While recently having lunch at a small Sonoma Café the difficulties of hiring qualified staff were brought to my attention by the owner. I commented that the unstoppable growth of Starbucks Coffee had contributed to depleting available labor in many areas of the country. She claimed she had worked at Starbucks and that it "was a horrendous place to work" because of all the systems and procedures that were required to keep payroll in line and waste to a minimum. She was also displeased with the fact that in order to be promoted you had to accept their corporate culture as gospel.
You cannot discount success. The reason the coffee giant has become an icon on nearly every corner in the country is because of the strict procedures and principals they preach as a corporate culture. Starbucks is not alone. Most successful major chains have instituted policies and procedures that small single unit operators think foolish. The difference between success and failure is often something as simple as making sure employees clock out before they spend 15 minutes talking to other employees during shift change while both are still on the clock. At the minimum wage rate, the wasted payroll accumulates quickly. At the end of a year, depending on the amount of employees on a shift, the loss could be thousands of dollars.
Qualified promoting from within is another corporate trait that contributes to the success of the chain concept. Single unit operators often have a tendency to promote waiters and other employees because of loyalty, personality, and likeability. In reality, the corporate giants only promote those qualified to fill a position and handle the position´s responsibilities.
For years, I made the mistake of taking very qualified waiters and promoting them to supervisors or even managers in order to fill a void. I would alleviate the aggravation often associated with filling a vacant position for the short term and the reward was tremendous for everyone involved. However, in many cases the course set was one of disaster as the recently promoted employee wasn´t happy with the decrease in tips, the increase in responsibility and hours, or the accountability that every manager or supervisor must conform to.
Don´t discount a successful system that works for those who are successful when exploring systems and procedures. The industry is based on formulas that need to be adhered to by people qualified to manage, direct and turn on a dime
It´s commendableto promote from within but make sure that when you do the employee can rise to the occasion.