The Business-Technology Weave

Oct 27 2010   12:59PM GMT

A Model for Tearing the Weave: Starbucks, Safety and Security, Pt. III

David Scott David Scott Profile: David Scott


(Please see Parts I and II, below)


Well, as you may remember, I wrote a letter to Starbucks.  After all, they want to hear my concerns (according to the website, “…We’re here to listen”).


However, 2+ weeks after the letter – nothin’.  No call, no e-mail, no letter.


So, I asked “Helen,” the original barista to whom I had made the complaint.


“Hey Helen, were you guys informed that I had written a letter to Starbucks Corporate Headquarters?”


Helen (coyly):  Mayyyybeeeee….”.


In the course of our short conversation, Helen informed me that “we’re discontinuing the practice” of counting money on the food-counter, in view of customers.


But, within 3 days, a barista was counting a huge pile of money on the same counter.  When I asked about it, the store manager, Jackie, informed me that tips would not be counted there any longer, but money at the end of shift changes would be.


When I asked if there wasn’t an office in the back, Jackie told me there was a desk.  Well, this would seem to be the natural place to do some accounting of money.  But no – apparently, it is corporate policy that money is counted out in the customer area.  Seems rather tactless, but what do I know?


Well, I know that large sums of money, over time, can inspire temptation and ultimately theft.  It might be beneficial to keep a tenet from The Weave firmly in mind: 


In the realm of risk, unmanaged possibilities become probabilities.


I spoke to the owner of several Tim Horton’s coffee shops.  He was incredulous:  He said that the only time customers saw money was when TH made change in selling coffee and pastries, etc.  Registers were emptied by whisking away the inside of cash drawers, and empty ones making replacement.  That seems reasonable.


Imagine going into AutoZone, and they’re counting stacks of money on the counter in front of you.  Or Sears.  Or WalMart…  or, anywhere else.


Starbucks’ practice is a temptation for sure.  Counting stacks of money in customer view can embolden a thief, who may don a mask and time a return trip.  In my case, I witnessed a large stack of money totally unattended for a lengthy period of time.  Technology (cameras) notwithstanding, it remains poor business practice.


And that is my point in wrapping this series.  I’d welcome your comments.


NP (now playing):  Jethro Tull, War Child.

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