I am addicted to Starbucks Coffee

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Saturday, April 09, 2005


During my years frequenting Starbucks, I’ve observed ways to beat the system and get free drinks. This is dedicated to your poor schmos who cant afford an affordable luxury. I pay for my drinks but have “accidentally” stumbled on these field-tested rules.

Rule number 1: Go the busiest store near you to capitalize on worker confusion.

The key is to find a *$ that is busy, where confusion makes it easy to get away with things. If you go to an empty store where the person who rings you up is the same person who makes your drink, you aren’t getting away with anything.

Rule number 2: Make it seem like your order was incorrect.

If a barista screws up your order, they correct it and give you a coupon for a free drink the next time you come. Technically this isn’t completely free since you have to make that first purchase, but you can keep the chain alive and get free drinks forever.

Example: “Yeah, um, this is a caramel latte but I actually ordered a vanilla latte.” Of course you really did order a caramel latte but the person who took your order is busy (you’re at a busy *$ remember?) and forgot what you really ordered.

Rule number 3: Purchase something small and then act like a patient, confused customer waiting for his coffee beverage.

A bolder extension of rule number two is the real/fake purchase scam. You first need to order a baked good from the cash register person. After she gives it to you in a bag, mill around for about five minutes and then go to the barista and say, “Have you made a grande white mocha?” Look confused but gentle, like a puppy dog. They will look at their cups and see it was missing, and then promptly add yours to the queue.

Rule number 4: Wait by the bar like a snake and grab a drink that has been sitting there for more than 3 minutes.

At busy stores the inefficiencies in the system cause a lot of duplicate drinks to be made. The drinks sit on the bar for a while until the barista’s throw them away. All you gotta do is go up there and grab a drink. This scam has a couple downsides: the drinks will probably be lukewarm by the time you get it and like a person shopping for a home in a hot real estate market, you will never get your first choice. Most of the drinks are lattes with some wussy modification like a splash of soy milk.

Rule number 5: Greet barista’s by their name.

If you are a regular at a specific store, simply ask for the first names of the people that work there and introduce yourself. They will promptly forget your name but it doesn’t matter, for each time you go there and greet them by name you create a friendly vibe that encourages them to hook you up. It’s acceptable to be a little funny. To milk your connection indefinitely, it may be a good idea to tip them every now and then so they don’t think you are cheap. Little do they know that you are just broke because you have no skills that companies would pay for.

There are holes in every system and if you patient enough its easy to pick them apart with simple observation. I conclude with a disclaimer: don’t blame me if your stupid ass gets caught.
Syndicated from the DC Bachelor: http://www.dcbachelor.com


Anonymous James McMinn said...

I need to visit starbucks more often =D

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true -- all of those things will certainly work, especially at a higher-volume store. But here's the caveat: the partners behind the counter do talk, and your barista is likely to ask the register partners, after you've left, whether or not that particular drink was actually ordered. We have the ability to search back through prior orders and confirm this, and you will be caught, particularly if you tend to pull the stunt at the same time of day. That said, you can retain your conscience and still get free drinks by being upbeat, outgoing, and open with your barista. Order a plain old latte, and ask the partner making your drink if s/he's ever tried, say, the white mocha. Immediately, s/he'll ask if you want to try it -- then ask how many shots come in that, and s/he'll likely offer you extra shots. Now, here's the trick: if you actually wanted the triple grande white mocha, congrats. But if you want, say, and quad grande caramel macchiatto instead, just tell your barista that you didn't like the white mocha, and that you'd like something else. S/he suggested the alterations, so s/he's got to make sure that you end up with something you love. Not only is this way of getting free drinks "legal," but it's encouraged, as you can use this strategy to try everything -- rest assured that this is actually our goal. That's why we sample so much: we want you to be familiar with all of our products so you can order the ones that really make your day. By the way, I'm in management at the busiest store in a mid-sized market.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate people that do this. If you like starbucks so much then support them and buy a cup a coffee!

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:50 PM  
Anonymous Allie said...

That is disgusting.

5:38 PM  

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