Customers Reaching for Orders at a Starbucks Drive-Thru Receive Flowers Too


There was something unusual about the completed order a customer received from a Starbucks barista.

A tall latte. A blueberry scone. Yellow roses. Pink carnations.

Starbucks partners have been randomly surprising customers by handing them flower bouquets from the drive-thru window of their store, or delivering roses to individuals inside.

“Sometimes those smallest deeds are just what people need to make their day. Being acknowledged this way is special,” said Julia Boone, a regular customer of the Starbucks® store in Yelm, Washington about 60 miles south of Seattle.

The idea to occasionally surprise customers with a gift of flowers came from Starbucks store manager Misti Shaffer. She was a barista at the Yelm store before moving to another Starbucks location to take a management role. Shaffer received a bouquet from a store partner (employee) when she returned to manage her original store.

“I was very touched. It was a sweet gesture and a memorable way to welcome me back,” said Shaffer. “One of the things I love about Starbucks is how much we care for one another.”

The bouquet stayed at the store for a few days and by the end of the week it still looked fresh. Instead of taking it home, Shaffer decided to share the flowers that made her smile. One by one, partners picked a flower from the bouquet and handed it to a customer who pulled up to get their drive-thru order.

“We did it to brighten someone’s day and to show our customers how much we appreciate them,” Shaffer said.

Starbucks customers expect a perfectly prepared beverage when they reach for a cup at the drive-thru window. But a caramel macchiato and a mum? A doppio espresso and a daisy?

Customers were so surprised and pleased, Shaffer and her team decided to share flowers again in the weeks that followed. Occasionally, instead of handing out a single flower, they gave a customer a full bouquet wrapped in tissue paper.

“There are many ways we show passion for what we do,” said Connie Smallwood, a Starbucks partner for eight years who works at the Yelm store. “Our passion is not only for coffee, it’s for creating a warm, welcoming environment for customers.”

Occasionally giving flower bouquets with orders is one of the unexpected ways Starbucks partners at one store connect with their customers. Throughout the month of February we’ll feature ways customers appreciate their baristas and how partners value each other. Share your partner or customer story by emailing: [email protected]

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