Listen, I know we are not supposed to rely on social media for our news, but I always find myself learning about something for the first time on TikTok or Twitter. For example, this morning, I went on TikTok (as I do every morning) and I saw a video of a Starbucks barista talking about how some Starbucks locations are out of everything, and that is not an exaggeration. After a little bit of digging on the internet, I found the infamous photo of the Starbucks chalkboard that listed everything that they were out of. The list included what I would consider staple coffee shop things like dark roast coffee, drink trays, matcha, and chai, and the list included about a dozen of other items. Another TikTok I saw depicted a drive through worker nervously explaining to a customer that the only things they had were hot coffee and one type of refresher drink. So, what’s going on?
Starbucks has gone on Twitter to explain that a lot of stores are facing these extreme shortages due to problems in their supply chain. Now they are very vague about what those problems are (and by vague I mean they don’t explain them at all), but they assured customers that these menu items are not gone forever, and that they are going to restock items as quickly as possible. This situation is certainly weird, and probably a little frustrating, but the worst thing to come out of this is the poor treatment of these baristas.
Company wide problems leading to the bad treatment of individual workers is not new. I’m sure we have all seen some poor retail worker get yelled at at the mall because the store doesn’t carry a certain item or size there, or maybe you’ve seen your parents on the phone yelling at some random customer service worker who had absolutely nothing to do with the issue. The same exact thing is happening with Starbucks baristas. Customers angry about the shortages are screaming at workers for not having what they want, even though a worker working at your local storefront has absolutely nothing to do with managing a corporate supply chain. I hope everyone can remember that Starbucks baristas, and food service workers in general, face a lot of mistreatment, poor pay, and unfavorable work conditions on the daily. So, please don’t treat them even worse just because they don’t have your favorite drink. Make sure you say thank you, tip your baristas well, and remember that you are not the first nor the only frustrated patron they have to deal with that day.