Markayela Johnson

(Rock Hill, S.C.) –- The Starbucks Coffee on the campus of Winthrop University has been keeping some odd hours this semester.

For example, the Starbucks, located in the DiGiorgio Campus Center, was closed every day from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the month of August, which left many customers confused.

“It’s so weird that it closes at different times during the day now. You know If I want to get coffee it would only be at specific times of the day,” said Kareem Wilson, a Winthrop theatre major.

The hours of operation had to be adjusted because of a lack of employees available during certain shifts, said Bryan Harriss, general manager of Winthrop Dining Services.

Sodexo took over the university’s dining services this year and began operating the campus Starbucks on Aug. 8.

“The challenge we had, is because we had less than two weeks to transition, is that we didn’t have enough qualified Starbucks employees to carry us between the morning shift and the afternoon shift,” said Harriss.

“To be a barista you need 21 hours of training. Employees can be at all different levels, some can just work in there but they’re not certified and they’re not certified baristas, therefore they can only do certain activities.”

Harriss said they’re working to train employees and return to normal business hours as soon as possible.

“What we’re doing is putting them through the training program so they can become certified,” he said. “Once they complete that training they can train others.”

Additionally, Megan Gatton, a shift manager at the Winthrop Starbucks, said they’re using all available resources to keep the shop up and running.

Regardless, a number of students said the spotty hours have disrupted their routines.

“I used to come here every Thursday after my 3:30 p.m. lab for a mocha Frappuccino to get me through the rest of the day,” said Winthrop senior Anna Baldwin.

“It shocked me too. There’s nothing like having your taste buds tuned up for something just to find out it’s gone,” said Jonathan Foxworth, a Winthrop graduate student.

“Now I have to hop in the car and travel to the one on Cherry Road when I want to reward myself for all of my hard work.”

Like Foxworth, many other customers have opted to take their business to the Cherry Road Starbucks.

“This last week we’ve definitely seen our business pick up dramatically. So a lot more students utilize the drive-thru,” said Joey Helmsworth, general manager of the Cherry Road Starbucks.