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Nassau Street Starbucks reduces hours due to labor shortage

<h5>The Starbucks storefront on Nassau Street</h5>
<h6>Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian</h6>
The Starbucks storefront on Nassau Street
Mark Dodici / The Daily Princetonian

The Starbucks on Nassau Street has drastically decreased its hours due to staffing issues within the store. Its operating hours are now from 6 a.m. to noon on weekdays, and it is closed on weekends. The previous hours were as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 7:30 p.m.

A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed that the Nassau Street Starbucks location is operating under reduced hours because of a temporary staffing shortage, and it will return to regular hours as soon as possible. The spokesperson also suggested that customers regularly check the Starbucks app to see updates about the hours of operation.

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The Nassau Street Starbucks manager and the district manager deferred comment to the Starbucks Media Relations team.

Nubia Morales ’25, a barista at the Nassau Street store, told The Daily Princetonian that the store currently has around half of its necessary staff.

“I was told by my managers that we are closing early because we are understaffed,” Morales said. “Last time I checked, we had around 16 employees when we need about twice as many employees to have a fully functioning Starbucks that closes around nine.”

According to Morales, in recent weeks the Starbucks moved up closing time from 7:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to 4 p.m. before finally moving to the current hours. 

Morales, who has worked at other Starbucks locations before, described the Nassau Street location as “the most understaffed yet busiest location” that she’s worked at.

She believes that the issue is rooted in the fact that the location is in a college town, where most of the employees are either high school or college students, and therefore have limited work availability.

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“Since we close at noon now, we have enough people, which should be the standard for every day,” Morales added. “I was doing the work of two to three people in an average shift.”

She also explained that Starbucks is a place where many visitors come for free WiFi and to have study space. She believes people are missing these perks due to understaffing.

“Unfortunately, we have had to tell students that we’re planning on closing when they’re planning to stay there and study for hours,” Morales said.

Morales stated that the store manager confirmed that this change will definitely stay in place for three weeks, and she said the manager hopes the hours will gradually increase after that.

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“It all depends on getting more employees,” Morales said. “But at the end of the day, this is a bigger problem than just that.”

Many Starbucks stores across the country have announced changes in hours amid a national labor shortage. In the wake of the pandemic, 78 percent of restaurant operators claimed that they do not have sufficient staff to operate their restaurants normally in a National Restaurant Association survey.

Morales stated that she has considered quitting and that many other employees also believe that the benefits of working there no longer outweigh the cons.

“[The Starbucks employees] are taking control of the fact that corporations no longer can use our need for income to treat us horribly and pay us less,” Morales said.

Student opinions of the reduced hours have been mixed.

“I honestly feel bad for them,” Nick Masters ’25 said in a message to the ‘Prince.’ “I understand how understaffed they are and how crazy stressful it was for not only the employees but the managers ... Honestly, good for them for finding something to save their employees.”

Fatima Diallo ’25 expressed an opposing view.

In a message to the ‘Prince,’ she said the change in hours was “ridiculous, honestly.”

“Doesn’t [Starbucks] know they’re serving a college town?” she questioned.

Morales called for more compassion for Starbucks employees.

“It has been very stressful for us, so just please treat your baristas with kindness,” she said. “We are all working together to make sure our hours go back to normal,” she said.

Sidney Singer is a news contributor for the ‘Prince.’ She can be reached at sidneysinger@princeton.edu or on Instagram at @Sidneysinger.  

Lia Opperman is a news contributor for the 'Prince.' She can be reached at liaopperman@princeton.edu or @liamariaaaa on Instagram.

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