If you're not a fan of Starbucks, you'll be happy to read a lengthy report from Reuters that talks to baristas and managers around the country and concludes they're generally not a happy bunch anymore. Lower pay, fewer benefits, and an increased emphasis on cost-cutting and sales during the downturn of the last few years seems to have created widespread "disillusionment among Starbucks workers," writes Lisa Baertlein.
This disillusionment "may be early signs of a culture change that could strike at the heart of what makes Starbucks Starbucks: that warm, fuzzy feeling stemming from its original commitments to the global community as well as its own healthy, happy staffers who provide service with a smile," writes Baertlein. She makes the case that Starbucks rose to glory based on that culture, and if it goes away, the chain could have trouble keeping loyal customers and growing again. For now, though, all those cuts have restored profits and pleased shareholders to no end. Full story here.