Workers Reveal What It’s Really Like To Work At Starbucks

Workers Reveal What It’s Really Like To Work At Starbucks


Working at Starbucks has its fair share or
ups and downs. Just ask the actual employees, who are never
shy about sharing their experiences on the Internet. Take a look at what it’s really like to work
at Starbucks, according to the people who know best. Rude customers are reportedly a serious occupational
hazard when you’re gainfully employed at Starbucks. “Venti is a large coffee.” “Really, says who? Fellini?” “How much is that? Here’s a ten.” “Do you accept lira, or is it all euros now?” “Keep the change.” Belen Jimenez is one Starbucks partner who
claims she regularly has to deal with customers who don’t know the first thing about coffee
— but who nevertheless have a whole lot of attitude. “May I please have a double-shot, half-almond
milk latte, with two half-pumps of caramel, and a light dusting of cinnamon…” In a blog post Jimenez wrote for The Barista
Life, she depicted a rather unpleasant scene at the coffee chain: “Customers come in day after day… asking
for things that make absolutely no sense.” “I don’t know, an Irish Cream sounds good,
huh? What’s that?” “Uh, it’s cream and it’s Irish.” “Hurry up and order!!” “Excuse me.” Another Starbucks barista took to Reddit to
complain about: “…situations where someone might literally
be screaming in your face because you forgot a single pump of their skinny vanilla syrup….” Yet another barista on Reddit offered this
ominous warning: “Don’t work at Starbucks unless you are prepared
to deal with… the dumbest, rudest, most entitled customers you will ever meet.” “Look, I’m a frequent coffee drinker. I’m part of the club; I have a card?” So it sounds like one of the toughest parts
of the job is dealing with rude, caffeine-deprived customers. But here’s one important rule of thumb that
customers should keep in mind: if you feel well within your rights to disrespect the
person who’s making your coffee, you should probably expect them to retaliate. With a vengeance. Speaking to Cosmopolitan, one Starbucks barista
admitted to giving rude customers regular espresso shots after they specifically asked
for decaf. That same employee took delight in serving
regular milk to difficult customers who ordered skim. However, the barista only resorted to these
desperate measures when the customer was being, quote, “pushy or rude.” Employees also claim they retaliate by making
drinks with decaf coffee instead of regular, thus depriving their already agitated customers
of their much-needed caffeine buzz. In a Reddit thread, one Starbucks partner
said: “When you think you’re entitled to anything
and complain about a non issue, you’re getting decaf and I’m not apologizing….” Thankfully, it sounds like these revenge schemes
don’t ever get that hardcore. When Cosmopolitan asked its blabbermouth barista
about spitting in a customer’s drink, the response was: “Oh no, I would never do that. Besides, we have cameras on us all the time.” Well…thank goodness for those cameras, right? If you’ve ever stepped into Starbucks during
a busy time of day, you’ve seen just how chaotic it gets in there. According to several employees, working at
Starbucks can be incredibly stressful. Speaking to Business Insider, one employee
claimed that the coffee chain is often understaffed, which forces employees to spread themselves
too thin: “Starbucks demands that we do several tasks
at once, so how can I be expected to ‘connect with customers?'” Another employee told the website: “It’s exhausting being the only one on the
floor and having to do register and hot bar and customer support.” And yet another barista took to Reddit to
say they’d never recommend their job to anyone who suffered from anxiety or depression issues: “The stress, even under a good manager, sucks. Under a bad manager, it will literally eat
you up and spit you out.” Another barista evidently agreed with that
assessment: “Some days suck, I’ll admit that. Your body will hurt, you will be frazzled,
and it will almost always be stressful.” Clearly these baristas aren’t made of the
same stuff as this guy: “This place really inspired coffee passion
in me. It made me see: Wow, coffee can be so much
more than ‘Here’s your latte.'” Ask any barista about their least favorite
drink on the menu, and you’ll probably hear the same thing over and over again: “My ‘Sunning in the Afternoon’ soy strawberries
and creme frappuccino.” Frappuccinos are definitely a Starbucks staple,
but whipping up these treats is allegedly quite the exasperating enterprise for employees. As one barista told New York magazine: “I used to love Frappuccinos. But now I hate them. There’s a lot of barista-hate against the
Frappuccino.” That’s because Frappuccinos are reportedly
quite time-consuming to make, and that can throw off your work routine if Starbucks is
already buzzing and bustling. If you thought those Starbucks sandwiches,
pastries, and cakes were made in-house, think again. Many employees have reportedly had to tell
customers that all the snacks on display is of the frozen-food variety. In a Reddit thread, one employee wrote: “All Starbucks food is reheated frozen food. Ridiculous how little people realize that. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good.” On another Reddit thread, a Starbucks supervisor
explained that in the morning, employees thaw out a certain amount of food for the day. “We don’t have a ton of fridge/freezer space
in the back so we only get so many food items at once.” So if your favorite scone or muffin always
seems to be out of stock, that could explain why — it’s still totally frozen! Believe it or not, some employees believe
the relationships they develop with their regular customers is a terrific part of the
job. One barista told The Odyssey: “I know I would’ve never met these wonderful
people had it not been for a mutual love of overpriced coffee.” According to an employee on Reddit, the feeling
is mutual: Regulars reportedly tell baristas that they miss them when they’re not around…
and some of them even give their favorite baristas Christmas gifts. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, another
employee voiced genuine fondness for their regulars: “My favorite part of my job is the customers. I love seeing the light in their faces when
they try a new drink and they love it.” You want to know something that employees
really, really hate? The idea of a “secret menu,” that rumored
list of drinks baristas can whip up… even though they aren’t on the official menu. Baristas swear the secret menu isn’t even
a real thing. One employee told Huffington Post: “Starbucks employees are always happy to customize
your drink, but we never know what’s in those crazy ones!” Meanwhile, another barista wrote on Reddit: “There is no recipe for drinks called a Clint
Eastwood, Undertow, Tear Drop… [or] ‘Butter Beer.'” “May I have a half-half decaf mint mocha latte,
foam on the bottom, served in a flower vase, and if you got some green food coloring back
there, throw it in.” Even if someone invents a tasty drink and
slaps a fun name on it, it’s highly unlikely that your Starbucks barista knows how to make
it… so it’s always a good idea to stick to the items you see on the menu. Starbucks is a company known for its excellent
employees benefits, including health coverage, 401(k) plans, parental leave, and tuition
coverage, to name just a few perks. And people who work at Starbucks repeatedly
say these benefits really elevate the job. One former barista told Yahoo News: “The one amazing thing I got from working
there was my stock in Starbucks: over three years, I made about $400 when I finally sold
my share.” Aside from benefits, employees are also privy
to loads of free stuff — mostly coffee, of course. One former Starbucks employee told Huffington
Post that workers receive one free drink per shift, and they can even brew free coffee
whenever they feel like it. Employees are reportedly allowed to chow down
on food that wasn’t sold that day, and they can chug any drink beverages that happen to
go unclaimed. This employee also confessed: “My friends… [told] me I had to lower my
coffee intake, because it was getting out of hand.” Although parts of the job can be tough, a
lot of employees love the sense of teamwork and camaraderie fostered at Starbucks. In order for stores to function properly,
it’s reportedly essential for employees to learn how to work together. “Being a Starbucks partner means everything
to me. It’s the connection, the people.” Writing on Quora, one Starbucks employee named
called her team “amazing.” “They were diverse, they were fun, and they
were passionate. … We all took ownership in our stores, and
when that happens, everyone wins.” Another former employee told New York magazine
about the, quote, “green apron board” at Starbucks, which is essentially a thank-you card system. “You always find little notes in your spot
like, ‘You kicked ass today!’ Or ‘I’m so happy I get to work with you.'” “Jade?” “Thank you.” There’s a very good chance that customer he
called “Jade” was actually named “Andrew.” Starbucks is notorious for getting your name
wrong at the register. “Like this one… this is definitely not how
I spell Lissie. I’ll be scratching my head all day.’ And, look at that, Lice!” When you order your beverage and give your
name, an employee writes it down on your cup. But somehow, they always manage to muck up
your name somehow. “My name’s Stephen, and every day my coffee
cup has my assistant’s name on it. What gives?” Employees reportedly have a lot of fun with
this. One barista told Cosmopolitan that they intentionally
misspell names “… just to mess with people… [I] love to see their reactions.” The misspellings often get a lot of social
media attention, and the same employee said her manager admitted that, quote, “most Starbucks
employees use it as a marketing tool.” “Most people aren’t going to post a photo
to social media of a cup with their name spelled right.” Starbucks denied this conspiracy theory to
BuzzFeed News, saying: “We’ve never asked or directed any of our
partners to misspell names of our customers for any reason.” Many people worry that fast-food restaurants
aren’t as clean as they should be — especially when they’re as busy as Starbucks. But employees claim that most locations have
extremely high standards when it comes to the cleanliness of the store and the way food
is prepared and served. On Reddit, a former Starbucks supervisor said
the temperatures of the fridge and food case had to be checked three times a day. If either of them were too warm, everything
inside was tossed in the garbage: “Everything that touched anything edible was
sanitized at least once a day.” On top of that, the supervisor alleged that
the coffee was kept fresh at all times. “We kept ground coffee only 12 hours and brewed
coffee 30 minutes on timers.” In a different Reddit thread, another Starbucks
supervisor claimed that customers are prone to leaving a mess behind, but employees tend
to be exceedingly clean: “Baristas spend a lot of our time cleaning. New hires are shocked by the non-stop cleaning
requirements.” If being a Starbucks barista sounds overwhelming,
that’s because it is — especially if you’re a brand-new hire. In fact, many employees feel like their training
was the toughest part of the job. We can’t blame them — can you imagine learning
how to make all of those drinks? “Hi, can I get a tall skinny half-sweet, no
foam, extra-hot caramel macchiato?” “Okay, so tall…?” A former Starbucks employee told Huffington
Post that new hires go through two full weeks of training. That’s when they learn how to make every drink
on the menu. They even allegedly practice how to do things
the wrong way. Why? So they know how to fix mistakes during a
rush. As one Starbucks barista wrote on Reddit,
some new employees don’t even make it through the training period at all: “[They] quit immediately because they took
the job for the ‘aesthetic’ of being a barista. It’s not glamorous, it’s not beautiful.” But if these newbies stick with it, all that
training evidently pays off at the end of the day. The former employee told Huffington Post: “Practice makes perfect, and after you spent
a few shifts on the bar… it was like second nature.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
foods are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. It's worse when you are a Starbucks employee in a grocery store. All the stress with none of the freebies or tips. They aren't lying about the customers being rude or being understaffed. 2nd worst job I ever had, right after Macy's.

  2. How's about when you ask somebody a yes/no question, and instead of a simple shrug or saying "I don't know.", they suddenly look like they're having a seizure? I always wondered what was up with that.

  3. Might want to rethink about the other aspect to the ruthlessness of the world's coffee conglomerates.

    Coffee farmers from both North and South Americas to Asian and African continents/countries face a life time of destitution and robberies (equated in the way the drug cartels are run).

    It fucking sucks and I used to work as a barista at Starfux waaaay back in the late 20th century until the beginning of the new millennia.

    To continue to buy over-priced and over- roasted (burnt) coffee beans… is much to say that one is apathetic (indifferent) to the inhumane and the negative globally economics that it plays into… and this is just ONE company amongst the other myriad of BIG BOYS at play.

    TL;DR
    THINK FOR YOURSELVES AS A PART OF THE HUMAN RACE… or just languish into the laziness of wont and apathetic carelessness.

  4. every starbucks employee understands the fear that is the dripping grease from the doublesmoked bacon and grilled cheese hitting your arm.

  5. The Baristas at my Starbucks I always visit for sooo nice and sweet. I'm always patient, they always are so busy. They work their asses off to service 🌺🙏

  6. Starbucks employees are stressed and exhausted? I worked as a barista in a coffee shop at the train station and prepared +5 beverages per minute while also doing the order/checkout and food prep. Starbucks is so slow, they don't know what they're doing

  7. give me a break … your job isn't tough. you make elaborate coffee. go roof a house in the summer, or work an oil rig. drive a truck for a living, or teach middle school kids. you make a [email protected]#!ng coffee … shut your mouths lol jfc

  8. I sincerely wish Americans could taste really good coffee so they'd quit overpaying for bilge water with obscene amounts of sugar.

  9. All fast food places are Slave Labor,,,, some are a little better some are not – and of course the customers at Star Bucks would be the worst because it is just that kind of place, charging lots attracts snobs

  10. I’m a partner at Starbucks. Yes, the job is stressful, and we deal with many rude people, but it is the greatest job I’ve ever had. I love my coworkers, and have met so many great people through it.

  11. my partners dont like me lol, send me to do trash and cleaning floors and sinks, everything to get me outta the way (without saying I'm on support, they say I'm in warming but to go do this) they stop talking and stare at each other when I walk in the room and literally look so happy talking to the other employees. other employees drift from their position to other tasks and when I do it (bc I've cleaned, restocked, and finished all my orders) , they tell me to just go back to where I was. another new person came in a week or two after I did and they're so nice to them even though we're at the same level or prior experience. I am trying to ignore feeling out of place as the only non white person on shift most of the time too lol but wow
    and when asking the shift supervisor a question they always assume I'm wrong or haven't completed the task and then double check to find out I did. I try asking abt everyone's day and their likes and dislikes.. it's just frustrating

  12. Fuck Starbucks and these fat ass bitches that go there every fucking day! fucking hate them, the day I quit ima cuss some bitch out

  13. Work at Starbucks? You mean coming up with as many insults as possible. Rocket science is not required at Starbucks, neither is high school. Why would anybody want to drink coffee with a bunch of woke pukes who have no idea what they are talking about? Why would anybody patronize Starbucks? Do you go there to be insulted?

  14. Starbucks is stressful as is any retail job but I've worked for Starbucks for almost 8 years and tbh most of things that the baristas complained about in this video boils down to them being lazy wimps…starbucks attracts a certain type of person to work there usually its entitled college kids who haven't experienced a real day of work in there life and assume the job is easy.

  15. Honestly my least favorite drink is the Honey Citrus Mint tea aka the medicine ball aka cold buster. But the secret menu thing isn’t true.Fraps suck but seriously doing the secret menu drinks aren’t bad as long as customers know the modifications for it

  16. I dont entirely agree with not working at Starbucks if you have anxiety and depression because i go through this and still work starbucks but the reason why it works for me is that since its often times a busy environment, that gives me a busy mind so I don't have time to think about how sad I am. I find I do best when I am busy. Although I'm not all extrovert and socialize alot, working at starbucks can still work for introverts like me with depression. And before I started starbucks I was already managing my anxiety. In fact starting starbucks has lowered some of my anxiety, again because its a busy environment and it keeps my mind busy. Yes I do still make mistakes and have awkward moments but as long as you have a friendly and understandable staff of coworkers you dont feel as bad. The only time that I will say working at starbucks will be an issue is if you are prone to anxiety attacks. Thats when you know your anxiety levels are at a very unhealthy state and I wouldnt recommend it.

  17. Worked in Dunkin and we had some really awful customers. One lady yelled at me because I didn't tell her the correct amount of money she owed. 10.71 but I mistook the 7 as 1.
    But I would never give someone regular coffee if they want decaf. They could have a health complication that requires no caffeine.

  18. Weird how some people don't know their food is refrigerated beforehand and not made fresh. For being frozen, it's pretty good, though!

  19. I'm a Starbucks regular and thankfully I never had any problems with the baristas (I know how it feels like to work under stress, I own a restaurant), I'm simple any coffee will do, no complains about that, Unless the coffee tastes like water 🤣

  20. No she probably misspelled your name because she couldn't spell, read, write or even understand English. THAT'S THE BAD WALL.
    Maybe the customer can't understand the barista because she doesn't know how to SPEAK ENGLISH.
    And maybe the barista is always rude because most are women who are on their… and they go to the job for money and not to work. YOU MEAN I HAVE TO WORK TO MAKE ""MY"" MONEY? DAMN I'M USE TO GETTING MONEY FROM MY HUSBAND FOR DOING NOTHING. DO YOU MEAN I CAN'T DO THAT HERE?
    MAKE MORE MEN MANAGERS AND BARISTAS AND WATCH YOUR BUSINESS BOOM WITHOUT ALL THE BITCHING DRAMA.

  21. anyone else absolutely hate it when people order their lattes with no foam?? way too time consuming in the middle of a rush, esp when we're constantly understaffed ><

  22. What I HATE is when customers name EVERYTHING BUT THE DRINK! "I want a decaf, caramel, nonfat, with an extra shot…" OF WHAT???!!!

  23. If you want to work at Starbucks, get ready to MULTITASK!!! And not just two things, but three or four. Good luck all job prospects! …I lasted three weeks, and after weeks of stress and sleepless nights, I had to quit. Oh, and most of the customers are RUDE, entitled assholes. This was in Calabasas, California, so that’s to be expected.

  24. My experience working there has taught me to never drink regular iced coffee from any fast-food place because apparently they're too lazy to clean the iced coffee tanks properly. Somehow spraying the inside with sanitizing fluid and rinsing it with water is acceptable despite the fact that the dispenser nozzle can be removed for proper cleaning. One time when I tried to thoroughly clean it, the assistant manager complained that I was "too clean". wtf

  25. Me: Ayyce
    Starbucks: Grandayy?
    Me: no no Ayyce
    Starbucks: Bass?
    Me: Ayyce! Ayyce!
    Starbucks: Oooh ok sorry
    cup says ass

  26. Agree! And the WORST thing of working in Starbucks is that you are having your District Manager, Store Manager, Assistant Manager and Supervisor are NOT from the food hospitality at all, plus they are NOT clean and NOT professional, while talking much and doing little.

  27. All this stuff is honestly pretty true lol I hated working at Starbucks and yes the food is FROZEN and SOGGY AF I never ate shit from there

  28. I’m currently a barista in a Corporate office. I work with just one other coworker. We serve over 400 people per day and it’s really not difficult to provide top notch second mile service while smiling. It’s a Easy job and it’s really not stressful.

  29. The last time I went to Starbucks was at a airport. I boarded the plane behind this little old lady who needed help with her suitcase. The guy underneath the luggage bin where she was struggling just sat there and watched. The suitcase eventually started to fall so I dropped my Mocha on the douche guy and caught it just in time. Happy I didn't get whipped cream that day! Saved an old lady… Burned a douchebag 😁

  30. No mention of the suckass $ you are paid given what you are expected to do. Funny how NOBODY that complains about working there knows who Andrew Yang is, or what the UBI is. Instead, a bunch of Americans, abused by the 1%, who actually don't think there is any choice but to be abused. UBI. Learn it, know it, love it, vote for it. YANG in 2020. WRITE his name in if you must. Otherwise, stop complaining and get back to work.

  31. Unless you’re going through the drive thru, I don’t understand how the baristas can mess with the customers drinks. It’s not like they’re in a back room or anything. It’s made in full view of the customer. I see everything from the point I order and pay to the point my name is called for pickup.

  32. "There is no recipe for a drink called an undertow"… Yes there is… It's a classic, original, traditional Italian espresso beverage, just like the cappuccino or cortado. That barista clearly didn't know what she was talking about…

  33. I worked as a barista at Mc Cafè here in Philippines like 4 or 3 years ago and when the customers are rude I always keep them waiting for their orders longer than the other orders. I always do their orders last.😂

  34. ex starbucks barista here. I had a string of fantastic managers, and my first store was a neighborhood store in Toronto with amazing regulars. A pharmacist that came in frequently told me which antibiotic cream works best after i got a second-degree burn during a shift

  35. As someone who works here, word of advice.

    Please do not work here, you’ll spare yourself for your mental health. The guy who owns Starbucks got a $50 million dollar bonus, while we had our hours cut, barely making money, and honestly? I have no will to live of this place.

    This place is degrading. If you think your idea of fun equates to having people tell you to do your job properly and having them throw stuff at you, I don’t know what to say.

    Note to customers: THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS FUCKING RIGHT. Do NOT treat people like trash for them trying to do their job; if I told you why can’t you be a better human being and stop treating people like shit, how would that make you feel? Same exact thing.

    It’s all fun and games till we need to unionize. It angers me because we don’t get a say, and corporate doesn’t give a fuck since they can’t treat us like humans (oh gee that’s so hard).

    If they cared about mental health, they’d give us more hours, better pay, treat us like humans, MAYBE give us more therapy sessions than 6, maybe give an incentive that the customer isn’t always right, but No.

    Please find a better job. Please spare yourself.

  36. I've dealt with racist people, partners and customers, rude people, angry homeless people who throw hot coffee. I've been burnt by oatmeal, hot tea ,coffee and cut by knives. No tips, low pay.. Shots die immediately! Food isn't good. They aren't as clean as you think. Touching self and hair and not washing hands. Gossip about other partners is constant and you can get fired for any reason if two people said it happened. Worst place I ever worked. Laptops being stolen and people being shot for trying to get their stuff back. That's why there aren't outlets.

  37. 6:21
    But the butterbeer does exist…..
    I've been to a Starbucks in Norway tronheim and they have a drink named "smøtterøl" which is butterbeer on Norwegian.

  38. I know a Starbucks employee that works at a bar I frequent who always "fixes" the problems of rude and entitled millenials coffee with spit. LOL

  39. Interesting that a starbucks employee mentions how some customers don't know the first thing about coffee. Neither does starbucks. Their coffee is such shit. Tastes like bad chemicals. Their specialty coffees are so artificial.They serve nothing but SUUUUUUGAR. They no longer use Girardeli chocolate for their mochas (they use some shit syrup). Nothing absolutely NOTHING is natural at starbucks. Their food is soooo processed and unhealthy. The next time you go into starbucks count how many people are overweight. Yes we can thank Starbucks for perpetuating obesity.🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

  40. Starbucks barista here. A lot of this video is very true. The intentional wrong name on cup stuff I've never heard of. It is super stressful, but I do love the people I work with and the regulars who are sweet are often the best part of the day. Frapps are the actual worst and set back your drink sequence by 40 seconds when people expect there coffee to be done by the time they walk to the handoff area. This is possible when u hear them order and start it ahead of time but if you get mobile orders for frapps or drinks before them its a nightmare. If you come up to the counter and say "Um excuse me, is my drink done yet" please leave. It's not like i'm ignoring your drink on purpose, i'm getting to it please don't rush your barista. There is no secret menu. We are often understaffed. White mocha is elmers glue.

  41. I was a barista for Starbucks for over 20 years. No job is perfect, stress is found in any job. I enjoyed my tenure there. Made numerous friends through the years. The benefits were great, as was the 401k. Hey a free pound of coffee a week for the rest of my life after retirement. Not a coffee drinker though, I get it for my life. I’d recommend this company to anyone.

  42. I hated working there! It was one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had! We were always under staffed and we always ran out of coffee, cups and milk! The manager sucked! We had to close down our store at least 3 times a month from running out of supplies. They treat you like total dog shit there as well! Also the food is never fresh they have these bitches come out of a big ass semi truck and only god knows where the food came from before then or how long it was on the truck. Food can sit in the freezer for months at a time.. then they let it sit out for 7 hours. Nothing is fresh at Starbucks! The only thing that is fresh there is the whipped cream!

  43. I was in a starbucks and saw a lady order a Venti mocha, but she wanted 7 pumps of mocha and 7 pumps of simple syrup. Barista tried to dissuade her, but she was adamant, so they made it. And when she took that first gulp and smacked her lips, I almost threw up on the spot…

  44. I’m considering applying for a job at Starbucks, but I’m hesitate because I’m very shy and I don’t know if I can handle the fast paced environment and rude customers.

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