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April 15, 2010


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I don't work at Starbucks but I'm very excited for this. And I will definitely be appreciative ;)


Love it, the morning commute is just long enough that I got a cup at the start and a second cup just near the office.

izzy stardust

Just got off my 5am-9:30am shift - incredibly busy in my suburban drivethru store. Over our forecast by significant amount but the labour scheduled could definitely have been worse. Lots of our regulars bring mugs regardless, which led to many pleasant surprises.

Will probably try to book it off next year, though. I'm exhausted!


Although my local Starbucks was not aware of this promotion, my husband did end up getting his coffee for free. That is what I call 'great customer service'.

Thank you Starbucks!


My regular store near my office had more partners than normal, but didn't seem to have much more foot traffic. I did see one woman accidentally drop her reusable cup top and a partner quickly offered to wash it off. Great customer service for sure.


Glad I'm not working today. All of the free giveaways we've ever done at my store have been a complete disaster becase our customers always want more than what is being offered. I can only imagine how many people tried to get their triple venti vanilla soy lattes for free...and succeeded.


I picked up my coffee this morning. The baristas were great as always, but then my Starbucks is the best!


Has gone tolerably well at my store. My complaint: impromptu travelers.

Rachael Rigby

My usual is a tall iced coffee with vanilla and room - i took my cold-cup tumbler in and was pleased to receive my free iced coffee. I took one swig, and wow - it was uncharacteristically bitter. I haven't been able to drink it -why would it be different all of a sudden?


It was busy... wow... I got my free coffee from super friendly Barista in Berkeley campus starbucks... as I turned around, a huge line and many people had their traveler out!

Cool event and good turn out! Thank you for the best Barista in Berekely!


brewed coffee...is this Starbucks way of getting you to switch? Latte is more expensive...and what I normally drink...can I get a free latte today? otherwise...not worth the effort


We weren't too much busier than usual. It was sad that I over heard a few customers complaining they had to bring their cup in to receive a free drink. What is wrong with people?! lol

me myself and I

People will complain about everything. You can't make everyone happy. I've once heard a story of someone being annoyed he actually had to go some place to pick up his lottery win...
I guess if an airline was to offer a free flight to the Carribean people would complain why Europe wasn't included.

litehearted, if you don't like it, don't get it. You can still buy your latte just like any other day. And you will get your 10cents discount for bringing your cup.


My Starbucks near work was swamped. The line wrapped all over the place. A few baristas looked a little stressed. There was a plus side to it all: I saw lots of people carrying personal tumblers, and although the line was very long, it moved along at a steady pace so there was no problem at all. I'd say it was a success, albeit, it appeared to be a stressful success.


I stopped this morning in Augusta Georgia and the guy working there wouldn't fill up my mug even though his coworker tried to get him to.


Went pretty well, but so many people were asking for free frappuccinos, lattes, etc. and getting angry that the promotion was only for coffee. Anywhere else but Starbucks, if someone demanded a the complicated drinks for free when the promotion was for plain coffee, they'd be laughed out of the store, but somehow Starbucks always has to deal with the moochers who aren't satisfied with a free giveaway. If you go to a bar and they're giving away free sodas, do you then demand free alcohol and claim it's not fair to the non-soda drinkers? Then why get frustrated that we don't want to give you your expensive lattes free when the promotion is for cheap plain coffee?

Sorry, not directed at anyone in particular, just venting my leftover frustration from this morning. :)


@Rachael Rigby: if the iced coffee isn't made correctly it can make it bitter. after the coffee is brewed it is put into pitchers then ice is added. sometimes baristas will put ice in the pitchers first then add the coffee - it sounds really small, but it apparently can make a big difference in the taste. or possibly it could have been old and/or expired!


Snowwhite is right... there are also many other factors... Did your store use tarraza, or where they out and just use pikes. Pikes makes terrible iced coffee. Ice some via and it will taste better. Is the iced coffee always bitter. Maybe they need to clean their brewers better. It is amazing that so many "little" details matter... and that so many "little" details get overlooked. STANDARDS! DETAILS! and overall KNOWLEDGE will get you a great cup of coffee!


Just got off my 8 hour shift for free coffee day. A lot of tumblers and new customers looking for free coffee. Not a single person complained about free coffee (instead of say free fraps), and everybody was especially appreciative. My store is full of business people who just want to get their coffee and get out so not a lot of hellos or thank yous but today everyone was very pleasant which made today great. Sorry for anybody who had to deal with the moochers today. I'm sure if i was still at my drive through in CO i would have to do deal with a thousand of them.


We had a good day at our store. The customers were patient and appreciative, and no one asked for anything more than what was being offered. When we got our first order for a red eye with vanilla syrup, we were surprised to see that not only the coffee but also the shot and syrup were discounted as well. That REALLY made people happy!

My only annoyance (and it was minor) was with my fellow baristas. I was DTR today and they were filling people's personal mugs/cups/tumblers WAY too full even when I asked nicely for them to leave some room for lids and passing the drink without spilling. Oh well, if that's the worst thing that happened, it was a good day.

Good idea, Starbucks. What's next?

vic via

my fav of the day the lady with the dunkin doughnuts cup that looked 3 months old


lots of people brought in mugs to get free coffee during my shift. i find it sad that free coffee will get people to bring a tumbler from home, but otherwise they don't care one bit about the planet.


I did it. Suburban/Industrial SBUX near work was reasonably busy, but not too swamped. I did see a fair number of personal cups -- even those getting milkbased drinks.

east coast mgr

at 'O', totally agree ... lots of people claim to care for the environment but I say maybe 20% actually do. any tiny bit of extra effort (bringing your own tumbler that otherwise isn't used) is to much. can you double cup that please? and do you have 2 handle bags aswell .......

anyway .. we were slammed, must have given out 250-300 free coffees/iced coffees and had lots of fun with it. I planned ahead and made sure we had plenty of labor on the floor to handle the lines. should have upped my breakfast sandwich and pastry orders even more though ... they flew out and case was nearly empty at 3 pm


We were pouring coffee nearly as quickly as we were brewing it. We only ran out once while I was on the clock this morning, so it could've been much worse.

black apron boy

i was really excited today with the turnout, but what made it sour was when a partner came in and demanded for us to fill his ice tumbler with an iced passion tea. UGHHHH! When i winced, he started lecturing us about the just say YES policy for this promo. We didn't care, but that's definately not the Starbucks SPIRIT!!! I wish we had a right to refuse service.

east coast mgr

@ black apron boy,
I would have NEVER in a million years given him anything but drip or iced coffee ... you CAN refuse a request like that and I have today when peeps asked for anything else.

just say yes never means just bend over and take it ... use it in the spirit it is meant

family day at starbucks

I had my starbucks coffee with mom today and we greatly appreciate the free coffee. We showed up with our own coffee cups while these two ladies stared at us like we were crazy. Little did they know that today starbucks offered free coffee today. lol. Too bad for them. Awesome for us! lol. Thank's starbucks!

Mrs. Tillinghamshackles

Actually, the FAQ for the promotion did stipulate to subsitute tea if asked...

And i would hope to NEVER see Pike Place being brewed as iced coffee... If a store runs out of Terrazza, they are supposed to use Kenya.


went to a different cafe today-not only did they not tell me about this-I had to ask to make sure they were doing it, between THEIR conversation with each other...and they didn't know what they were brewing, and even commented that they all started to blend together...lame


I rarely, if ever, enter Starbucks. I had no idea of this promotion, and was carrying a 16 oz glass tea bottle in my backpack. Overheard some guy say something about free coffee and inquired about it. Needless to say, I couldn't touch the bottle with my hand for a few minutes.

Darth Sidamo.

I went ahead and told customers they can get ten cents off every day when they bring their own mug. A good seventy five percent of people had no idea about the discount ever. Maybe if it wasnt on our menu in an unreadable font unless you have perfect vision.


Big headache at my store. We are based in a very busy mall. No one was informed about the promotion until the day of. I found out the day before from an ad on facebook.

We had many, many people come in and ask if it was free coffee day. When we told them they needed their own tumbler or mug they got very upset and many gave excuses but we were told to turn them down since it did not follow the promotion. But our management had no idea about anything with the promotion. We also had a lot of people try to get other drinks for free and get upset about it only being for drip coffee. Probably the worst thing was when people started bringing in used taco bell, dairy queen, and other fast food cups (from mall food court) and wanted them filled with coffee which forced us to give it out in our own cups since those other ones melted, which just fueled more people to ask for free coffee without tumblers.

So overall it kind of was a bummer day to be a barista. Just a combination of a lot of confusion and angry customers I'm asking for it off next time.


My store was ridiculously busy, right off interstate 20. Sold out of almost every S&PF items. On top of everyone and their mom coming in with a tumbler ( which is a good thing! ) A film crew faxed in an order of 80 drinks. It was fun, we were all extremely caffeinated.


It wasn't much busier than usual here in vegas. The customers are so thankful it makes me so happy how polite the atmosphere is.


Lots of new faces coming in with tumblers.....unfortunately most of them wanted decaf. egh.


So did the tips go up because it was free?

Barista Bob

Seemed that promo with public was excellent, but sucked for Baristas. Mass confusion early in am due to lack of communication from Sbux.

Anna Guiles


Like it so much I did a video blog about it!









The story ends with barista (me) telling customer about the two types of coffee offered and the regular price for the venti thoughhhh with tumber always a discount ;)

I dont know where you advertised Starbucks but it brought a different type of people in. If ya know what I mean.

Bill McCue

What happens when your store gets remodeled completely and the operations side (behind the counter) is perfect for the baristas—but the seating area is a complete failure according to the frequent customers?

Schmidt, Jingle Heimer

Customer: I heard you're giving away free coffee.
Us: To celebrate Earth Day we are offering free brewed or iced coffee to those that bring in reusable mugs.
Customer: That's not what "they" said on channel 7 news.
Us: All of our promotional ads state the use of reusable mugs will entitle the visitor to complimentary brewed coffee or iced coffee.
Customer: Well you guys need to clarify that with what I heard on the news. Do I really need to have a cup?
Us: I just did clarify and yes, a reusable mug is necessary-it's a promotion for Earth Day and handing out our free coffee with 3 pieces of disposable packaging would be beside the point.
Customer: There's nothing you can do?
Us: No

The customer then proceeds to get a paper McD's soda cup from their car, brings it in for the free coffee.
Observation: This person was on a power trip because they got embarrassed when they looked behind them and saw everyone smirking...with mugs in their hands. The long line was a product of the person bitching and complaining for so long. Later on that day, two others brought in styrofoam cups-in all these instances, our lids would not fit their cups and they were stuck with 198 degree coffees with no lids.

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