Starbucks manager asks barista to 'connect more' with drive-thru customers

The Image Party/ShutterStock @goofyychiwah/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Now [I know] why they be asking me about my day’: Starbucks manager asks barista to ‘connect more’ with drive-thru customers. It backfires

'Relating to the customer and all that shouldn’t be a requirement. I’m a robot here to do my job.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jul 9, 2023

If you’ve ever worked in food service, you’re more than likely aware of the delicate balance one must create between customer service and actually providing food. The more time one spends catering to customer interests, the slower food can be prepared—at the same time, the more time one spends ensuring the quality and readiness of the food, the less time one can spend caring for customers.

Many food service employees struggle with this balance—not only out of personal desire but occasionally due to pushes from management.

In a video with over 79,000 views as of Sunday, TikTok user Anthony (@goofyychiwah) parodies this idea, playing out a sketch in which a Starbucks manager asks him to connect more with customers, only to get mad at him for wasting time when he actually does.

@goofyychiwah S1E24: “antwan needs to connect more” #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #sbux #starbucks #starbucksbarista #barista #coffee #customers #comedy #funny #joking #goofychiwah #antwanthebarista #xzybca #fypシ #actor #acting #relatable #connect #losangeles #hollywood #netflix #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Anthony

Starbucks has been criticized in the past for its use of “connection scores” to rate employee performance.

“Starbucks calculates connection scores by compiling email surveys sent to a sample of customers who are part of its rewards program, which the company says has more than 27 million active members in the U.S.,” explained an article in NBC News. “The survey includes questions about how clean the store was and how good the drinks tasted, but one is most relevant to the connection score: ‘The employees made an effort to get to know me.’”

In the comments section of Anthony’s video, customers were quick to share their thoughts about employees being asked to “connect” with customers.

“As a customer: you don’t have to,” a user wrote. “I am MORE than content to sit in silence until my food/drink is ready.”

“Ohhh now ik why they be asking me about my day,” another added. “I be like bro just give me my cheese danish I don’t wanna talk rn.”

“Golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. If I don’t like being talked to at drive throughs than I’m not going to talk to customers,” declared a third.

“Personally I hate small talk with random workers I’ll never see again,” an additional user added. “Order and go is the best experience for me.”

Employees appeared to feel the same way.

“Pick one or the other corporate,” a commenter stated.

“Bruh they complain about long window times so we shorten to 55s… now I’m being told to ‘stall’ and ‘connect’ more,” claimed a second. “Make it make sense.”

“My boss asked me to make great customer connections today and I told him ‘I charge extra for that,’” joked a further TikToker.

“Relating to the customer and all that shouldn’t be a requirement,” explained a user. “I’m a robot here to do my job. This isn’t a hotel.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Anthony via Instagram direct message and Starbucks via email.

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*First Published: Jul 9, 2023, 2:50 pm CDT