Starbucks baristas want you to stop asking them to blend food into your drinks

Starbucks in Leeds, UK
Former Starbucks baristas say customers have asked them to blend cake, cake pops, Danish pastries, cookies, brownies, and bananas into drinks – usually Frappuccinos. Grace Dean/Insider
  • Starbucks baristas are allowed to blend fruit into drinks, but not other food items.
  • Still, baristas say some customers request that cake, pastries, or egg bites be blended into drinks.
  • One said she’d even asked been asked to add protein shakes to drinks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Should you ask your Starbucks barista to blend a cake pop, brownie, or cookie into your drink, chances are they’ll say no.

It’s against company policy for baristas to blend food into Starbucks drinks like Frappuccinos. But that hasn’t stopped customers from trying.

“I’ve had people asked for some food items blended,” Alexis Rivera, a former Starbucks shift manager in New Jersey, told Insider. “We don’t do that.”

A Starbucks representative said baristas “may handcraft blended beverages using ingredients offered at Starbucks stores including sauces, syrups, espresso, coffee and tea, Evolution Fresh juices, and bananas and blueberries.”

“Food items in store (including baked goods and egg bites) are not approved additions to blended beverages at Starbucks,” the representative added.

Numerous former baristas, however, told Insider they had gotten requests – which they said they rejected – for food to be blended into drinks. This included cake, cake pops, Danish pastries, cookies, and brownies.

Rivera said some customers brought in their own food or protein shakes and asked for them to be blended.

The baristas said this happened only with in-store customers because adding food to drinks wasn’t listed as a modification on the Starbucks app.

Speaking about in-store orders, Rivera said “technically if you’re not able to charge for it in the drink, it’s not something that can be made.”

But she said some customers would seek a workaround: “If you’re requesting those items too, you’re buying them separately, like a Frappuccino, but you’re asking, ‘Hey can you blend them for me?’ Some places do – some places don’t.”

“Making items like that during rushes where you don’t even have enough people to go to the back and clean them properly, that’s most likely why they’re declined,” she added.

Different baristas Insider spoke with had different attitudes. “It’s not worth risking my job to add a brownie to a blender,” a current barista in Florida said.

Rivera said one customer had even asked her colleague to blend egg bites into a drink, though the customer ultimately described it as a joke.

Rivera said her colleague didn’t follow through with the request – but a former barista in Indiana, who asked for anonymity because she still visited the store as a customer, said she had actually blended egg bites into a Frappuccino.

“It was just gross to hand out,” she said.

The Indiana barista said she had also blended a melted brownie into a frappuccino, too. She said her manager had told her that though she technically wasn’t supposed to blend food into drinks, she could tell the customer they could make it as a one-off.

A former barista in British Columbia, who asked to stay anonymous because she might return to work at the chain, said customers often asked for their Refreshers, which usually contained liquid, ice, and fruit pieces, to be blended.

“A lot of the time we’d be like, ‘We can do it, but we’d rather not put the fruit in it because the fruit gets stuck and it jams the blender,'” she said.

“They’re not really designed for that kind of thing,” she added, saying the staff at her store once broke a blender blending dried fruit into a drink.

Asking for fruit blended into their drinks is just another way customers are making their drinks orders more complex. Starbucks baristas told Insider they’re sick of making TikTok-inspired drinks, too, sometimes with “mile-long stickers” listing order customizations.

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