What Starbucks Can Teach You About Nutrition


By Nathan Kesterson

15 January 2017


Starbucks can help you stick to your nutrition plan and get you to your goals. 

Sorry, it’s not with their loaded caramel frappucino. 

Instead, it is through their unique Starbucks employee training methods.

While reading Charles Duhigg’s, The Power of Habit, I came across a wonderful story about the training methods used by Starbucks.

When Starbucks trains its staff, they use open ended sentences where the trainee gets to participate in developing strategies to navigate stressful situations.

The training manual includes blank pages with prompts such as, “When a customer is unhappy, my plan is to…” at the top. The staff member then has the opportunity to proactively create a plan to deal with potential conflict by filling the page with their own unique strategy.

Will it turn out perfectly or exactly as scripted? Not a chance.

But is that employee now far more equipped to handle that situation? Heck yes.

We can apply this same proactive method to ourselves.

Although we often have well designed plans for exercise and nutrition, we don’t always spend a lot of time considering the potential obstacles that will assuredly arise. This is like a Starbucks employee going to work and expecting every single order and transaction go perfect. Not likely.

In our own lives we can identify or imagine obstacles before they happen, and formulate a plan ahead of time. For example:

“When I’m at my child’s birthday party, my plan is to ….”

Politely turn down the cake and offer to help hand out slices to the kids

“When I’m at lunch with friends, my plan is to ….”

Look at the restaurant’s menu online beforehand and find options that fit my nutritional plan.

Even just a few moments of planning will do wonders for you. 

Good news: with a Starbucks on every corner you’ll have a constant reminder of how you too can be proactive with your nutritional  choices.