Starbucks’ Frappucino Happy Hour starts next week with a drink that’s ‘better’ than the Unicorn — and baristas are dreading it

Unicorn Frappuccino

Baristas who hated the Unicorn Frappuccino are about to enter a new stressful cycle as Starbucks prepares to launch its annual Frappuccino Happy Hour promotion. 

On Thursday, Starbucks announced that it plans to launch its Frappuccino Happy Hour next week and locations are reporting that the deal will last from May 5 to 14. During the promotion, the coffee chain will sell half-priced Frappuccinos from 3-6 p.m., encouraging customers to purchase the icy blended drinks as the weather warms up. 

“Frappuccino Happy Hour is going to be a huge home run this year,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a call with investors on Thursday. “We’re going to bring at least one entirely new drink into Happy Hour this year that is going to be as good as Unicorn or better. And we’ve extended our hours this year on some other tactical things to really make sure that Happy Hour is set up for success.”

One new flavour appears to the be Midnight Mint Mocha. The S’more Frappuccino also seems slated to return.

While Frappuccino lovers will rejoice at the news, many Starbucks’ baristas will likely be less than thrilled by the extended hours, new drink, and renewed emphasis on the time-intensive Frappuccino.  

If you’re a Starbucks employee with a story to tell, email [email protected] 

Last year, the Starbucks blog Barista Life published an article titled, “A Baristas Worst Nightmare: Frappuccino Happy Hour.” 

“You can begin to see the horror in their eyes,” Haley Hinds writes, recalling her coworkers’ faces in the moments before Frappy Hour starts. “Although they try to make it look like it’s easy, I think deep down, no matter how many times you have been through this, you are truly never prepared for what is coming.”

Starbucks baristas are already taking to social media to emotionally prepare themselves for the hectic promotion. 

The success of the Unicorn Frappucino and more new drinks on the menu could lead to more customers than in past years. While that’s great news for Starbucks’ sales, it means baristas will be cranking out even more messy and difficult-to-make beverages. 

One barista has a solution that would encourage Starbucks to keep baristas happy while increasing Frappuccino sales. 

“New idea, with every Frappuccino promotion Starbucks … partners get payed time & half for it. How about it?” posted Twitter user @SeagullDan_.

Starbucks has long pledged to work to better employees’ lives, with benefits such as free college tuition and an emphasis on baristas being a part of “something bigger.” With baristas’ angst in the era of the Unicorn Frappuccino, perhaps it is time for those perks to include a Frappy Hour bonus. 

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