Lengthy wait at Starbucks? Barista blames viral TikTok drink recipes
Bianca Ruiz, a Starbucks barista, said three weeks ago a 12-year-old customer ordered a drink called “Orange Passion Sunrise”. Ruiz has been working at the Granada Hills site in Los Angeles for over a year but had never heard of this drink. It’s not on the Starbucks menu either.
When Ruiz told the customer that the drink was not on the menu, the customer replied, “Duh, it’s from TikTok.”
Ruiz told USA TODAY the surge in single orders was due to the recent trend at TikTok where users were listing ingredients that others should order. The list of ingredients creates those “Orange Passion Sunrise” or “Twix” drinks that are not on the menu.
Although the TikTok-inspired drinks require more energy and time, Ruiz doesn’t mind the requests. She said as long as the customers are respectful and patient with the longer waiting times, she would be happy to make the drink.
Ruiz even dedicated videos on her TikTok account to show how the viral drinks are made. She sees the new trend as a “fun challenge” at work.
However, not all baristas have the patience for the latest trend. Michael Banks quit his barista job at a Starbucks in Chicago two weeks ago as more and more customers ordered drinks from the menu.
Banks said dozens of customers came into the store with a long list of ingredients they found on a TikTok video. Not only was it complicated and time consuming to make the drinks, but according to Banks it was half the time customers were not happy with their drink.
“It was getting too much. Every other minute someone ordered a drink with over ten ingredients that we had never used in just one drink,” Banks told USA TODAY. “As a barista, you get into the rhythm of making drinks on the menu and this new trend has messed that up. I always tell them this is on TikTok, not our menu.”
According to Banks, the TikTok-inspired drinks also take away ingredients from regular orders like mochas and cold brews. In the week that the Disney Plus series WandaVision was released, hundreds of customers ordered a TikTok recipe inspired by the show.
These TikTok and show-inspired drinks created longer lines, frustrated customers, and weary baristas, Banks said.
The final straw for Banks came when ten people in a row ordered from a TikTok recipe and the last customer complained about the appearance of the drink.
“The customer pulled up his TikTok and said it didn’t look what it should be and asked me to have the drink again. After using so many of our ingredients that were meant for something else,” said Banks , “I just realized that I didn’t.” I don’t have the patience for these drinks. “
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Ruiz, who works at a Starbucks at a Target, said most baristas get frustrated with the TikTok trend when it “soaks up” ingredients and focuses on regular drinks.
Baristas’ frustration comes when customers are impatient or rude when explaining their orders. According to Ruiz, some customers expect baristas to stay up to date on the latest viral drinks, which is not always the case.
“Despite some inconvenience, we will be happy to make the drink as long as a customer is respectful. People shouldn’t be afraid to ask us to make a viral drink. Just do it well and wait a bit.”
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda