Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2003 (Revised July 2006)

Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service

by Youngme E. Moon and John A. Quelch


Starbucks, the dominant specialty-coffee brand in North America, must respond to recent market research indicating that the company is not meeting customer expectations in terms of service. To increase customer satisfaction, the company is debating a plan that would increase the amount of labor in the stores and theoretically increase speed-of-service. However, the impact of the plan (which would cost $40 million annually) on the company's bottom line is unclear.

Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Customer Satisfaction; Profit; Recruitment; Marketing Strategy; Service Operations; Performance Improvement; Planning; Food and Beverage Industry;


Moon, Youngme E., and John A. Quelch. "Starbucks: Delivering Customer Service." Harvard Business School Case 504-016, July 2003. (Revised July 2006.)