Starbucks Customers Are So Upset That They’re Taking Their Business Elsewhere

Starbucks has had a disastrous start to the year, with tens of millions of customers heading to rivals or staying home. Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts have all taken market share away from Starbucks across hot and cold drinks, as well as food. In fact, the coffee king this week reported a fall in sales for the first time since the pandemic in 2020. Multiple factors are to blame — including high prices, customers cutting spending, and bad weather — but slow service accounted for the largest customer loss. Starbucks’ growth has come on the back of complicated and customizable drinks like Frappuccinos in the summer and pumpkin spice lattes in the fall, but each can take baristas several minutes to make. CEO Laxman Narasimhan (inset) said that each day Starbucks sees millions of customers ordering items but then abandoning their drinks because the wait was taking long. Astonishingly, around 1 in 7 customers ordering via the mobile app give up on their order because the store is too busy. It’s becoming commonplace to see complaints on social media, like “had to wait 20 minutes for a black coffee because the customer ahead of me ordered a Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato with almond milk and an extra shot of espresso, two packs of Sweet ’n Low, toffee nut syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.” Customers are now demanding an express line for people who just want basic drinks like black coffee or a latte with no modifications. It remains to be seen whether or not the demand becomes a reality.