Earlier this month, a user on TikTok sparked discussion after detailing the paranoia she feels while watching Starbucks workers make drinks. Constantly minding the counter, she said in the video, made her feel like Starbucks workers considered her to be impatient.
While that TikToker may have felt self-conscious about their drink awareness, It turns out that her paranoia may have been justified. In another video from TikTok user Annelise (@lavendercashewmilklatte), she notes that Starbucks works on an honor system—and customers aren’t always honorable.
In her video, which currently has over 212,000 views, Annelise says she ordered a drink from Starbucks with her sister. When they called the name for the order, another person came up and took it. Annelise later realized that the person had simply stolen her order.
now every time im so paranoid that im taking someone elses drink♬ original sound – Annelise
While Annelise theorizes that the theft was accidental, she notes that this is a problem with Starbucks’ drink pickup system.
“It just doesn’t work,” she states. “Starbucks needs to come up with…a real verification that that was your drink.”
Annelise also notes that she explained the situation to a barista, who happily remade her drink free of charge.
In the comments section, users said that drink theft was more common than one may initially believe.
“As a starbucks employee, ppl come in to steal them or just don’t look at the label all the time but always ask we will remake it,” wrote a user.
“So many times people take the wrong drink and after taking a sip and realizing they put it back and don’t say anything,” added another.
“It happened to me with a mom that encouraged her kid to grab a drink after she got hers already,” recounted a third.
“I went to starbs with 2 coworkers and one of them didn’t order, she just grabbed one from the barista’s hand, and I was so bothered,” stated an additional TikToker.
Others offered possible solutions to this issue that they’ve seen at their local Starbucks or in other coffee chains.
“The dunkin near me put the mobile order area BEHIND the counter so you have to tell them your name to get it,” said a commenter.
“On Saturday mornings at the local Starbucks they have POLICE GUARDING THEM,” claimed a second.
“The mall in my town had a huge problem with people taking drinks they stopped mobile orders for that location only to minimize the theft,” recalled a further TikToker.
The Daily Dot reached out to Starbucks and Annelise via email.