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The 8 Most Obnoxious Things Customers Won't Stop Doing at Starbucks, According To Employees

SBUX execs have doubled down on their aim to please. Here are the trendy asks currently crazing baristas.

This week, the CEO of Starbucks told Wall Street insiders that the famous coffee chain has seen record-breaking sales this spring. But when Starbucks simultaneously made a statement to assure that they'll go most lengths to make customers happy, one barista's beef drew our attention to some of the ways customers have been milking Starbucks' willingness to make us happy.

We turned to Reddit to get in on the conversations Starbucks employees around the country are exchanging among themselves. Check out the hilarious customer requests they're fielding.

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You can't make a Starbucks return just anywhere. 

starbucks coffee

So while you were in a long line for the register, you impulse-bought a cute Starbucks mug. You got home and changed your mind—but no, one Target Starbucks employee recently had to tell an irate customer, sadly you cannot return a Starbucks product anywhere in the world there's a "We proudly serve Starbucks" sign. Coffee beans, food, and kitschy souvenirs from an actual Starbucks location can't be returned at a Starbucks counter inside Target, a book store, or, say, a hospital. Next!

Some Starbucks customers are asking for the world.

Was that nine pumps of syrup and 10 sugars? What are the dozen-plus drink modifications you're asking for? Starbucks employees go through rigorous training, but still: As one Starbucks employee recently pointed out, the more ingredients you ask your barista to add, the greater margin you're creating for your beverage to go all wrong.

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"Food attached" is a thing, except… not literally.


Like a lot of beverage-first brands (think Dunkin' and Jamba Juice), Starbucks has made a big push toward getting customers to add food to a drink order. It's caught on big, and Starbucks cake pops are said to be their top-selling sweet treat of the moment.

However, when one customer recently requested that a barista put a cake pop inside her Frappuccino, Starbucks staff gave it a hard pass. Turns out putting food inside a Starbucks blender poses the risk of a mechanical error.

Some Starbucks customers are reaching behind the counter.

Starbucks straws

COVID-19 restrictions forced Starbucks to do away with their shared condiments station for now, but employees are voicing up in response to a customer habit that's formed instead. The formerly public items that are now tucked away are not an invitation for customers to reach and grab things themselves. Need a straw? A napkin? It's for the safety and hygiene of everyone that you wait a minute, and ask.

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Some Starbucks customers are drinking mortal amounts of caffeine.

OK, not seriously mortal. But if you ask for 12 shots of espresso, there is some possibility that your barista will post your drink on Reddit to ask, "Sis: You OK?"

Sorry, there's no such thing as a "honey oatmeal latte."

Starbucks' spring oat milk drinks have been a hit, but the names the brand gave them have definitely caused a wee bit of confusion.

That's an oat milk latte, not an oatmeal latte.

Some customers aren't wearing masks.


Yes, the CDC recently issued new mask guidance. However, unmasked Starbucks customers are a hot topic on Reddit. Take note that indoors, masks are still strongly recommended.

Some Starbucks customers are making their baristas watch TikTok.


One Starbucks employee went on what some Reddit users a "grande rant" after a customer asked them to drop everything to learn a drink recipe she'd seen on TikTok. Annoying, sure, but worst of all… this took place at the drive-thru.

Let's be sweet to our baristas, shall we? Also, check out 14 Things You Should Never Eat at a Restaurant.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy