Starbucks launches a new happy hour promotion on Thursday - and baristas are already freaking out online

starbucks baristaA barista prepares a drink at Starbucks' Vigo Street branch in Mayfair, central London.Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
  • Starbucks launches a revamped happy hour deal on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Many baristas are worried that the updated buy-one, get-one-free deal will mean a chaotic day at work. 
  • Some saw the decision to launch the deal on World Mental Health Day as ironic, especially as Starbucks has recently emphasized employees' mental health. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Starbucks has a new happy hour deal. And, while customers are celebrating, some baristas are bracing for a hectic afternoon. 

The coffee giant announced this week that, starting on Thursday, Starbucks will now offer a buy-one, get-one-free happy hour deal on any grande or larger handcrafted beverage, between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Previously, Starbucks' happy hour was more limited in range; now customers can order drinks including flat whites, Frappuccinos, macchiatos, and cold brew. Happy hour previously started at 3 p.m. and lasted until stores' closing

Starbucks' happy hour promotion has long been a customer favorite, driving traffic during the afternoon sales slump. However, the prospect of a rush of customers ordering two-for-one drinks means that many Starbucks employees hate the promotion. 

Read more: Starbucks is cutting complicated drinks that baristas hate, and analysts are celebrating

Some elements of the revamped happy hour could make employees' lives easier.

The revamped happy hour promotion will occur on a more regular basis, with Starbucks saying the deal will pop up on select Thursdays. Expanding offerings can also prevent baristas from being forced to make a single, sometimes complicated drink - such as the Frappuccino, which used to be the only happy hour offering when the deal launched in 2010 - over and over again. 

Still, with the new happy hour comes a new wave of barista concerns. A post in r/Starbucks soon after the news was announced summed up the sentiment: "condolences to anyone working evening tomorrow." 

"I already want to die," one person responded. 

"Working a noon to close tomorrow. F--- my life," commented another. 

 

Others noted the apparent disconnect in launching a hectic event on World Mental Health Day, especially as Starbucks has recently emphasized the importance of employees' mental health. 

 

"Make meaningful connections with your customers while they wait for their 14 different fraps and 5 refreshers by making them aware of the travesty that is your mental health!" one person commented sarcastically on Reddit. 

Customers' excitement over the return of the happy hour indicates that Starbucks' locations will likely be full of deal seekers Thursday afternoon. 

 

Remember, if you're in a crowded Starbucks during happy hour - tip your barista! 

If you work at Starbucks or another chain and have a story to share, contact this reporter at ktaylor@businessinsider.com. 

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