Secrets That Starbucks Employees Wanted You To Know – And Never Told YouBy Michelle Stone
If you’re a coffee lover but hate making your own coffee, Starbucks is the place for you. The international coffee franchise has been around since the ‘70s and has over 80K drink combinations. There are people behind every successful business that keeps it running and Starbucks could not work without the people behind the counter making your coffee.
You may think the job involves just taking the order and pouring the coffee, right? Wrong! Starbucks employees go through extensive training and have to be well-versed in the coffee language unique to the company. So what is it really like for the employees? Keep on reading to find out.
All Employees Are Partners
Starbuck workers are called baristas. That’s actually the Italian word for “bartender” but barista is the gender-neutral word Americans use. However, the company has another name for them and it is “Partner.”
According to the company’s website, all employees are “partners in shared success” and all partners own some stock through its Bean Stock program. The Bean Stock units turn into vested shared after two consecutive years of working. This allows employees to stay long-term and feel a better connection to the company. They can use the shares however they please.
They Go Through Extensive Training
You can’t just decide to become a barista and start working the next day. It takes a lot to learn the ropes and all Starbucks employees need proper training. There are people specifically hired to run barista classrooms and train the supervisors and managers.
The employees can also make their way to Reddit to find threads and blogs from current and former employees. These blogs discuss everything; from opening and closing the store to the best way of pouring coffee. The company also hosts “Starbucks Barista Championships” every year where the employees get a chance to meet and show off their coffee-making talents.
Not All Employees Wear The Same Colored Apron
You may not know this but the signature green aprons with the Starbucks logo didn’t come around until the late ‘80s. When the shop first opened its doors in the ‘70s, all employees wore plain, brown aprons. The menu was a lot simpler and there were only six drinks. It wasn’t until the ‘90s that the black apron was introduced.
What is the difference between the black and green apron, you may ask? Well, there are employees and then there are “Coffee Masters,” those who have specific and more advanced knowledge about coffee. During the holidays, Starbuck employees also wear red aprons.
The Food In The Display Case In Practically Inedible
Starbucks serves more than coffee and has food on the menu, as well. Some food items are kept in the display case so customers have a better idea of what they’re getting. However, the food kept there is never meant to be taken out and given to a customer.
While the food is made fresh in the morning, the hot lights in the case designed to make the items look brighter, render the food inedible. There was controversy surrounding all the food waste the company produces so some locations have shifted to making plastic display food.
Employees Don’t Always Get Free Coffee
You might think working at Starbucks means an endless supply of all their drinks but that is really not true. Employees have to pay for their coffee but get free drinks during specific times. They get coffee 30 minutes before and after their shifts and 30 percent off otherwise.
This isn’t set in stone and varies from store to store. Some managements are strict about the rule while others don’t want to charge their employees. Some will bend the rules while according to others, it can cause them to be fired.
They Have Special Drinks For Kids…And Dogs!
Caffeine isn’t recommend for children but Starbucks has many other options including lemonade, fruit smoothies, hot chocolate and “babyccinos” which are technically just warm milk. However, in 2021 one father complained about the store putting caffeine in his child’s babyccino and he stayed up till midnight.
So, double-check next time. Service dogs are also welcome but all other pets must stay outside. But if your pooch is in need of a treat, you can get a “puppaccino” to go. They contain no caffeine and are pretty much just whipped cream sprayed onto a lid for your pup to lick.
They Know Your Drinks Are Too Hot
Starbucks drinks are served anywhere between 160 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The drinks are extremely hot and the company has suffered many lawsuits from customers who have been burned badly. When you’re on the go, the last thing you want to do is burn your tongue, or worse.
Starbucks employees recommended ordering at ‘kid’s temperature.’ This is around 130 degrees and is their warm setting. It will allow you to drink your coffee faster especially if you’re on the go and will avoid dangerous accidents, as well. If you do spill it, you’ll probably end up with a ruined shirt, though.
You Can Get Holiday Drinks Throughout The Year
Some of Starbucks’ most popular drinks are only available during special holidays. Their Pumpkin Spice Latte is one of the most famous drinks they have and it’s only available in the fall season. However, due to its popularity, some stores sell it throughout the year but it’s not the same for all holiday drinks.
If you’re craving your favorite drink on a regular day, there’s a hack. You can mimic the flavors and get the Christmastime Peppermint Mocha by asking your barista to make hot chocolate with two pumps of peppermint syrup. You can recreate almost any flavor with just a little research.
Don’t Trick Them Into Giving You Stuff For Free
Starbucks employees get very annoyed when people try to hack their way around the system and get stuff for free. For example, don’t ask them to add whipped cream on top if they’ve already made your bill.
It is not possible for the employees to add stuff to your order even if it’s just whipped cream or extra cheese. The items that cost money cannot be added later on and customers shouldn’t ask the baristas to do that. One employee vented on Reddit saying, “This is one of my biggest annoyances.”
You Can Get Free Drinks On Your Birthday
That’s right! Starbucks Rewards Members can get free drinks on their birthday by joining the Starbucks Rewards Program at least seven days prior. On top of the free birthday drink, members can collect points on their cards and save those to get more free drinks or food. It also comes in handy for traveling and can work in many international locations and airports.
Other people who got free drinks were first responders and health care workers. To show their appreciation, baristas gave anyone who identified as a first responder in 2020 a free drink on the house.
They’re Not Allowed To Complain About Customers Publicly
Employees are human and like all humans, they can find out people annoying. Especially, customers who add a million items to their order or are just plain rude. However, no matter how rude or difficult a customer is, employees are not allowed to publically post about them on social media sites. They can even be fired for this.
The rule came after an employee went viral for posting about the 13 different demands of a customer. He was laid off but told Inside Edition that he had no regrets. So next time you have a difficult order, make sure your arista is patient.
There’s No Secret Menu!
One thing that really bothers most baristas is customers asking for an item off the secret menu. While many restaurants and food chains have secret menus, Starbucks is not one of them. Customers can have their drinks tailored to their liking but there’s nothing the company sells that isn’t particularly on the menu.
Many TikToks of interesting items that are not on the menu go viral but they’re either fan-created or barista-created. The company itself has never issued a secret menu but most orders can be customized.
Do You Know About Their Other Cup Sizes?
They don’t have a secret menu but they do have two other cup sizes most people do not know about. When ordering a drink, most people would see three cup sizes on the board; tall, grande, and venti but they also have a small cup size which is smaller than the tall and holds about 8 oz. of liquid.
Then they have the trenta and it holds about 31 oz. of liquid. The trenta is the largest and is only available for certain cold drinks. When you order a venti, the size also varies a bit depending on if you order a hot or cold drink.
Starbucks Spends More On Employees’ Healthcare Than It Does On Coffee Beans
Working as a barista is quite a difficult job and you have to be on your feet at all times but Starbucks makes sure they take good care of the people who make the magic happen. According to a report by CNN, the company spends $300 million a year on healthcare for workers and that is more than what they spend on coffee beans.
They also offer paid leave, personal days, and extra pay during the holidays. New parents get more time off and there’s financial help for students getting online degrees. Here’s another perk; they get to choose their own music!