Starbucks Barista Calls Out This 'Rude' Behavior By Drive-Thru Customers

According to a 2021 QSR article, drive-thru orders accounted for half of Starbucks' second-quarter sales. That means that your average Starbucks barista working at the drive-thru probably deals with a lot of people every single day. And while their main job is to take orders and prepare food and drinks for their customers, many of them might try to bring a little bit of friendly cheer to their interactions. However, this friendliness is not always reciprocated, and in fact, some customers can strike the employees as downright dismissive. One frustrated barista recently took to Reddit to commiserate with their fellow Starbucks workers over what they perceive as rude behavior they have encountered while taking orders.

"This may sound silly..but when i greet you with 'how are you doing today' in the [drive-thru] or cafe, the least you can do is give me a response or something," u/kowalskiananalysis posted to the r/starbucks subreddit. They bristled at customers just diving right into the order without acknowledging the greeting: "that's so rude ... be nice to your baristas we are tired and stressed." It seems other baristas were also fed up with this kind of behavior. "Honestly this is why I don't even ask anymore. 99% of them don't care," u/omogal123 replied. "Eventually you'll just take it as a joke. I once calculated the ratio of people that would respond to me.. the number was abysmal," wrote another user. Another Redditor said that this kind of behavior was to be expected, "especially in the drive thru."

Baristas are frustrated with customers ignoring their greetings

Some baristas have even tried to get creative with their questions, only to be met with the same dismissive response. "Me tonight, 'Binx your barista here, what's your favorite color?' 'I want a -'Customer after customer. I usually get more results but no one was having it tonight. It was really depressing honestly. (At night, no line)," one employee lamented.

But anyone who's heard the saying, "be careful what you wish for," might also suspect that getting a reply to a friendly hello might not always go well. Baristas noted that some customers responded to greetings by asking "how are you?" only to barge ahead with their order without giving the baristas a chance to reply themselves. "Me: how are you doing today? Them: good how are you I want a caramel macchiato. I love it when they just blitz right past that part without giving me an opportunity to say anything. Why even ask?" u/interyx asked. "YES PEOPLE ASK BACK AND DONT EVEN GIVE ME TIME TO RESPOND," a fellow frustrated barista enthusiastically agreed. 

But not everyone perceived these exchanges as impolite brush-offs by the customer. Barista and Reddit user dayoac raised the possibility that "most people aren't expecting to be asked anything other than what they want, so they don't realize that you aren't asking them for their order."  Another user, speaking as a customer, said that this was precisely their experience.