The Reason Starbucks Doesn't Make Your Drinks In Batches

Starbucks is undoubtedly one of the most popular coffee chains in the United States, and according to Statista, the largest coffee chain in the world based on the number of stores. While there are a number of characteristics that set the chain apart like its iconic green logo or its seasonal flavors and syrups some of its unique operating practices like fly under most customers' radar. For example, baristas at the chain have a unique way of making multiple drinks: by only making two at a time. That means that even if you place a big coffee order, Starbucks employees won't make your drinks in bulk, but will instead spend their time crafting each beverage individually. Making drinks this way may create more consistency and higher-quality concoctions.

But Starbucks hasn't always made its drinks like this. The chain places a big emphasis on customer feedback; when customers had something to say about the way baristas prepare drinks, the chain listened and adjusted accordingly, no longer making its bulk drinks in batches.

Starbucks reacted to customer complaints about making drinks in batches

According to the Wall Street Journal, Starbucks adjusted its drink-making process in 2010 after receiving customer complaints about its assembly line-esque operations. Unlike smaller coffee shops, where baristas carefully craft one a drink at a time, Starbucks had previously been instructing its employees to make drinks in batches. This method, which is also used by mega-chains like McDonald's, typically results in a more consistent product that is made at a speedier pace. However, some Starbucks customers thought it made the chain seem more focused on output than committed to the art of java.

Instead, baristas now focus on making two drinks at a time at the most. They also grind beans before making each round of drinks, instead of grinding the day's worth of beans in the morning, to enforce the idea to customers that Starbucks coffee is made fresh. Naturally, this slows down the coffee-making process, which can be a problem when stores have a steady stream of customers and lines out the door. In fact, baristas, who often have to bear the brunt of impatient customers first-hand, don't always love the process. 

In a Reddit thread discussing how batch-blending Frappuccinos isn't allowed, commenters who said they were current and former Starbucks employees weren't completely on board with the chain's decision, saying that making drinks in batches is faster and more efficient especially in stores that need more workers or blenders. 

One commenter stated, "Will someone explain to me how it lessens the quality of the drink if it is batch blended. I really don't understand. If the ingredients are measured properly, it really shouldn't matter."

Whether the chain continues with its current method or eventually goes back to batch-making drinks, only time will tell.