- Starbucks memo says it will stop ordering 25 menu items and ingredients due to supply issues.
- Starbucks says it is experiencing temporary shortages and is apologizing to customers.
- Supply chain disruptions have led to shortages and long waits across retail.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Many Starbucks stores are facing shortages of vital products, and the issues could be getting worse.
Starbucks is putting orders for at least 25 items on “temporary hold” as of June 4 due to supply chain issues, according to an internal company update viewed by Insider.
“Starbucks will put a temporary hold on production until supply chain issues are resolved,” the posting says. The list, confirmed by three Starbucks employees in Arizona, Georgia, and Oregon, includes popular items like hazelnut syrup, toffee nut syrup, chai tea bags, green iced tea, and other products.
Starbucks declined to comment on the memo. The company has previously said ongoing product shortages are localized and not nationwide.
No shortage of issues
Customers have been complaining online for weeks about shortages of their favorite items, from oat milk to drink syrups and baked goods.
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Starbucks workers say the lengthy shortages are making their jobs harder.
“There is a company-wide shortage of so many things,” a shift supervisor in Pennsylvania whose identity was confirmed by Insider said, noting one big shortage at their store was caramel drizzle.
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“We are constantly running out of food,” and customers sometimes get angry with employees over these shortages, the employee said. “It is out of our control. We try to tell them 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.”
Starbucks confirmed that stores are dealing with shortages of different products, and said the specifics vary by location. The company said there’s no single item that is out across the board at all stores.
“We are experiencing temporary supply shortages of some of our products. 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, and are working quickly and closely with our supply chain vendors to restock items as soon as possible,” a spokesperson told Insider in a phone call.
Some stores have displayed signs that say “we are currently experiencing temporary outages of some of our food and beverage items.” These signs were officially distributed from Starbucks corporate to individual stores, the spokesperson confirmed. The Pennsylvania employee also shared an update about a potential straw shortage coming soon.
A global problem
The shortages have been an ongoing problem for Starbucks this year. In April, Insider reported a widespread oat milk shortage impacting Starbucks just a month after it was introduced at the chain. Workers at locations across the US told Insider about other shortages in April, including cups, flavored syrups, and baked goods.
Shortages and price hikes are affecting the entire retail sector. Bikes, cars, meat, cheese, and even ketchup are all becoming more expensive, in part thanks to disruptions to the global supply chain from COVID-19, plus a shipping container shortage and port congestion. These factors created what experts called a “perfect storm” in global transportation.
Starbucks says it cannot predict when products will be restocked, although everything on menus is slated to be refilled with no permanent cancellations.
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