Drinks Health

NO MASKS, NO SERVICE: Starbucks’ New Rule For Customers Starts July 15th

Starbucks just updated its policies for how the coffee chain plans to continue to serve customers through the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest additions is that the company will introduce a face mask requirement for all customers entering their stores.

The new policy, which goes into effect July 15th, marks a significant change of language from how Starbucks previously approached face masks. Previous language asked customers who came into stores to wear them, but did not require them to have one to gain entry.

Baristas have, and will continue, to wear facial coverings while in stores.

During a time when face masks have been questionably politicized, Starbucks is taking an informed stance on safety recommendations to help limit the spread of COVID-19 while folks are picking up coffee, beverages, and breakfast.

These changes also come as some states have begun to reopen both indoor and outdoor dining, with safety precautions, for customers. However, as COVID-19 cases have resurged across the United States, several areas have re-closed indoor dining operations.

For those who still object to wearing face masks but still want Starbucks, delivery, curbside pickup, and drive-thru orders are alternative options to going inside. This is only available, however, “at select locations where a local government mandate is not in place,” according to the new policy.

Fast Food News

Starbucks To Pay Employees, Regardless If They Work Or Not

In an unprecedented response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Starbucks has announced that they will be paying its U.S. and Canadian employees for the next month, whether they work or not.

“No Starbucks partner needs to choose between their health and coming to work,” the company said in a letter to employees.

Even under lockdowns occurring across the country, Frappuccinos and Lattes were deemed essential during this pandemic crisis, and kept the chain’s doors open.

That didn’t sit well with Starbucks employees, as they kept their doors open and still had fairly unchanged interactions with customers.

Many voiced their displeasure with the company’s initial move to let customers in the store, and additionally, letting employees work up until they felt they had the virus symptoms.

In response, Starbucks is now drive-thru-only for two weeks, where applicable, and even letting those employees stay home if need be, until April 19.

As far as employees of closing stores that don’t have the benefit of being drive-thru, Starbucks is extending its “catastrophe pay.”

Starbucks’ catastrophe pay is in place for emergencies, and is meant to protect employees during natural disasters, and in this case, pandemics.

Things had reached a boiling point, with many Starbucks employees drowning Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and anywhere they could voice their concerns with cries to close the store completely.

If you’re wondering why the heck anyone would come into work under these new guidelines, well, Starbucks also announced that working employees will be earning an additional $3 per hour than normal.

There’s still a debate about how “essential” Starbucks is at this time, but they’ve certainly done more to protect their customers and employees than any other major chain during this pandemic.

Fast Food

What Fast Food Restaurants Are Doing In Response To COVID-19

With Coronavirus news changing daily, little by little, our favorite bars, cafes, and mom-and-pop restaurants are all closing down, leaving us with the option of fist-fighting grocery shoppers for a pack of chicken, or taking our chances on a fast food restaurant.

A good amount of the larger quick-service restaurants have the luxury of staying open in this time of crisis, and a lot are taking more precautions than usual.

With the widespread uneasiness, it’s understandable to feel that going anywhere is a risk. Our favorite restaurants know this, and are doing their best to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

We can confirm that restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Subway, and Starbucks have all vowed to increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitation.

Each restaurant’s statement is a little different, but they all communicate some form of:

“We are closely monitoring and following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure we are doing our part to keep you, our staff, and our communities safe.”

If you have gone to any fast food spot, there’s a good chance the employees are sporting latex gloves for your protection and theirs. Honestly, even that little wrinkle helps put your mind at ease.

Depending on your area, all of these restaurants also deliver to some capacity, with some offering pick-up options while dining rooms closures have become standard protocol. And of course, the drive-thrus are still open, allowing them align with the CDC’s advisement of keeping groups of people to 10 or less.

Chick-Fil-A has a practice of handing out physical menus to customers at the Drive-Thru, but that has been eliminated to keep interactions at a minimum.

KFC, Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, and Del Taco are not only delivering, but as of now, those deliveries are free. Blaze Pizza’s delivery is free through Postmates and Door Dash through March 22.

Del Taco’s delivery is free through Postmates with the code: DelTacoNow.

Chipotle’s free delivery will run until March 31 using their fancy new Delivery Kitchen that includes a tamper-proof seal on your food and the ability to watch your driver’s route.

Now, KFC’s delivery is going above and beyond, being available until April 26. The order minimum is $12 and can be ordered through their site or Grubhub.

While most restaurant statements have mentioned employee safety being a priority, Starbucks really made sure to reiterate that they’re putting their “partners” AKA employees, first. Starbucks said their employees, “…Never have to choose between work and taking care of themselves.” Which aside from limiting social interactions, also means that if partners feel ill, they can take time off, and if that means that they have to relocate healthy employees or even temporary close down a store, that is what they’ll do.

Starbucks has also extended their “Catastrophe Pay” program, which is usually offered to partners during hurricanes and/or flooding. Partners will be given up to 14 days pay if affected by COVID-19. That time is in addition to possible sick pay, vacation pay or PTO that is normally offered.

So there are extreme measures that fast food restaurants are taking, and rightfully so. Any time you step out of your door, there’s risk, but it’s good to see that measures are taken to try and keep consumers and employees safe.

But above all, remember to have compassion toward any and all employees. While some Americans can work from home or have the luxury of taking time off to stay home in these times, restaurant employees are helping keep essential food businesses running.

Fast Food

Starbucks Quietly Debuts Breakfast Burritos Nationwide

Starbucks is tailor made to be a go-to breakfast spot, what with their coffee, bagels, and pastries. Now they’ve added a menu item that was a glaring omission for some time, and seems like an obvious acquisition.

A breakfast burrito.

Starbucks just added a Bacon, Sausage and Egg Wrap, and a Southwest Veggie Wrap, making sure to please both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

While they’re called “wraps” there’s no question these are breakfast burritos. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a breakfast burrito.

The meaty breakfast wrap contains bacon, sausage, cage-free scrambled egg, cheddar cheese and even sous vide potatoes, all within a flour tortilla.

The veggie version opts for a bright red “salsa tortilla,” with eggs, black beans, sous vide potatoes, pico de gallo, jalapeno cream cheese and cotija cheese nestled within.

Believe it or not, they’re decently priced at $5.45 per burrito in Southern California, and are a little bigger than you’d expect.

They’re definitely not as girth-y as Chipotle’s burritos, but aren’t as small as your typical frozen burrito. They sit somewhere in between, and we’re here for it.

As far as flavor, they could use some salt, or a dab of your favorite salsa, but they’re not terrible by Starbucks standards.

Like most foods at Starbucks, they are pre-packaged, so don’t expect the fresh experience of a handmade burrito, but they’ll do the job when you’re short on time and want a quick breakfast burrito fix.

Fast Food Plant-Based

Starbucks Launches A Beyond Meat Breakfast Sandwich In Canada

Plant-based proteins are finally making it onto fast food breakfast menus and as a breakfast lover who’s unable to eat meat for the next few months, I couldn’t be happier to have another morning option that isn’t fruit or oatmeal.

After flocks of customer requests to add more diverse protein options to the menu, Starbucks locations throughout Canada will be releasing a Beyond Meat Breakfast Sandwich early next week. Next week, Beyond Meat fans up north will be able to sink their teeth into these meatless breakfast sandwiches.

The Beyond Meat, Cheddar, and Egg Sandwich is made with a 100% plant-based Beyond Breakfast Sausage comprised of ingredients such as soy, peas, brown rice, and gluten. Paired with a fried egg, and a slice of cheddar cheese, the sandwich is loaded between two slices of English Muffin.

While meatless, the new breakfast sandwich isn’t truly vegan — as it still contains egg and cheese. The chain, however, says all you have to do is take the egg and cheese off upon ordering to get that full vegan effect.

Look for this new sandwich at all Starbucks locations across Canada beginning March 3.

Full disclosure, I own a share of Beyond Meat.

Fast Food

Starbucks Intros A Blacked Out ‘Phantom Frappuccino’ For Halloween Season

Starbucks has no problem dishing out colorful Frappuccinos, but this time they’re foregoing the color palette for something a bit darker.

Their latest drink creation is called the ‘Phantom Frappuccino’ and is covered in activated charcoal powder to give it its spooky black look.

Fans say it has a fruity flavor, which is probably not what you’re expecting from such a dark drink, but its ingredients include mango flavoring, coconut milk, and a dark green drizzle made of spirulina extract, lime, and lemon juice.


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Most of the promotion for the drink has been spotted around European Starbucks’, but there is at least one Boston location that promoted it, so there’s a chance it’s coming stateside, as well. It’s hard to tell as Starbucks likes to keep these type of launches secret until the morning of, which in some locations has already happened, but other locations are rumored to debut it this weekend.



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Reaching out to multiple U.S.-based Starbucks sources, it seems they have not received any ingredient shipments for a Phantom Frappuccino, but we can still hold hope that it shows up at some U.S. locations, while looking at the U.K. with jealous eyes.

Culture Drinks Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss

Starbucks Secretly Dropping A Tie-Dye Frappuccino

There have been whispers about a Tie-Dye Frappuccino existing in the depths of Starbucks’ secretive abyss, and sources within Starbucks have confirmed to Foodbeast that it is true, and it is coming fast.

The fruity Frappuccino will have a creme base, vanilla whipped cream top, and stripes of red, blue and yellow powder to give it a tye-dye look. While the powders have not been given a flavor description, they are meant to give a fruity taste to counter the vanilla cream flavor of the Frap base.

As of this writing, Starbucks baristas have been given instruction on how to make it, and told to taste it before the scheduled July 10 launch. It will only be available until July 14, or until the stores run out of the powders.

Starbucks has a tendency to just drop new drinks without much notice, and sits back to watch the world burn in front of them. Most notably, they did that with the Unicorn Frappuccino that came out of nowhere and caused havoc at stores, giving baristas headaches all the way until its eventual demise.

Time will tell if this Frappuccino will have that kind of impact, but the name and color are definitely Instagram-worthy, and have the makings of another terrifying Frappuccino phenomenon.


Film/Television Now Trending

HBO Digitally Removes Coffee Cup From Last Week’s ‘Game Of Thrones’, It Wasn’t Starbucks After All


Warning: Game of Thrones Spoilers Ahead

Fans of the groundbreaking HBO series Game of Thrones spotted what was almost undeniably a Starbucks coffee cup this past Sunday’s episode.

Without going too heavy into it, the scene took place during a feast held in the halls of Winterfell. In one shot you can clearly see a modern cup of coffee on the table in front of the Dragon Queen Daenerys Targaryen.

News spread of the botch and wild theories ranging from time travel, revenge of the cinematographer, and even Starbucks product placement all invaded social platforms.

HBO debunked those rumors in a statement that pretty much squashed all the theories and simply owned up to the fact that it was an accident…and has corrected it.

Subscribers of HBO Go and NOW will notice that the cup has been digitally erased from the episode. At the time of reporting, you can still see the cup if you have the HBO extension of Hulu, but it’ll probably be a matter of hours before they wipe that footage too.

It was also confirmed by The Wall Street Journal that the cup wasn’t from Starbucks, but simply craft services. There goes the Starbucks advertisement theory.

HBO also mentioned that with a production as big as Game of Thrones, items from craft services have occasionally been missed and made it on camera. Though luckily none as noticeable as that coffee cup.

Game of Thrones fans, the final two episodes will be airing on May 12 and May 19. With two episodes left, which will presumably be some of television’s moved viewed content for years to come, you bet your sweet ass fans will dissect every scene for the tiniest of details. Hopefully nothing else slips by.