just my second week as a Starbucks partner (known as employee is most organisations), I was given the opportunity to be fully immersed into the global coffee chain’s culture by experiencing first-hand what makes the company such a success and how it goes about ‘inspiring and nurturing the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time’.
I was to spend a week in the busy Baker Street store observing operations, serving customers and best of all being trained as a Barista.
It’s not just coffee making
Coffee making, cleaning and chatting to customers aside, the week on my feet gave me a real insight into what the store partners go through each shift.
I worked both the opening and the closing shifts during the week gaining experience in varying levels of trade – the morning commuter rush and the late night tourist revellers.
With my barista apron off and my energy-saving hat on, I found working on the front line was extremely valuable in exploring practical opportunities.
Energy efficiency measures made by executives that have little appreciation of the environment in which their initiatives are being implemented often risk the rolling out of unsustainable energy projects that are not retail friendly. If the end users of these technologies are not taken into account, they can often be unsustainable in the long run.
Do the time on the front line
I would encourage my fellow energy professionals across all sectors to walk a week in the shoes of those on the shop floor. Different from a few shifts over Christmas or promotional periods – taking a whole week (or two) out of your day job will put energy management from a colleague’s point of view into real perspective.
It will also help you put them and customers at the heart of any energy-saving measures you implement and prevent them from being misused, tampered with or discarded completely.
The only thing is once you go Barista there’s no going back. I’m even considering a change of occupation!
But until then I’m looking forward to week three at Starbucks, applying all my learnings from my week in-store into an energy management strategy for Starbucks across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Jaz Rabadia is the Senior Manager of Energy & Initiatives at Starbucks EMEA