A barista has complained that TikTok is ruining the coffee industry – as customers often come in and order ‘ridiculous’ drinks.
Josie Morales posted a picture to Twitter of one order that was placed by a customer named Edward, requesting 13 changes from the standard recipe.
He captioned the image ‘on today’s episode of why I wanna quit my job’, but staff from Starbucks noticed the post and fired Josie from the role.
Other baristas have also spoken out against such orders, saying that customers are inspired and trying to recreate drinks seen in viral TikTok videos.
The order Josie, from California, lost his job over was a traditional Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino, which is made with coffee, milk, ice, caramel syrup, caramel sauce, whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and a crunchy caramel-sugar topping.
But the customer, Edward, added 13 changes to the recipe, including extra caramel drizzle, seven pumps of caramel sauce, extra ice, extra cinnamon dolce topping, and heavy cream.
Speaking to The Guardian, a spokesman for Starbucks said: “Our 200,000 partners across the US are the best people in the business, and their experiences are key to helping us make Starbucks a meaningful and inspiring place to work.
“We offer a world-class benefits program for all part- and full-time partners and continued support for partners during Covid-19 to care for themselves and their families, and we continue to have an industry-leading retention rate.”
But after tweeting about the drink in a post that went viral, many people wanted to try the new recipe and labelled it ‘The Edward’.
Other US baristas from Starbucks say they are treated like ‘coffee-making robots’ thanks to TikTok, as more and more customers come in and order elaborate drinks.
Speaking to The Guardian, one said: “These orders are driving us insane because they’re so long, so specific and it requires you to do much more work than you should be doing for one single drink and they’re not being adequately translated into our labour hours.”
The coffee chain doesn’t limit customers to the number of times they can change a recipe, and a worker said that customers can get angry when they don’t get what they want.
A Starbucks worker said to The Guardian: “With mobile order or delivery, we can’t always clarify what they want and people will get very mad over sort of little stuff when you’ve made the drink almost perfectly, and it’s frustrating to feel like you can’t say we can’t really make it that way, so people treat us like coffee-making robots.”
Another employee added: “Starbucks definitely took this turn to become just another fast-food drive-thru. They want us to just be these robots that move fast, we’re just little drones to them that just need to pump out as many lattes as we can in a half-hour.”
After Josie shared a picture of his drink order online, both customers and employees of Starbucks commented their thoughts on the issue.
One barista shared a picture of a Frappuccino with 29 additional changes, adding: “This order comes in every other week.”
And one customer wrote: “I was behind a woman who had an order that ridiculous and insisted it is heated to 37 degrees celsius., ‘not 36, not 38–I will KNOW the difference’.”
It’s not just baristas who are angry at the trend, many customers are tired of long queues thanks to the complicated drinks.
One posted online: “The line at my local SB is ridiculously long, more than usual. I asked the barista what’s been going on. He said a lot of people are ordering the TikTok drinks.”
Another added: “I’d make a register sign that says ‘TIKTOK DRINKS +$20’.”
While a third wrote: “Starbucks should hire one extra employee who ONLY does TikTok drinks. You have to come in-store to order it, watch the person make it for you so you can appreciate the work that goes into it, and a $5 tip is mandatory.”