Starbucks Green Apron Book

Photo by rbieber

Did you know that you could just walk into your local Starbucks and request a "Green Apron Book", that outlines the principles of Starbucks? I heard about this little booklet from a recent book I had read about the company and went in to my local Starbucks and asked for a copy. I was a tad surprised when the employees were extremely happy to give one to me. There’s something to be said about a company that is not afraid to share their core principles with their customers. There’s much more to say when they do it so enthusiastically.

I was totally impressed with being able to walk into my local Starbucks and get a copy of their “Green Apron book” after reading The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary.

I did find another review of the book and it was really cool to me that the reviewer offered the same observation that I did around the structure of the Starbucks principles:

After reading it that afternoon, what impressed me the most was the absence of rules. In their place were suggestions, goals, and the empowerment to make every customer’s experience a memorable one. It was at that moment that I realized the significance of Starbucks’ philosophy—not only for business, but for life in general.

This really parallels my thoughts on what I had read:

One thing that comes out fairly strong in most of the books I read about Starbucks (and Toyota as of late) is the acknowledgment of senior managements importance in setting the culture, ideals, and principles of the overall business while giving the “people doing the work” the ability to act within the framework of the principles.

Another cool thing I noticed. When you dig down into the detail of the Be Welcoming principle, you find the following:

Get to know your customer by drink or name.

This completely impressed me – because I experienced it. As a matter of fact, it impressed me so much that I wrote about the experience in the post “ Reaching “Norm” Status – The Ultimate in Customer Service” back in March of 2005.

23 thoughts on “Starbucks Green Apron Book

  1. Thanks for the tip – I was wondering how to get my hands on one – I to read that book, and am about to start my own service business, and Starbucks has it down.

  2. I’m a bit confused! I finished reading the book and have been to 3 Starbucks store and asked for a copy of the green apron book…none of them neew what I was talking about. I called their 800# for CS and was told that I coudn’t have a copy. It is for internal use only!

  3. Hi
    This supports the theory that there must be a mirror universe somewhere. After reading the same book last week, I went into my local starbucks in SINGAPORE, and they gladly gave me a copy of their green apron book.

  4. halo ,
    I have finished the starbucks experience last week, and thought wanna get the green book , later gotta try asking my nearest starbucks.
    but do you think that culture also set the starbucks experience ?
    I mean that does starbucks in US, Singapore, thailans , Indonesia will give the same experience ? or some country will give better experience than the other ?

  5. Hi,
    This is Meenakshi from India. I have heard alot on how you can walk into any starbucks outlet and ask for
    ‘The green apron book”. Well i have heard a lot about this book and the way its been used to motivate the starbucks staff. Recently in Dubai one of my causin visited two of the outlets of star bucks and to his disaapointment, both the outlets were not able to provide him with the same. I really would like to read this book would appreciate if some one can tell me how to get hold of one

  6. I also went into a starbucks store and they told me it was for employees only and that there is a copyright on it and employees have to sign a agreement to not use it for personal use or they will be sued by the corporation. Tell me how to get one!!

  7. I really don’t know what to tell you guys. I just walked in, asked for it, and it was handed to me – no questions asked.

    Its interesting to see the different reactions from Starbucks employees around the world. What is contained in the Green Apron Book isn’t necessarily plans to a nuclear bomb. Its common sense stuff. I have a hard time imagining why there would be resistance to sharing it with customers, especially given my experience.

    Keep the comments coming in though!

  8. Hi Ron, I am from India and hence don’t have an access to a Starbucks outlet. (Though they are making entry plans). How can I access a copy – any plac eon the net where I can download one ?

  9. Hey, if anyone’s still reading this and wanting to know more about the Green Apron Book, just email me at (obviously replace “-at” with “@”). I have one and will email you the details contained within. Also, I just checked ebay and found one.


    – Rich

  10. Two tips for getting your own:

    * If you are not given one by a Starbucks Barista, try asking earlier or later in the day – different shifts may be more relaxed about it than others.

    * Just try another Starbucks! They’re freakin’ everywhere. There shouldn’t be any rules about giving it out; it’s just up to the manager.

  11. Hi. I worked for Starbucks and helped develop the Green Apron book. It is really intended to be an internal tool for baristas and other partners to understand the language and *how* to deliver the Starbucks Experience.

    The book is a very cool tool and partners are proud of it. As was mentioned here… It’s not only a work guide… but a way to live as well… With tips such as “Be Welcoming” “Be Knowledgeable” “Be Authentic”… you can see the wide application.

    Starbucks hasn’t printed enough to provide them for customers as well – so they’re not made for general distribution.

    Yes, you are provided with a single copy to use as a personal guide when you begin work at Starbucks.

    No, partners don’t sign an agreement stating that they’ll be sued if they give it away!

    The book “The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary” tells you everything that is in the Green Apron Book and more.

    Don’t use eBay… that’s stolen property you’re bidding on. Not cool.

    I hope this helps! – Paul

  12. Hey, everyone.

    If you just read my last post and are thinking about asking me for a Green Apron Book, you may have to forgive my hard drive for crashing and destroying what I had of it in digital form.

    I have been getting about two or three people per month asking me for it, but it took me a while to get around to finding out where in the world wide web I posted a comment saying I had it.

    Sorry ’bout the luck,

    – Rich

  13. Dear synical, I’m a Starbucks partner from Malaysia and to be honest, our store itself dont have enough copies to provide to our other partners. Therefore, we’re unable to provide you one. However, there’s such thing as 5 Behaviour cards that we can show you and let you read it. =) Hope it helps.

  14. Dear MCHLLE, how is it possible that you do not provide enough copies to your other partners? i though the book was suppose to outline the principles of Starbucks. If your partners and employees do not have access to the material, how are they suppose to deliver the starbuck experience?

  15. Once i ask for “green apron book” but they can’t give me a copy because they said it just for internal use only… I think service in indonesia is not good enough as in the origin country of starbucks, the staffs is just ordinary staffs like another coffee store, nothing special… i already read “the starbucks experience” and i think that starbuck company is really cool… perhaps starbucks in my country not as cool as “real” starbucks…

  16. Hi Guys..

    I currently live in Indonesia and I love Starbucks, I loves their values and their spirit, somehow this brand has succeeded to deliver their core identity to their customer, however NOT all of Starbucks store able to deliver the Starbucks experience to their customer, when I was in Russia the only Starbucks I could find was in Moscow the baristas was terrible, they don’t even know what I want, and they don’t even try to offer me coffee of the day (plus they don’t speak English), and in Indonesia it self some of Starbucks store are just lovable, most of them are just the ORDINARY Coffee shop”..I think this green apron book should be able to standardized the Customer Service of Starbucks around the globe BUT in fact it’s not working that way”…so reading the book of Starbucks Experience makes brand Starbucks overrated!!because NOT all the description about the passion, the barista, the way they try to delighting customer are correspond with the real Starbucks Store now-day!!


  17. It’s been awhile, but… I actually emailed Starbucks Malaysia’s customer service since I last commented here and I’ve been extended a copy because of my “interest” 🙂

    So they mailed me both a copy of the Green Apron Book as well as a Coffee passport – woo hoo.

  18. I come from China. There are at least 7 Starbucks in my city, but it is impossible to get a copy from the barista or other partners.

  19. Starbucks is a ordinary origanal coffie shop i love starbucks with a smile it was just how i though it would of bean i could see my sealf in a green apron.

  20. Hi , i tried getting the book from melbourne and kuala lumpur and both times have had the same thing happening to me, the partners told me it is only for starbucks employees only

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