Can You Order Starbucks' Complimentary Water On The App?

Mobile applications have taken over the world of food service — one technical trend that the overwhelming majority of consumers can get behind. This is because these convenient platforms are built with the buyer in mind. They allow us to easily order our food ahead of time, rack up reward points, learn about current offers, and even pay in-store with a quick scan. There's something very appealing and futuristic about the entire concept.

But that's not to say food apps don't have their own breed of bugs and kinks. One such flaw that currently has people talking can be found on the Starbucks app — one of the most robust and regularly used loyalty apps among major restaurant chains. The problem is that the coffee shop's program does not allow users to order one of its most basic and essential items: water. That's right. If you took a peek at the application, you would find no way to tack on a cold cup of complimentary water to your handcrafted drink order. Some people speculate on Reddit that this wasn't just an oversight but rather an offer that was intentionally left off the menu so that it wasn't abused.

Based on this information, it's uncertain whether free water will ever become an app add-on. But the good news is if you're ever in desperate need of some H2O in your pick-up order, you can always opt for bottled or canned sparkling water instead, though it will cost you.

If you do want to order free water, baristas urge you to do so at the register

Baristas at busy coffee shops like Starbucks move a mile a minute. Imagine dealing with all the chaos of a busy morning and rushing to churn out all the drinks ceaselessly popping up in the queue. Then, in the midst of it all, someone disrupts your process and momentum to request a free cup of water.

This happens considerably more often than you think, and Starbucks employees have had enough. Within the conversation, past and present baristas recount times when they experienced this exact scenario in their own shop's handoff area — encounters that often ended in agitation on both the employee's and customer's sides. So, then, what is the proper water ordering etiquette? Employees share that you should ask for free water at the register as you're placing your main beverage and/or food order. The same goes if you're zipping through the drive-thru. In line, you should request water at the speaker rather than the window.

For mobile orders — since we determined water isn't an app option — things get a little trickier. But there's still an appropriate way to get your hands on complimentary water in this situation. If you're picking up inside, simply stop by the register to ask either before or after grabbing your goodies. Alternatively, in the drive-thru, ask at the speaker box before pulling around to the front for your pre-ordered fare.