Starbucks Program Shapes Assistants into Store Managers

When Vikas became assistant manager of a Starbucks in Vancouver, British Columbia he knew he wasn’t going to remain in that role. His hope was that an eight- to 12-month hands-on training program would put him in a position to manage his own store within a year. And that’s just what happened.

Today Vikas (who only uses one name) is the store manager of a new Starbucks® store at Hornby and Drake in downtown Vancouver. He’s built a team of nine partners (employees) and concentrates on running and growing the business and building a community meeting place.

Vikas’s journey to becoming a Starbucks store manager began in his homeland of India, where he received a bachelor’s degree in hotel management. He arrived in Canada in August 2012 and worked in the restaurant trade before joining Starbucks as an assistant store manager in July 2014.

Vikas was a model candidate to develop into a store manager. Beyond his experience and education, he displayed the entrepreneurial spirit the role demands and commitment to Starbucks mission and values.

“He was definitely eager to meet people and making connections from his first day,” said Kellen Fo, who trained Vikas at the downtown Vancouver Starbucks he manages. “He was open to new experiences and was very, very friendly. He was always very eager to learn. When we began his training it was quick because he was always hungry for more information.”

Training involves completing a series of modules to put a trainee on firm footing once they’re put in charge of a store. Hiring, coaching and supervising staff, managing financial performance and overseeing safety and security within a store are among the areas of emphasis.

“Our training system is prepare, present, practice and follow up, and we follow that through every step,” said Fo, who oversaw two other store manager trainees prior to Vikas. “It’s set up for them to go through one module a month.”

Vikas was ready to move forward before he completed his one-year Starbucks anniversary. “After 10 months or so as an assistant manager I was told I should start doing interviews,” he said. “I had my interview in the middle of May and on the first of June, I was offered my store manager position.”

Vikas said there are challenges to being the person in charge, but he added, “Challenges are good.”

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5 things to know about first-ever Starbucks Promises Day