Starbucks launches a new happy-hour promotion on Thursday — and baristas are already freaking out online

Stefan Wermuth/ReutersA barista prepares a drink at Starbucks.
  • Starbucks launches a revamped happy-hour deal on Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Many baristas are worried that the updated buy-one-get-one-free deal will mean a chaotic day at work.
  • Some saw the decision to launch the deal on World Mental Health Day as ironic, especially as Starbucks has recently emphasised employees’ mental health.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Starbucks has a new happy-hour deal. And, while customers are celebrating, some baristas are bracing for a hectic afternoon.

The coffee giant announced this week that, starting on Thursday, Starbucks will now offer a buy-one-get-one-free happy-hour deal on any grande or larger handcrafted beverage between 2 and 7 p.m.

Previously, Starbucks’ happy hour was more limited; now customers can order drinks including flat whites, Frappuccinos, macchiatos, and cold brew. Happy hour previously started at 3 p.m. and lasted until stores’ closing.

Starbucks’ happy-hour promotion has long been a customer favourite, driving traffic during the afternoon sales slump. However, the prospect of a rush of customers ordering two-for-one drinks means that many Starbucks employeesare dreading the promotion.


Read more:
Starbucks is cutting complicated drinks that baristas hate, and analysts are celebrating

Some elements of the revamped happy hour could make employees’ lives easier.

A Starbucks representative told Business Insider that the chain shifted the deal’s hours based on employee feedback. The revamped happy-hour promotion will occur on a more regular basis, with Starbucks saying the deal will pop up on select Thursdays. Expanding offerings can also prevent baristas from being forced to make a single, sometimes complicated, drink – such as the Frappuccino, which was the only happy-hour offering when the deal launched in 2010 – over and over again.

Still, with the new happy hour comes a new wave of barista concerns. A post in the subreddit r/Starbucks soon after the news was announced summed up the sentiment: “condolences to anyone working evening tomorrow.”

“I already want to die,” one person responded.

“Working a noon to close tomorrow. F— my life,” another said.

Others noted the apparent disconnect in launching a hectic event on World Mental Health Day, especially as Starbucks has recently emphasised the importance of employees’ mental health.

“Make meaningful connections with your customers while they wait for their 14 different fraps and 5 refreshers by making them aware of the travesty that is your mental health!” one person said on Reddit.

Customers’ excitement over the return of the happy hour indicates that Starbucks’ locations will likely be full of deal seekers on Thursday afternoon.

Remember, if you’re in a crowded Starbucks during happy hour – tip your barista!

If you work at Starbucks or another chain and have a story to share, contact this reporter at [email protected]

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