Starbucks is the latest victim of a widespread supply shortage, leaving some customers without their daily caffeine fix.
Popular items and ingredients like chai tea bags, iced green tea, hazelnut syrup and toffee nut syrup are affected, according to an internal memo viewed by Business Insider. Production took a brief pause starting June 4 until the supply rebounds.
A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed the shortage and said the company is working with supply chain vendors to get customers’ favorites restocked.
“We’re experiencing temporary supply shortages of some of our products,” spokeswoman Sanja Gould told McClatchy News. “Specific items will vary by market and store, and some stores will experience outages of various items at the same time. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
The halt is expected to only be temporary, and Starbucks said no menu items have been removed or discontinued. That’s of little consolation to customers who say they’ve been without their favorite drinks for weeks, however.
Some stores are reportedly out of everything from oat milk to peach juice to sweet syrups.
“DOES STARBUCKS GOT A LEMONADE SHORTAGE I DON’T KNOW ABOUT???,” one Twitter user wrote. “WHY EVERY STARBUCKS I BEEN TO THIS WEEK TELL ME THEY OUT OF LEMONADE???”
The coffee house’s baristas say they’ve been dealing with much of the blowback.
“It is out of our control,” a Starbucks shift manager told Insider. “We try to tell [customers] the company cannot keep up with demand ... They end up getting mad and most of the time they just drive away. We try to explain there are shortages but they do not care.”
Others saw the shortage as an opportunity to patronize local coffee shops, writing: “I have no choice but to cheat .... on Starbucks, this shortage officially has pushed me to the edge.”
Industry leaders say the problem isn’t unique to Starbucks. Everything from restaurants to the adult entertainment industry have been hit by labor and supply shortages brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. A shortage of chlorine tablets has threatened to spoil pool-time fun, and customers grumbled when Chick-fil-A blamed “industry wide supply disruptions” for its lack of dipping sauces.
In New Orleans, a local strip club says it’s offering a $1,000 signing bonus in hopes of bringing exotic dancers back to work, McClatchy News reported.
It’s unclear how long the Starbucks shortage will last, but the company said it’s working to get the popular items back.