Does any stores use Food Ave and Starbucks team members to help when it gets busy (Sending guests over to them or pull one team member if there is 2 there at any given time)? Is this best practice as my store seems to have started to do this lately
We have too few people trained in either workcenter to be of any help for back-up, so if we have more than GSTL/GSA on the clock, one of them will help ring up orders. Lately, one of my GSTLs has been pulling the Food Ave TM to back-up cash (and temporarily closing Food Ave) because it's been busy at the lanes but almost dead at Food Ave. We don't do this for Starbucks, though, unless the Starbucks TL is the only one over there and she has to cover the GSTL's break.
We don't pull them for backup, but if it's really busy at express and there's only one express open, we will send guests "10 items or less, no produce or alcohol to Pizza Hut, Starbucks, or Deli". FA is amazing at helping our front end express lane backup.
If you mean cashier backup. I always worked stores where SD was immediately in front of the lanes. So all 10 items or less purchases were sent there if the lanes were backed up. Food Ave never had to help with cashier backup. We needed the FA register for food purchases. Of course, I would get people bringing stuff and asking if they could check out there. I was always polite and said Yes, as long as it wasn't any chemicals.
From the perspective of help coming to FA, in my experience, don't expect it often.
At some higher volume FA's, you will have double coverage. I remember at one store we had 3-4 TM coverage on the heavier shopped weekends. Then at lower volume FA's, you will be alone. Sometimes if there was FA trained TMs in the store, we would back them up during lunch or having to dump grease or help prep when they are taking orders.
At my former high volume store, there was one holiday weekend where it was just down right insane, and my FA just lost 3 people real quick (new job/store theft/quit Target as 2nd employment). And my FATL decided at noon (which was my lunch time) to take her lunch then go work on office work for the next 2 hours leaving me solo during a rush. I was hitting the assistance button every 5 minutes for an hour before they sent a cashier with no FA experience over. I ended up clocking out for lunch 2 minutes before compliance.
Then at another store, every July 4th the entire city comes to my former lower volume Target parking lot to view the city's fireworks. This FoodAve was always single coverage. And I voiced to my ETL-GS/SL and GSTLs that we will need at least double coverage for the 4th. Their response "how bad could it be..." At 730pm, it was pretty slow and parking lot was about empty. I was really trying to get ready to close. By 800pm, the parking lot was packed and people were lined out of FA to the doors. I went through maybe 2 boxes or more of pretzels (had to microwave them to order), made a number of sandwiches, and popped batches of popcorn continuously. FA went from spotless to total devastation within minutes. My ETL-GS/SL ended up coming over at 900pm to block the end of the FoodAve line then only came over to help me finish the with the last crowd of guests. I ended up having to block FA with carts to keep people away.
It took me 2 hours to re-prep and clean Food Ave. The closing team was walking out the door when I got finished.
When we had food ave they were great for back up cashiering (and we only had single coverage, but it was almost always a dead zone). Now with Starbucks we never ever get any back up cashiering help (anytime there is double coverage, which is almost always in late morning to early afternoon). We barely have the coverage for breaks and lunches for Starbucks anyways outside of Starbucks peak times.
When I worked at Borders they made a contract with Seattle's Best (which is owned by Starbucks) to replace all the Borders Cafes.
It was a bad move not just because the cafes were able to adjust to local tastes and had some neat products of their own but because part of the contract demanded that there be two people working at all times.
Now from Seattle's Best point of view it made sense.
People would always get good service, the food would be in good shape, the coffee would be spot on and if it got busy the lines wouldn't get backed up to far.
For the stores it was a disaster because no matter how slow things were you always had to have to people assigned to the coffee shop.
Of course you could pull them to do other things for short periods of time but if the district manager walked in and their wasn't two people behind the counter there would be hell to pay.
The end result was they started sending people over to the cafe register for books but that wasn't good because half the time the cafe people couldn't answer bookseller questions.
What am I getting at?
I think they need to train people well to work in SB and the FA then let them do their jobs.
Sure sometimes they can take the pressure off but pulling them off to work register is as bad as over scheduling,
I've had people order a latte then plop a handbasket full of merch on the counter & ask "Can I ring this up too?"
I'd sigh internally & say "yes", ring it all up in a stack.
They'd look at it & ask "Do you have a bag?" so I'd show them the little handle bag.
(And, no, we don't keep large bags behind the counter because we don't have room!)
They'd take their stack & leave the basket on my counter.