In a viral TikTok, a Starbucks employee exposed the coffee chain’s level of food waste.
The video starts with a stitched video of another creator who exposed that the food in the displays—which includes breakfast sandwiches, cookies, and muffins—is real. Since the display items aren’t realistic food props, the chain constantly throws out once-edible food.
Depending on the location, display food is tossed from every few weeks to every day, according to the video.
Following the stitch, Chloe (@chloeluvs420) shows viewers a picture she took in the kitchen of the Target Starbucks location she worked at in 2020. There are dozens of individually wrapped food items, from croissants to wraps, laid out on the table.
What was she instructed to do with the still-edible food? Throw it out.
“Starbucks is incredibly wasteful,” Chloe said.
Back in 2016, Starbucks pledged to donate “100%” of the unsold food that was still safe to eat from its then 7,600 U.S. locations. The chain projected it would reach a 100% donation rate and have all locations participating in the donation program by 2021, USA Today reported. By 2020 only 60% of locations were participating, the New York Post reported.
In the video caption, Chloe added that she used to get into fights with her manager “often” over the incessant waste their location produced.
The TikTok already has over half a million views and nearly a thousand commenters.
Many commenters said they took that food home when they worked at Starbucks and others questioned Chloe for not doing the same.
“Dude take it home. You’re the wasteful one,” one person said.
In a follow-up video, the creator explained that it wasn’t an option at her location.
Had she taken home so much as a “$4 lemon loaf” Chloe would have been at risk of losing her job and only source of income.
“I have heard about SO MANY baristas losing their job for taking home food waste,” a commenter added.
Another former employee said they got around the rule by double bagging what was supposed to be thrown out, setting it by the dumpster, and then picking it up after their shift.
Several others said that when they worked at retailers, like Target and Fred Meyer, with a Starbucks, managers would take food and put it in the break room for other employees to grab. “Made me so happy,” a former Fred Meyer employee said.
The Daily Dot reached out to Chloe for comment via TikTok comment but did not immediately hear back.