While most people are somewhat familiar with the issues of the global supply chain, some Starbucks customers are still shocked – even exasperated – at their inability to get their coffee exactly the way they want it.
“I was told they couldn’t give me an extra dose of caramel because there was a national shortage,” said Nicole Brashear, a 24-year-old pharmacy student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. , about ordering a caramel iced macchiato with extra caramel drizzle at the end of May. “I kind of laughed and thought to myself, ‘Isn’t caramel just burnt sugar? “”
The problem for Starbucks is that it never just sold a single cup of coffee. For many, the experience of visiting the chain is a treat for itself.
Customers learn the language regarding sizes and drink specials, then share their custom 12-ingredient drink orders on social media. Many are looking forward to seasonal specials, like this summer’s unicorn pop cake and strawberry Frappuccino funnel cake, which are available for a limited time.
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Orders aren’t barked by number like other fast food chains, but instead are announced by name, suggesting that customers are friends or are part of the Starbucks club, said Bryant Simon, history professor at the Temple University and author of “Everything But Coffee: Learning About America from Starbucks.
“Starbucks has done something remarkable – take a truly ordinary product, coffee, and remake it as an identifier of class, culture, insight and knowledge,” said Simon. “Starbucks is a way to communicate something about yourself to others. Although it has gotten more complicated over time, this drink still says, “I deserve a break in my life. I can afford to waste money on coffee.
There had been previous indications that supply issues could arise for Starbucks. In a phone call with Wall Street analysts in late April, Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson expressed some concerns about companies in its supply chain struggling to hire the staff they had. need.