Faster frappuccinos

Starbucks is trying new “lean methods” in a move towards fast food

Pretty soon, Starbucks baristas won’t have to bend down under the counter to scoop out fresh coffee grounds. Those will now be kept on the counter, making the coffee-making process just a little bit quicker. It’s just one of the tiny changes the company has been pushing in an effort to make its stores more efficient, like a true fast-food joint. Starbucks calls them “lean” techniques, following the example of a production method first used by Toyota. They were first rolled out at a test store in Oregon last year, which already had the fastest Starbucks drive-through window: average order time, 25 seconds. With the new lean methods, that’s down to 23 seconds. With the weak economy and increasing competition from restaurants like McDonald’s, every little bit helps.

The Wall Street Journal

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