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‘My issue is at that point we’re not baristas’: Starbucks barista complains about new automated Siren System Cold Bar, sparking debate

'It takes the 'handcrafted' part out of it.'


Cecilia Lenzen


Posted on Oct 24, 2022

A Starbucks barista posted on TikTok about how much she hates the coffee shop chain’s new Siren System Cold Bar.

The barista, named Yasmin (@yasminm_008), shared the video using the viral TikTok sound that says, “Please I am absolutely fine, there is nothing to worr—,” and then the sound cuts off to show what’s bothering the person. For Yasmin, it’s Starbucks’ Siren System Cold Bar.

The new system is part of Starbucks’ “reinvention” strategy, which includes automations it plans to begin using over the next three years that will get food and drink orders to customers faster while cutting down on the work done by employees. The Siren System is a new cold beverage system that reduces the number of steps needed to make the drinks, as well as the need for employees to repeatedly bend down and dig into buckets for ice.

The Daily Dot previously covered TikTok user @nitetoast, who argued the new automation is meant to appeal to shareholders rather than actually help baristas.

Yasmin says she doesn’t understand the reason for the new system. In her video’s caption, she writes, “okay but why tho?”

@yasminm_008 #greenscreen okay but why tho? #barista #baristalife #baristaproblems #starbucks #starbucksdrinks #fyp #trending ♬ DRINK YOUR WATER –

The TikToker isn’t the only one who doesn’t appreciate the new system. Other baristas commented their issues with the system.

“No because dt times will be terrible and I don’t want to hear nothing about it,” one viewer commented.

“I’d rather make 10 caramel ribbon crunches with extra drizz and crunch then make one frapp on the new bar,” a second commented.

A third said, “my issue is at that point we’re not baristas bc we’re not making the drink, the machine is doing it for us :( takes away the handcrafted element.”

Other commenters said other options would have been more helpful for the baristas actually working at Starbucks.


“I was telling my shift about this and I think a self emptying espresso bar is more convenient bc i hate changing the grounds drawer,” another TikToker commented.

Some pointed out that the automation may cut down on the time required to make a drink only until peak service hours. Others added that it’ll take longer to clean and maintain.

“The thing that gets me about this is these test stores have NO customers. Let’s see a man vs machine during peak,” one user said.

Another user wrote, “I get how it might be faster but the extra pieces and equipment that will need to be cleaned, maintenances, and could break is too much hassle.”

The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via comment and to Starbucks via email.

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*First Published: Oct 24, 2022, 2:25 pm CDT