Seattle, WA — In a bid to boost sales, fill their franchise locations and interestingly lift employee morale, The Starbucks Coffee Company announced Monday that it plans on manufacturing its own customers. The program also seeks to increase customer satisfaction. As expected, these new customers will be available in three Starbucks sizes: Tall, Grande and Venti. There will be no “short” sizes as the company abandoned that size years ago.
“We believe this is the next step in excellent customer service,” said Starbucks Director of Marketing Bethany Millbright. “Starbucks is known for great customer service in our tidy and sterile locations. In order to take customer satisfaction to the next level, we are experimenting with making our own customers.”
According to sources close to the project, each location will receive 4 to 5 manufactured customers who will live in each store, occasionally order coffee and “entertain” real Starbucks patrons. Some will be charged with standing in line and pretending to be cheery about their up coming order. Some will hang out at the condiment area cracking borderline inappropriate jokes and making sports commentary. Even more will mill around the dining room asking for the WiFI password for their iPad. There are even plans to have 1 to 2 manufactured customers travel through the drive thru to order soy milk-based coffee drinks.
Gish Gallop traveled to Kent, Washington to see the Starbucks “dridiots” [Editor’s note: the human prototypes are called dridiots modeled after real customers] manufacturing process close up.
“I’ve been on the floor making these ‘customers’ for almost 4 years,” said human quality engineer and Starbucks Human Interoperable Transformer operator Cameron “Cam” Torrence. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes in our prototyping, but we’ve adopted a Japanese manufacturing method to insure quality. It’s called Poka-yoke. It allows us to make quick decisions. For example, 2 years ago, we produced a prototype dridiot who had terrible body odor and was extremely narcissistic. I was right here at the controls when I sniffed-out that bad boy. I stopped production right there.”
Industry experts fired a warning shot across competitor’s bows after the Starbucks’ announcement.
“A lot of the mom and pop coffee stores need to take heed of this development,” commented Yale Professor James Badwater. “If Starbucks can simply make customers on demand who are loyal to their brand and their products, the little guys won’t be able to keep up.”
According to Ms. Millbright, the program will start in select west coast locations including Eugene Oregon, Redding and Grass Valley California and Kent Washington.
“We are so excited to have this technology,” continued Ms. Millbright. “Starbucks has poured a great deal of Research and Development into this project, and we fully plan on licensing this technology to other companies. Soon you’ll see Starbucks-branded customers everywhere you go: at Safeway Supermarkets, on Delta Airlines filling empty seats and of course even at our business partners looking to modernize.”