The Reason Starbucks Employees Can't Make More Than 3 Drinks At Once

If you've ever walked into a Starbucks during the busy morning rush, you've probably noticed the long lines. To ensure that every customer gets the right drink and it's up to Starbucks' high-quality standards, their baristas have a long list of rules to follow. One of these rules limits them to working on up to three drinks at a time.

At first, this might sound a bit convoluted. After all, the more drinks being made at the same time, the faster they'd come off the mixing station and out the door, right? However, there's a good reason behind this rule. Starbucks drink recipes involve several steps and various ingredients. If a barista has too many orders to handle at once, they could easily lose track of where they are in the process or forget which ingredients they've already added. This could result in poorly made drinks, and that's definitely not what Starbucks wants. So, this rule acts as a safeguard to ensure that, no matter how busy it gets, you'll still enjoy a consistent level of quality at Starbucks nearly every time you visit!

How does the three-drink-limit system work?

When we say "Baristas can handle up to three drinks at a time," it's not as simple as juggling three different orders simultaneously. It's a bit more nuanced than that. In reality, they need to get the first or second drink nearly ready before they can begin preparing the third one.

Picture this: A barista is busy making a caramel macchiato when a second order for a frappuccino comes in. If there's a momentary break in the action, like when the milk for the first order is steaming, they can start the initial steps for the frappe order. However, if a third order for a hot drink pops up at this point, they can't start working on it unless they've almost finished the first macchiato.

So, even though there might be three drinks in progress at once, the barista's primary focus is on just one or, at most, two drinks at any given time. While this system may sound complex, it's how Starbucks manages to meet demand while ensuring that customers who leave their shops always have in hand well-crafted drinks to kickstart their mornings!