Starbucks employees praise viral video of the chain’s new ‘pickup-only’ store

Baristas on TikTok are praising the Starbucks pickup-only stores.

The futuristic concept, officially referred to as Starbucks Pickup, debuted in late 2019. Since then, the coffee chain has placed cafés in 17 states — all of which require customers to order online beforehand.

Starbucks originally rolled out the stores in response to the pandemic and increased demand for contactless transactions, but the concept is now drawing praise on TikTok for another reason.

In late February, TikToker Allen Tucker (@allenztucker) posted a video of a Starbucks Pickup location in North Carolina. The clip quickly went viral and compelled customers and employees alike to explain how much the format could lighten the workload for baristas. One TiKToker called the store “a barista’s dream.”

The store in Tucker’s video features little more than a sparse counter where customers can retrieve their mobile orders. The baristas, he points out, are “hidden,” unlike the open kitchen present at most locations.

The still-new concept came as a surprise to many TikTokers. That said, Starbucks plans to aggressively speed up the pickup-only rollout, according to TechCrunch.

For some baristas, that may be good news. In recent months, Starbucks employees have repeatedly spoken out about the struggle to meet customer demands.

Many have pointed to the rise of viral custom drinks, a trend one barista claimed was “designed” to get employees fired. Others have shared extreme customer demands — such as a drink so big it broke two blenders — as well as issues with merchandise “resellers.”

Many commenters voiced those frustrations in Tucker’s comments section. To some, Starbucks Pickup seems like an employee-friendly solution.

“This is amazing because at least the baristas don’t get harassed daily for something as small as a coffee order,” one user wrote.

“This is my literal dream,” another added. “I do like talking and connecting with customers but when it’s one good customer for every 50 bad, I’d rather just do this.”

“This is what we need!” another agreed. “Tired of seeing baristas getting yelled at for absolutely nothing but doing their job.”

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