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Starbucks baristas say TikTok drinks have turned them into ‘coffee-making ROBOTS’

A Starbucks employee who ranted about a complicated order consisting of 13 modifications has been fired after his tweet went viral — but he isn’t the only one who has taken issue with customers’ increasingly over-the-top demands that are often inspired by TikTok. 

Other baristas at the chain claim they are being treated like ‘coffee-making robots’ as social media trends continue to drive elaborate drinks requests that are incredibly tedious, making them work much harder than they would for a normal drink. 

‘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 labor hours,’ a Starbucks shift supervisor in New York told The Guardian.  

Josie Morales was sacked from Starbucks this month after he took to Twitter to vent his frustration over an incredibly complicated Venti Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino order, which a demanding customer named Edward had placed in Van Nuys, California, on May 1.

Sacked: Josie Morales, a barista from California, was fired from Starbucks for calling out a customer named Edward’s complicated drink order that included 13 modifications

 

Drama: Morales's tweet venting about the complicated Venti Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino order (pictured) went viral earlier this month

Drama: Morales’s tweet venting about the complicated Venti Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino order (pictured) went viral earlier this month

‘On today’s episode of why I wanna quit my job,’ Josie tweeted, sharing a photo of a plastic Starbucks cup with the order listed. 

A traditional Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino is made with coffee, milk, ice, and caramel syrup, which are blended and topped with a layer of dark caramel sauce, whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and a crunchy caramel-sugar topping.   

However, Edward requested a total of 13 add-ons and changes to the drink, including extra caramel drizzle, seven pumps of caramel sauce, extra ice, extra cinnamon dolce topping, and heavy cream — all of which makes it longer to make.  

Morales’s tweet went viral, as did the recipe, with customers across the country clamoring to try ‘The Edward’ for themselves. Morales ended up getting fired for violating the company’s social media policy, but he doesn’t have any regrets. 

‘I feel like it brought some light upon how crazy orders can be,’ he told Inside Edition, which captured Morales’ meeting with Edward himself.  

Candid: Morales said he doesn't regret tweeting about the drink request because 'it brought some light upon how crazy orders can be'

Candid: Morales said he doesn’t regret tweeting about the drink request because ‘it brought some light upon how crazy orders can be’

Not a jerk: The now infamous Starbucks customer, whose name really is Edward, defended his order, saying he tips about 30 percent

Not a jerk: The now infamous Starbucks customer, whose name really is Edward, defended his order, saying he tips about 30 percent 

Meet and greet: Despite everything that happened, the two men are on good terms and even shared a friendly hug when they met face to face

Meet and greet: Despite everything that happened, the two men are on good terms and even shared a friendly hug when they met face to face

The now infamous Starbucks customer, whose name really is Edward, defended his order, saying: ‘I don’t consider myself a jerk, especially if you tip well. So, you know, a $5 tip, I feel like that’s probably almost 30 percent.’ 

Despite everything that happened, the two men are on good terms and even shared a friendly hug when they met face to face. 

Starbucks doesn’t limit the number of modifications a customer can make to their drink orders, which can get burdensome and sometimes confusing for the baristas. 

‘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,’ a Starbucks employee in Maryland told The Guardian. 

Baristas who spoke to the publication explained that they are pressured to meet drive-thru time quotas while juggling mobile, delivery, and in-person orders. They claim the demand has increased their workloads, especially when customers are ordering complicated drink recipes they saw on TikTok.   

Hard: Other baristas across the nation have griped about the increasingly complicated orders they receive, with one saying they are treated like 'coffee-making robots' (STOCK IMAGE)

Hard: Other baristas across the nation have griped about the increasingly complicated orders they receive, with one saying they are treated like ‘coffee-making robots’ (STOCK IMAGE)

Frustrating: Starbucks workers said the increase of complicated orders is due to popular TikTok videos that break down detailed recipes for custom drinks

Frustrating: Starbucks workers said the increase of complicated orders is due to popular TikTok videos that break down detailed recipes for custom drinks 

Yikes: Morales's tweet inspired other Starbucks employees to share their own nightmare orders, including this shocking Green Tea Creme Frappuccino order with 29 changes

Yikes: Morales’s tweet inspired other Starbucks employees to share their own nightmare orders, including this shocking Green Tea Creme Frappuccino order with 29 changes

A lot to handle: Starbucks doesn't limit the number of changes a customer can make to their drink orders. One woman from California shared an image of a drink with 11 customizations

A lot to handle: Starbucks doesn’t limit the number of changes a customer can make to their drink orders. One woman from California shared an image of a drink with 11 customizations

Over the top: Another barista shared an image of a customer's intricate changes to a Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew order

Over the top: Another barista shared an image of a customer’s intricate changes to a Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew order

‘Starbucks definitely took this turn to becoming just another fast-food drive-thru,’ a Starbucks shift supervisor explained. ‘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.’

Morales’s post prompted other Starbucks employees to share similarly complex and torturous drink orders, with some complaining that trendy ‘TikTok drinks’ are to blame.

What’s more, they’re saying these drinks aren’t just a hassle for Starbucks employees to make, but that they also make lines move slower and contribute to longer wait times for other customers. 

One Starbucks barista shared a snap of a Green Tea Creme Frappuccino with 29 additional changes, writing: ‘This order comes in every other week.’  

Another posted an image of a Caffè Misto, which had 30 extra demands — including 24 pumps of syrup — and commented: ‘I raise you this.’ 

Trendy: Many are blaming the changes on trendy 'TikTok drinks,' pointing to videos of content creators ordering extremely complicated drinks and sharing the recipes with followers

Trendy: Many are blaming the changes on trendy ‘TikTok drinks,’ pointing to videos of content creators ordering extremely complicated drinks and sharing the recipes with followers

Going viral: Maya, who goes by @starbucksrecipeswithm on TikTok, has shared several viral videos with various drink recipes, including one for a Skittles Frappuccino

Going viral: Maya, who goes by @starbucksrecipeswithm on TikTok, has shared several viral videos with various drink recipes, including one for a Skittles Frappuccino

Going viral: Maya, who goes by @starbucksrecipeswithm on TikTok, has shared several viral videos with various drink recipes, including one for a Skittles Frappuccino

A third wrote: ‘I was behind a woman who had an order that ridiculous and insisted it be heated to 37 degrees celsius… “not 36, not 38–I will KNOW the difference.”‘

Someone else showed off an order for a Cherry Mocha Frappucino in San Diego, California, that was so long it required two stickers to fit all the customizations. 

While making a few modifications or specifications is not unusual — people might choose a different type of milk or extra pump of syrup — such a long list of changes means that drinks take much longer to make than usual, which baristas say can lengthen lines and wait times.

Many are blaming this on trendy ‘TikTok drinks,’ pointing to videos of content creators ordering extremely complicated drinks and sharing the recipes with followers.

‘I’m going to get yelled at for this by some but I just think it’s so selfish to order insane drinks like this at a Starbucks and it’s become so prevalent especially due to TikTok,’ tweeted journalist Yashar Ali. ‘I don’t care if you’re paying for it, it’s still selfish.’

Claim to fame: One TikToker name Anna, who goes by @annaxsitar, shares popular videos of herself ordering customized drinks and regularly asks her followers for their recommendations

Claim to fame: One TikToker name Anna, who goes by @annaxsitar, shares popular videos of herself ordering customized drinks and regularly asks her followers for their recommendations

Try this: Another barista, Kali Perry, who goes by @kalip3rry, has also posted videos with instructions for customized orders

Try this: Another barista, Kali Perry, who goes by @kalip3rry, has also posted videos with instructions for customized orders

Try this: Another barista, Kali Perry, who goes by @kalip3rry, has also posted videos with instructions for customized orders

Say what?User @who_is_jackie asked a drive-thru attendant to make her a drink with ten cake pops blended into it

Say what?User @who_is_jackie asked a drive-thru attendant to make her a drink with ten cake pops blended into it

‘The line at my local SB is ridiculously long, more then usual. I asked the barista what’s been going on. He said alot of people are ordering the tiktok drinks,’ said another commenter. 

‘I’d make a register sign that says “TIKTOK DRINKS +$20,’ someone else wrote.

‘Starbucks should hire 1 extra employee who ONLY does tik tok 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,’ another suggested. 

One TikToker name Anna, who goes by @annaxsitar, shares popular videos of herself ordering customized drinks.

Good point: Starbucks workers noted that these complicated  drink orders make lines move slower and contribute to longer wait times for other customers

Good point: Starbucks workers noted that these complicated  drink orders make lines move slower and contribute to longer wait times for other customers

Sugar rush: One barista posted a snapshot of an order from a fussy customer who wanted, among other things, 34 pumps of syrup

Sugar rush: One barista posted a snapshot of an order from a fussy customer who wanted, among other things, 34 pumps of syrup

Wow: This order for a Mango Dragonfruit lemonade including so many customizations that the sticker was longer than the Venti cup

Wow: This order for a Mango Dragonfruit lemonade including so many customizations that the sticker was longer than the Venti cup

In one with 6.1 million likes, she asked a Starbucks drive-thru employee to make her a drink that’s a combination of his two favorite drinks — whatever they are, regardless if he thinks they will mix well together.

Other TikTokers have come up with similar challenges for baristas, like user @who_is_jackie, who asked a drive-thru attendant to make her a drink with ten cake pops blended into it.

Meanwhile, some of the customized drink videos are actually made by Starbucks baristas themselves.

Maya, who goes by @starbucksrecipeswithm on TikTok, has shared several viral videos with various drink recipes, including one for a Skittles Frappuccino that has been liked 5.9 million times. 

She’s also posted recipes for a Cotton Candy Frappuccino, a Sunrise Frappuccino, and more, all of which require customers to make numerous complicated customizations to their drinks. 

Reading material: Another order for a Cherry Mocha Frappucino in San Diego, California, was so long it required two stickers

Reading material: Another order for a Cherry Mocha Frappucino in San Diego, California, was so long it required two stickers

Not right: Social media users were shocked to hear how demanding some customers could be with their orders

Not right: Social media users were shocked to hear how demanding some customers could be with their orders

Another barista, Kali Perry, who goes by @kalip3rry, has posted videos with her own instructions for customized orders.

Following Morales’s viral tweet, social media users were shocked to hear how demanding some customers could be with their orders. 

‘The rare times I have gone to Starbucks I panicked and ALWAYS get a caramel frap even though I’d like to try something new. I’ve done this for years, I still haven’t even memorized wtf size is a venti and you’re telling me ppl get this like this!? Disgusting,’ wrote one.

A second commented: ‘I don’t even know what half of that stuff is, I worked there like 10 years ago when there wasn’t as many options lol.’

‘Starbucks should have 2 lines: one for people who want actual coffee, and one for whatever narcissistic b******t this is,’ said one more. 

Someone else asked: ‘How df do people come up with these orders? How would they even know if you missed a ‘pump’ of whatever syrup want? And how would something like this even taste? at this point, is this even coffee anymore? it blows my mind that people make orders like this.’



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