Starbucks Baristas Reveal 7 Obnoxious Drive-Thru Behaviors

Cars lining up to order food using drive-thru facilitiy at local Starbucks Coffee Shop


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Cars lining up to order food using drive-thru facilitiy at local Starbucks Coffee Shop

Drive-Thru Faux Pas

While you might be dreading the impending workday and itching for caffeine as you roll through the Starbucks drive-thru in the morning, remember that there's a person behind the speaker box. Because so many customers seem to forget that basic fact, Starbucks employees recently revealed their biggest drive-thru pet peeves. If you want to be a model customer, avoid these seven irksome drive-thru habits.

Related: Starbucks Employees Dish on Why 'Secret Menu' Orders Can Be Frustrating

One side of people drinking Starbucks coffee

Complaining About Sold-Out Drinks

If Starbucks is out of the ingredients for your favorite drink, don't throw a fit, a barista writes. You can survive the day without a mocha cookie crumble. We believe in you. "There are six sets of ears in here that don’t need to hear your mental breakdown. It’s not cute," they add.

Related: Starbucks Baristas Reveal the Most Frustrating Holiday Drinks To Make

Bangkok, Thailand - June 14 , 2017: Starbucks Drive Thru at JAS URBAN Srinakarin community mall, Starbucks is a global coffee chain,

Mumbling While Ordering

When you order, speak clearly as if there's "a person standing next to you," one Starbucks employee writes. Other workers agreed, with many complaining that they struggle to hear and understand drive-thru customers, especially when a passenger orders. "Like, ma’am, please, we can’t hear your child ordering from the inside of your trunk, just tell us what they want," one top comment reads.

Related: What Starbucks Baristas Really Think When You 'Pay it Forward' at the Drive-Thru

Cars Lined Up at a Brantford Starbucks Drive Thru
The Bold Bureau/istockphoto

Asking for Multiple Separate Orders

Two separate orders? Tolerable, a barista says. But three is "pushing your luck." Just treat your passengers, or split the bill amongst yourselves.

For more great fast food and coffee content, please sign up for our free newsletters.

Starbucks Employee
Jason Whitman/istockphoto

Treating Workers Like They're 'Coffee Automatons'

While ordering from a drive-thru might not be anonymous and alienating as contactless delivery, one Starbucks employee writes that some customers treat drive-thru workers like "coffee automatons with no brain." "When a customer is respectful and genuinely cares about us as people it is amazing! We will bend over backwards for you simply because you are KIND," they added.

Starbucks coffeehouse chain Drive Thru in Bucharest Romania
Cristi Croitoru/istockphoto

Keeping Your Windshield Wipers On

Unless you want to give drive-thru employees an unwanted shower, turn your windshield wipers off at the order window. "Your car is not moving. You don’t need them," one frustrated barista wrote.

Starbucks in Hesperia, California, during the winter

Not Knowing What You Want

Show up to the drive-thru prepared with your order — and don't forget to note the size. The barista shouldn't have to "pull teeth" to get the order out of you, as one employee puts it.

Pike Place Starbucks
Pike Place Starbucks by Aranami (CC BY)

Speeding Through Your Order

At the same time, don't rush through your ultra-complicated TikTok-inspired custom order. Give baristas time to write everything down; otherwise, you'll have to repeat yourself.