Categories
Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss

How Starbucks Baristas Really Feel About Your ‘Secret Menu’ Orders

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If you’re a fan of Starbucks’ Pink Drink, Butterbeer Frappuccino, or the Thin Mint Frappuccino, you’re technically ordering things that don’t exist, but baristas are skilled enough to make them all happen.

I’m talking about items on the “Secret Menu” of course, and while your local store might be cool with making an espresso-filled blended drink called a “Chola,” try ordering that at another store, and they’ll look at you with an Aubrey Plaza-like face of befuddlement.

Baristas took to Reddit and expressed how they felt about customers barging into their stores and ordering these imaginary drinks.

Their reactions may, or may not surprise you, but at least they’re being honest about our crazy requests.


Know the Ingredients

It’s not necessarily irritating if you know what the ingredients are. It’s really only frustrating when people come in and say something like “Let me have a Twix Frap!” and they expect us to know how to do it and say it is on the “secret” menu. But as long as you know what goes in it we’ll be happy to make it for you! We just want you to be happy with your drink. 🙂


Don’t Get Mad If the Barista Doesn’t Know What You’re Talking About

Only frustrating when people get mad when we don’t know what’s in it. Nobody actually minds, as long as you have the recipe. My main policy is if we don’t have a button for it in the special section, and you don’t have a recipe, I’m not getting my phone out to google whatever $8 frap you want. You obviously don’t want it enough.


Some Baristas Get Really Freaked Out

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For fuck’s sake, some of us are hardly trained on the regular drinks. Seriously, beyond the latte(which I already knew how to make), nearly all of my barista skills have been developed on my own time.


Don’t Be A Dick When Ordering Something That’s Not On-Menu

The people that order them are what make the drinks themselves annoying. Recipe, fine. When people act like it’s a thing for us, fuck off.


Ah, The Infamous Pink Drink

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Cust: “It’s on the secret menu, I know you guys have it”
Me: “Oh yeah, it’s a secret to us too”
Cust: …
Me: “but if you know the recipe I’d be happy to make it for you”
Cust: …
Me: ….
Cust: “Venti Caramel Frappuccino”
I don’t even mind the [Pink] drink so much, it’s just the principle of the matter


They Do Charge For All Those Extra Secret Ingredients

I will make anything you want, I don’t care, as long as you bring in the recipe and don’t get angry about any extra fees.


Have Some Mercy On Them During Rush Hours

I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t seem like secret menu stuff was only ordered during busy times.


If you see the Barista Holding Lighter Fluid… RUN!

Every time someone says they have a drink off of the secret menu, I cringe and imagine setting their hair on fire.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

The Starbucks #OrangeDrink Was Just A Social Experiment

Within the last month, Starbucks’ “secret menu” has made headlines thanks in part to a line up of beautiful drinks found on the Rainbow Secret Menu. Now, the #OrangeDrink is blowing up — but that was all part of the plan.

The coffee chain’s rainbow beverage trend has become an Internet sensation without any official advertising from Starbucks. In fact, a closer look reveals that Starbucks’ secret menu could be a concept perpetuated by die-hard Starbucks fans and well-trained baristas.

That’s where the #OrangeDrink comes in. We wanted to prove social media was the primary force driving the secret drink phenomenon. In order to prove this theory, we tried an experiment, just to see how far social media could run with it. 

The #OrangeDrink, specifically, was a product of a Foodbeast experiment to prove that the color of the drink did not matter, but more so to show that social media was the only tool needed to create a new trend, instantly.

After Foodbeast broke news on the #PinkDrink craze June 1, it got more than 100,000 Instagram posts dedicated to it. Shortly after our Pink Drink coverage, the #RainbowDrink trend started gaining attention from notable publications like Time magazine, The Huffington Post and PopSugar.

Our friend and local Orange County food-influencer, Scott Nghiem (@ScottAfters), co-owner of Afters Ice Cream, posted the first images of Starbucks’ #PurpleDrink on his Instagram page last week, it generated 16.5K likes. Scott’s post of the #PinkDrink received 35K likes. Scott has 120K followers and on average he receives about 5K likes per post, Scott’s secret rainbow drink posts generated approximately 50K likes, respectively.

ScottAfters

Last Thursday, as the Foodbeast news team casually discussed the hype behind the pink and purple drinks and how we were not blown away by the taste of either color, Marc leaned over the mezzanine on the second floor and yelled down to our bullpen, “Let’s go to Starbucks and make an orange drink.”

We looked up the #OrangeDrink hashtag and luckily enough there was nothing Starbucks related. Marc, Izzy, Reach and I walked into our Downtown Santa Ana Starbucks, where we are on a first name basis with store manager Eric Olson. We told Eric what we were working on and what we had in mind.

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“We want an orange drink and we want it to taste delicious,” I said.

Being the gracious host that he is, Eric went above and beyond to deliver what we asked. He may have single-handedly created the best tasting secret drink yet. After Eric made a few variations, it seemed that mixology is really the secret behind the success of Starbuck’s so-called “secret menu.”

Eric explained that Starbucks doesn’t officially recognize a “secret menu” but credited the baristas for playing a pivotal role in responding to a customer’s palate when discovering new flavor concepts.

However, as baristas continue to create sensational flavor profiles — that are dominating social media with countless posts of approval — Starbucks is reaping all the benefits. Additionally, secret menu fanatics are busy tracking down the perfect opportunity to purchase “secret” drinks — in order to frantically post photos of these aesthetically pleasing beverages to social media — the coffee giant is cashing in.

With each Instagram, Facebook and Twitter post, the colorful drink trend grows. Further perpetuating the demand for off-menu items — all while generating an insane amount of free advertising for Starbucks. Not to mention the extra charges for ingredients like soy, or coconut milk.

So, could it be that timely coordination and Instagram traffic drove enough attention to create an instant trend without the help of the company behind the beverages?

The answer is yes.

We used the #OrangeDrink as a jumping off point to get another colorful Starbucks drink trending. As fate would have it, the #OrangeDrink instantly became known as the best tasting rainbow drink and social media quickly followed suit.

OD FINAL CROP

A few Foodbeast staffers and myself posted #OrangeDrink photos to our Instagram accounts and waited for social media to react. Over the weekend, Yahoo! News, Refinery 29, MashableThrillist, NBC Business and NBC New York all reported on the #OrangeDrink as the new summer drink to try.

OD Grid

Without diving into sales numbers and statistics, this trend is a reflection of something bigger. Baristas are trained to work with an open system, which allows them to create flavors that cater to any palate, simultaneously becoming artists in their own right. There’s no back of the house manual explaining how to create these new beverages.

It’s also important to note that these trends are happening so fast, baristas are having a hard time keeping up. Although, some may be a little annoyed with Starbucks fanatics constantly testing the waters of what can be created behind the counter. The possibilities are endless.

At the same time, baristas are being blindsided with strange drink orders, scrambling to figure out what’s supposed to be inside these “secret drinks” everyone is ordering — just because they saw it on social media.

After digging into the Reddit channel “r/Starbucks” and under a subreddit thread, “There’s an orange drink now???” we found Starbucks’ employees are sounding off on their disapproval of this exponentially growing trend.

User Breslayy obviously didn’t like the #PurpleDrink and said all the other drinks were “awful.”

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User Agaue said it felt like customers were purposely trolling baristas. Good eye, kid.

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As Starbucks’ reaps the rewards from social media exploiting their “secret menu” for free, the baristas are stuck with the grunt work, and receive little incentive for having to learn these “secret” drinks on the spot.

But, as Reddit user ToastyXD worded it — it’s become part of the job description for baristas to understand that Starbucks’ open mixology system makes all this possible.

redditorangedrink

However, some baristas just don’t care at all.

Where the #pinkdrink #orangedrink and #purpledrink belong. #starbucks #notsorry

A video posted by Danielle Vaughn (@heytheredanielle) on

We have to thank Starbucks’ open and expansive mixology system, without it, none of this would have been possible. The only problem is, we might have simultaneously created the best drink of the summer as a joke. However, it’s not something we are trying to keep a secret.

Thank you, Internet!

Featured image: @kuyameztizo

Categories
Fast Food

The ‘Orange Drink’ Is Starbucks’ Latest Colorful Creation On The Rainbow Secret Menu

We’ve noticed how quickly the Starbucks’ #PinkDrink and #PurpleDrink craze was blowing up on social media and we were curious how far we could stretch the colors in the colorful Rainbow Secret Menu. So, we visited a local Starbucks to see if we could find an unknown “secret menu” item to get our hands on.

We walked out of that Starbucks with a smile on our faces as store manager, Eric Olson, showed us one of his special creations, the #OrangeDrink, adding another color to the Starbucks secret menu color wheel.

Trio

Named not just after the flavor, but the surrounding area of Orange County in Southern California, as well, Olson broke down the recipe in order for baristas in all areas to recreate it on demand.

The Orange Drink consists of orange mango juice, two scoops of vanilla bean powder poured over ice and topped with coconut milk. It can be served shaken or fizzed.   

As far as taste, it’s arguably the best of the bunch, mimicking an Orange Bang, yet the carbonation brings out characteristics of the classic Orange Julius, a food-court favorite.

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And Starbucks fans are already jumping in on the refreshing summer drink.

On those #orangedrink x #purpledrink vibes 🍊🍇

A photo posted by Joe Rodino (@imovercast) on

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Have you tried the #OrangeDrink from Starbucks?! 🍊 It’s orange mango juice with coconut milk and 2 scoops of vanilla bean!

A photo posted by Jamie • Petite Brunchie (@petitebrunchie) on

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Whether shaken or fizzed the #OrangeDrink is the perfect citrus-flavored summertime refresher to go along with the wildly popular Pink Drink craze.

So, as Starbucks’ not-so-secret menu continues to expand, we can’t wait to see what other colors and flavors get mixed together in the warm months ahead.