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‘Most stores actually have this but none of us ever turn it on’: Starbucks drive-thru two-way video screens spark debate on TikTok

‘I like this a lot. I feel like [drive-thru] workers aren’t treated like real people sometimes.’


Vladimir Supica


Starbucks’ drive-thru ordering system has once again sparked interest on TikTok after a user posted a video questioning why it includes a video chat feature.

In the video, TikToker @jeffyboi123456789 films a drive-thru kiosk which includes a face cam of one of the baristas.

The video is accompanied by the overlay text: “We live in such interesting times. This Starbucks is drive through only (nobody allowed inside) which is already weird and then they added FaceTime to the ordering system”.

A user claiming to be the Starbucks employee working at the location clarified in a comment that the store was, in fact, not drive-thru only, to which the creator admitted that he was lying about that detail.

“Just wondering why,” the user added in the caption.


Just wondering why

♬ Them Changes (Sped Up) – Thundercat

Commenters were quick to point out that having a two-way video screen helps simplify the ordering process for those with disabilities.

“I feel like it’s probably for accessibility, like for people hard of hearing or something so they can lip read,” one commenter said.

“It’s for people with hearing issues this has been a thing you could request,” another pointed out.

Users claiming to be Starbucks employees were also present in the comment section, insisting the technology is widespread but unused at most Starbucks locations.

“Almost every Starbucks has that FaceTime but most baristas keep it off, they can see you tho,” one commenter said.

“Most stores actually have this but none of us ever turn it on because like half the time when I’m taking orders I’m not even at the screen lmao,” another shared.

A Bloomberg article published in 2015 stated that Starbucks began adding these two-way video screens as “an attempt to revamp a decades-old ordering system that has become central to how restaurant chains interact with customers.”

The Daily Dot reached out to @jeffyboi123456789 via Instagram direct message and Starbucks via press email.

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