Apparently, Starbucks has a secret menu, but technically, it doesn’t. While many insist that the secret menu is real and that it provides a selection of 41 drinks from it, it is purely the creation of the chain’s customers. As a spokesperson said in an email to The Motley Fool, “Starbucks does not have an official ‘secret menu,’ customers are always trying out new ways to customize their favorite drinks according to their personal taste preferences.” After a few years, some of these customizations solidified in the community to resemble a secret set of ingredients. For individual baristas, the potential for annoyance when people insist on ordering these possible customizations comes from the fact that some customers expect the barista to know what the hell they’re talking about.
Just Customize Your Drink
The ambivalence that seems to define the consensus of Starbucks baristas is that they don’t mind mixing an odd drink for you, but you should be able to tell them the recipe because, again, Starbucks does not have a secret menu. In blunter terms, a Starbucks employee once said that “[the secret menu is] stuff that random people made up online, and then people will come in and try to order something and expect us to know what it is, and we have no idea. It sounds good, but unless you can tell us what’s in it, we can’t make it for you. Some people get kind of mad about that.”
And that’s entirely fair. A person working in a service position should not have to mind-read on top of their everyday tasks. Additionally, making these drinks takes extra time, so also consider the fact that ordering a drink that requires you to teach them a recipe might vex even a saint. “Please, please, please have the recipe or else you aren’t getting your drink,” a Starbucks employee said to Food Network. To be fair to the many, many outlets for the various recipes of the Starbucks secret menu, however, at least some of them do include a sentence or two encouraging the reader to order by the recipe and not the name alone.