Starbucks worker who called out customer's 'drink hack'

@itscandacehoney/TikTok BreizhAtao/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Not you mad cause they stopped you from scamming’: Viewers defend Starbucks worker who called out customer’s ‘drink hack’

'I’d have to charge you for the Americano.'


Melody Heald


Posted on May 6, 2024   Updated on May 6, 2024, 9:47 am CDT

So many online posts are dedicated to hacking or finessing the system at Starbucks. Many Starbucks baristas have expressed their frustrations with such hacks, however. A woman on TikTok filmed herself trying to order a “drink hack” and was stopped by a Starbucks barista in the drive-thru.

In a video with over 292,000 views, TikTok user Candace (@itscandacehoney) places her order via Starbucks drive-thru. “So, three shots of espresso in a grande cup, iced with two Splendas, a splash of oat milk, and the rest water,” she says.

“So, unfortunately, I can’t fill the up all the way with water. I can do it halfway with water,” the barista responds. “So, if we did it all the way with water, I’d have to charge you for the Americano.”

This response surprised Candace, who argued that other baristas have complied with her drink order in the past. “Ok, that’s fine. They’ve never said that. I’ve been doing this for, like, forever, and they never said that before, ever,” she says.

“I’m so sorry. Can I get you anything else?” the barista asks. Candace declines, and then her total for the drink came out to $3.66. 

Candace shared in the caption that “This has been [her] drink hack” ever since she started the Weight Watchers program since it only equals four points. Weight Watchers breaks down a food’s nutritional value and calories using a points system. The lower the number, the better.

According to Starbucks’ website, the iced Americano, which is essentially what Candace was trying to order, only has espresso shots, ice, and water. It’s only 15 calories. But the way Candace was ordering it is about $1 cheaper than ordering a straight-up iced Americano. In the app, it is possible to place such an order, but it’s up to the barista making it to determine what “extra water” means. Some workers, like the one Candace encountered, refuse to fill up the cup all the way.

But Candace admitted that she’s saved “$84 a month doing it this way.”

“Today they tried to change the game,” she wrote.

@itscandacehoney This has been my drink hack, I found it when I was doung weight watchers bc this drink is only 4 points. Today they tried to change the game. Ive saved $84 a month doing it this way. 🤣😂 #starbuckshack #espressotiktok #coffee #lowcarbrecipes #lowsugar #healthy ♬ original sound – Honey

The Daily Dot reached out to Candace via TikTok comment and direct message as well as Starbucks via press email.

Viewers are siding with the barista

In the comments section, many viewers sided with the barista.

“You know what you’re doing but get defensive when someone actually calls you out……merica,” one viewer wrote.

“She is me I tell [guests] that all the time lmao not my fault if other people let u I’m not trying to get in trouble lmao,” a second stated.

“Why does everyone need to argue with the employees? Also, it’s literally cold water. Ask for a cup of ice water and pour it in yourself,” a third commented.

In addition, others shared possible reasons why the barista called out Candace’s “hack.”

“Whenever a hack gets too popular, the company forces them to address it. I’m sure that was the first time and I’m sure she wasn’t happy about it either,” one user explained.

“Sometimes the higher managers visit and make sure that the baristas enforce the rules, otherwise they get in trouble,” a second elaborated.

Several companies have cracked down on TikTok hacks

After the $3 burrito hack, where customers could order every ingredient for free to turn it into a burrito, went viral, Chipotle started charging for extra sides. In addition, Waffle House stopped the viral waffle sandwich hack by refusing to “make anything customers see on TikTok.”

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*First Published: May 6, 2024, 3:00 pm CDT