Provides substantive responses to course participants that add value to the discussion by presenting alternative points of view, asking thought-provoking questions, engaging in respectful critique, and/or adding additional support to course participants’ viewpoints; for post length (125-150 words each);
For the purpose of conducting my research I decided to visit Starbucks Restaurant located in Brandon, Florida. Starbuck Corporation is a coffeehouse chain and coffee company that started its operations in America but later opened branches in other parts of the world (Strutzmann, 2013). One of the most unique things about the restaurant is that it allows people to use its facilities such as the restrooms and the café even without purchasing in particular. Customers are allowed to come here with their laptops or computers to use free Wi-Fi that is provided. The restaurant adopted the policy in order to enhance inclusivity.
Most people prefer visiting Starbucks Restaurant for a number of reasons. For instance, the restaurants offer a good meeting ground since they have enough seating facilities where one can sit for as long as they like without feeling any pressure to leave even if they are not purchasing anything. The seating design is such that there is a large area that is open with bench seats around the table. There are also sofas and other comfortable seats arranged in groups thus providing a conducive environment to sit quietly or interact with family. Interestingly, majority of the clients at Starbucks make little or no interactions or conversation in the store. They do not have any pressure to be sociable; as they get in, make order, sit down or take away. The stores are designed to reflect the special character of the restaurant’s neighborhood they serve (Ritzer, 2011).
Once a customer enters the restaurant, they first review the menu which normally contain variety of drinks that are offered. Thereafter, one is expected to go straight to the cashier or line up in case there is one, to make an order and at the same time pay using either a card or cash. In particular, customers first inform the baristas what they want to purchase, then proceed to pay for the order. Once clients have paid, the barista then hands them their order. The cashiers and baristas usually serve people quickly to ensure that the clients do not waste a lot of time on the line. The menu items at the restaurant are somehow pricey, and therefore it is advisable to visit their website to get to know the prices of the items before visiting to avoid being caught by surprised.
Once inside the restaurant, one can hear some low background music being played. Moreover, there are some low murmurs from people who are either conducting their meetings or from individuals who are just socializing. In general, the space is so cool, and I feel very comfortable as I enjoy the cool music being played while using the free Wi-Fi and carrying out my research; I am also enjoying my coffee. While doing the observation, among the things I am thinking about is with regard to the amount of salary earned by the employees. I wonder whether what they earn is proportional to the amount of work they perform as the place is always busy. Taking into consideration the large number of customers who visit the restaurant, one question I am left with is “How much does the company make as profit on a daily basis?”.
Nevertheless, one factor that cannot be ruled out is the fact that the restaurant has managed to out-do it rivals. Compared to most of its competitors, Starbucks is doing well due to its flexibility in terms of the variety of items they offer. The observations I have made have confirmed to me that indeed Starbucks has a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging.
In observing individuals at the local coffee shop, I had the opportunity to ascertain the culture of the venue, although I felt like an undercover investigator during the time I was there in this new role. In my previous visits as a customer, I never noticed the people interactions in the coffee shop. Such communications began with assessing the setting of the facility. Tables with umbrellas lined the sidewalk outside, and rectangle tables were inside in rows of two. The actual food preparation and ordering area were in a diagonal format; to allow for three workers (2 females and one male) to have a view of all customers.
In observing the customers, people transitioned in and out, some people lingered, and some left upon receiving their order. Several individuals remained as a college study group chatted about their assignment, and another small business meeting occurred at one table outside. Couples were both inside and outside the shop, interacting in face to face conversations over a meal. Individuals were listening to their headsets or on the phone, working on their laptop computers, sitting with their pet, or reading an actual paper book-surprisingly.
An interesting pattern that was noted, many individuals would enter and go directly to the restroom and then return to go to the ordering line. I wasn’t sure if these individuals were only washing their hands to prepare to eat or if they had to relieve themselves. Another exciting pattern, people would select their table and lay their personal belongings at the chosen table before ordering. I assumed the individuals felt safe to leave their items; the venue was small, and they could see their table while they were in the waiting line.
A question I have, is why isn’t there a restroom for the workers? I noticed when the workers when on a break, they left to go to the customer restroom. Was this a cost-saving measure on the part of the company?
In completing this observation, I had the strength of being meticulous with my notes on people’s interactions. My area of growth could be in focusing on one area of the shop to obtain specific data. Through this experience, I learned that I’m very observant and sometimes bring in my assumptions as I viewed the interactions of others in the venue.