Starbucks baristas have started to implement a new system aimed at speeding up service and alleviating bottlenecks that have customers complaining about wait times as long as 40 minutes for their coffee orders.

The system partly means changing the production order for hot and cold drinks. Under the old way of doing things, Starbucks baristas prioritized cold drinks from start to finish even if there were orders for hot drinks that came in first.

Workers who provided feedback to the company higher-ups said that this system led to longer wait times in the drive-thru.

Starbucks also plans to assign one of its employees to the role of a “play caller” who steps away from production and helps relieve logjams as well as doing other key tasks such as restocking cups or helping when an unexpected crowd arrives.

One of the pain points we saw was [that] our espresso machine was often running all the time, and that was one of the things that kept our partners from being able to check in,” Katie Young, senior vice president of store operations, told CNBC.

“And another thing we saw that you didnt necessarily know was which part of the store would get crowded.”

Young said that Starbucks locations “needed to actually have a partner that was dedicated when things got busy to pulling out of production and just helping.”

Its the ability to flexibly respond to things we cannot predict, she said.

Starbucks management anticipates more customer engagement through its mobile app, which starting on Monday was open to non-rewards members who could place orders.

The company also recently took a page out of the playbook of fast food chains including McDonald’s as it rolled out a value combo meal last month.

The new “pairings” menu from Starbucks allows customers to pay up to $6 for a tall hot or iced tea or coffee with one of the store’s snacks such as a breakfast sandwich or a butter croissant.

In an era of stubbornly high inflation, Starbucks is looking to win back the hearts, minds and wallets of disenchanted customers who according to one study are being forced to wait up to 40 minutes for coffee.

Company employees laid the blame at the feet of management, which has laid off around 29,000 in-store workers in the 12-month period beginning in October 2022.

In the last year, Starbucks has seen its stock price dip by more than 22%. The company’s newly installed chief executive officer, Laxman Narasimhan, has come under fire in the wake of the most recently quarterly earnings report.

Starbucks slashed its forecast for fiscal 2024 earnings and revenue after it reported that same-store sales fell 4% while foot traffic declined by 6% in the three-month period which ended in April.

The situation became so dire that Narasimhan’s predecessor, Howard Schultz, who is credited with building Starbucks from a boutique coffee chain in Seattle to a global colossus, posted a lengthy item on LinkedIn urging the company to revamp its US-based operations.

The Post has sought comment from Starbucks.