SEATTLE, Washington - Starbucks has started performing time-and-motion studies on its baristas in an attempt to increase efficiency and throughput. The WSJ article on this claims that this is an introduction of "'Lean' Japanese Techniques".
This is probably a good initiative, I'm just not sure how "Japanese" it is. The only evidence the WSJ gives of this is that a former Toyota executive is consulting their "lean team".
One of the tests the "lean team" performs on baristas is having them assemble a Mr. Potato Head doll. That certainly sounds Japanese.
But why not go all the way? There's plenty of other "Japanese Techniques" that Starbucks can try:
- They can try installing some ultra-high-tech Japanese toilets
- They can replace the baristas with modified versions of the Japanese ramen-cooking robots
- The baristas can start asking customers their blood type and customizing their order based on this information
- They can order the baristas to stop having sex
found @ Starbucks Gossip