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Starbucks' Most Popular Drink Can't Be Made at Many Locations, Employees Say

Say toodaloo to your two pumps, if the rumors about this second shortage for the coffee chain are true.

This week, shortages are increasing—that is, if you're following ketchup, pet food, and toilet paper (yep, again). For Starbucks, the launch of some new popular drinks resulted in a frustrating shortage of oat milk last month. And now, an update from insiders suggests there's yet another Starbucks product shortage.

Business Insider reports that some Starbucks baristas around the country are saying that there's now a shortage of the coffee chain's beloved flavored syrups. Specifically, there seems to be a low supply of vanilla and caramel at some locations, and dozens more report that brown sugar syrup—the flavor that goes in one of the two oat milk drinks that are currently the brand's most popular menu items—is scarce. 

If you were one of the many who became a fast fan of the Honey Oatmilk Latte or the Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, you may have to show your barista some understanding and work with them on a good flavor substitute until supplies reach more sufficient levels.

RELATED: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According To Experts

Employees, who spoke to Business Insider on the condition of anonymity say there are days when their Starbucks location "doesn't get any shipments," and, in the meantime, staff is "operating on the bare minimum." These shortages are due to the same reasons that much of the food and beverage industries are experiencing low or slow supplies: The coronavirus pandemic and its effects on production. Unfortunately, Starbucks' problems may not end with flavored syrups: Employees are also saying that cups are running low, as well as pastry supplies.

Fortunately, the chain is sanitizing new reusable cups that some customers can rent for just a dollar if you're able to try their new Borrow a Cup program, which was just announced this week. We also have more encouraging news for coffee lovers: check out the one hack everyone is trying with coffee grounds.

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
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