Starbucks Baristas Are In Shambles Over A Trendy Drink Ordering Habit

Starbucks baristas have it made in the dark roasted shade. The Starbucks website is brimming with perks the company offers its employees (or "partners," as the coffee shop prefers to call its workers); everything from tuition coverage and parental leave to a free Spotify premium account and a weekly bag of coffee or tea is promised to employees of the Seattle-based bean slingers. And according to Forbes, Starbucks was quick to announce that it would cover the costs for employees seeking abortion services out-of-state, following the overturn of Roe v. Wade earlier this year.

Starbucks has apparently started a journey of self-reinvention, attempting to care for the mental and physical well-being of its employees. Er, "partners." So what's there to complain about? Well, it turns out that it's the emotional well-being of employees we should all be watching out for when it comes to Starbucks, as a drink-ordering trend threatens to break the hearts of baristas everywhere. Starbucks baristas are in shambles over what Today is calling "menu hacking," or asking for things that are not explicitly on the Starbucks menu. And when unofficial secret menu items and bespoke coffee drink ordering reaches Demogorgon Frappuccino levels, we know we've jumped the proverbial shark.

Baristas grow weary of orders for unofficial drinks

"We tell them we can make it as long as we have the recipe," one long-suffering Starbucks barista told Today wearily of the menu-hacking trend. In Starbucks shops across the country, patrons are reaching the counter with a dream in their hearts and an agenda on their mind — often inspired by something they saw on TikTok or Instagram. Everything from Hot Butterbeer Lattes (inspired by Harry Potter) to a Winifred Sanderson Frappuccino (a Halloween-friendly Starbucks drink idea referring to a character from "Hocus Pocus") is on the menu ... that is, when the menu exists only in your imagination, and not on an actual recipe card.

Forbes reports that Starbucks is a favorite among the teenage demographic (you know, those people with disposable income and TikTok accounts) and that the coffee chain's loyalty program, limited-time drink specials, and its internet-savvy are all reasons why the under-20 set feels particularly drawn to the brand. So, when magazines like Glamour issue a list of the 60 best (secret) drinks to order at Starbucks, it's probably no surprise that baristas are becoming burned out by making things like "Fruity Pebbles Frappuccino" or "Liquid Cocaine" (hint: it's got a lot of espresso). At least Glamour has the good sense to include a how-to-make-it-at-home list of Starbucks drinks and also implores readers to bring their recipe cards with them when menu-hacking. Baristas, beware.