This Viral Starbucks Drive-Thru TikTok Got A Barista Fired

On February 12, Zander, who runs the TikTok account @zandergjura, uploaded a video explaining what happened after getting fired from Starbucks. He seemingly wasn't too upset about it, as he was only a college student, but he was frustrated about the free publicity that his videos provided the chain.

However, the videos that attracted the largest amount of attention dispelled the illusion that drive-thru customers were not observed. "I don't think I'm allowed to tell you this, but who cares," he wrote in the description of a TikTok video uploaded on December 19, 2020. The point of the video was that Starbucks employees can watch the people driving up to place an order. The next day, this was followed by another video about how any worker wearing a headset can hear your order. Moreover, all the workers were wearing headsets. Both of these videos have been viewed over 1.5 million times each.

Besides the amount of people who watched these videos, Starbucks may have felt compelled to act because of the news coverage. On February 1, or less than two weeks before Zander was fired, BuzzFeed reported on the drive-thru secrets he shared. The Daily Dot ran their own piece on February 4. These articles almost certainly contributed to the disproportionately massive amount of views the two videos received. 

Apparently Starbucks considers this a secret

In the TikTok video documenting his reaction to being fired, Zander explained how nothing he has put out has violated Starbucks' policy. Ignore the fact that he admitted to probably not being allowed to share what he did for the moment. The video could be seen as a violation of the Social Media Guidelines the company has for its "partners."

Under "don't do this," Starbucks asks workers not to "distribute or share future promotional activities, trade secrets, internal reports, policies, procedures or other private and confidential info."

Now, the fact that the workers of a drive-thru establishment can see and hear those ordering might not strike one as something hidden. However, in October, The New York Post covered the shock and anxiety people had over the same revelations made by a worker at McDonald's. These, it should be noted, are the same reactions to Zander's revelation that BuzzFeed and The Daily Dot covered. Perhaps, then, despite the fact that such a thing shouldn't really be considered a trade secret or something similar, the broken naivety of its customers pushed Starbucks to consider the videos violations.