Starbucks Workers Unprepared For Unicorn Frappuccino Armageddon

Quote via Jozsma on Reddit, who adds “I love my job. Just not frappuccinos.”

Yesterday Starbucks employees across the country were ravaged by stampeding hordes eager to get their mouths on the new Unicorn Frappuccino. Today the Starbucks Reddit is filled with their tales of courage and survival.

I got to try out the strange, limited-edition sour mango concoction prior to yesterday’s wide release courtesy of my wife, who has somehow managed to work for Starbucks for more than a decade without stabbing anyone in the neck when they ask for a large half-caf soy latte with extra foam (which might not be a real thing.) Halfway through her shift yesterday she called home to mumble something it about being the “worst day ever.” She also said something about “fucking unicorns.” Pretty sure she was referring to the drink and not the act.


Her store closes at 8PM and she’s usually home by 8:45. Last night she stumbled in at 10PM with slightly purple fingers and a glassy look in her eye. It was the Unicorn Frappuccino onslaught that done it. At around closing time a woman walked up to the counter and ordered three of the drinks. The customer behind her ordered one. Then the woman who had ordered three came back to order four more.

Eight drinks at closing time? That’s insanity! Or so I thought, until I took a trip through the Starbucks Reddit this morning. Here’s a store in San Francisco that received an order for 100 of the damn things.

Several comments sprinkled like unicorn dandruff across the Reddit talk about customers ordering the novelty drink in large numbers. Here are some quotes from various threads in the subreddit.

  • In Houston - We had another store call us if we had extra pink powder since they were running low and apparently they had 42 UNICORN FRAP ORDER! I do not know what size they were... but FORTY FUCKING TWO!!
  • We made 417 unicorn frappuccinos today.
  • For fucks sake. I’ve been working a never ending line up since 12. And it’s already 5:30. AND THERES ONLY FUCKING TWO OF US WORKING.
  • By the time I’d left (at 6.30), we’d sold 400 for the day. The prep wasn’t done. The floors weren’t done. We hadn’t even started on pre-closing tasks. I couldn’t even say the name of the fucking drink without feeling so embarrassed?
  • We just had a college class of 20 people come into cafe and each order one, most of them with modifications so we couldn’t even use the same blender. PLUS every single car in DT ordering at LEAST 2 unicorn frapps. All this with a whole 4 people working and breaks to run
  • I was off at 7, we sold 400 and it just kept going. And we had a dept count. And a delivery. ... I never though I’d have a near break down while covered in pink dust.

Several members of the Reddit reported running out of the ingredients used to make the Unicorn Frappuccino. The drink uses mango syrup, which isn’t a huge mover when not dyed pinkish purple via powder. The blue sour stuff is a combination of white mocha syrup, simple syrup and a special packet of sour powder. Not anticipating such a huge rush, some stores sold out of the drinks, while others got creative.

  • We ended up selling just under 500 by 7pm when we ran out of the pink and blue powder. By 5:30pm we had already run out of Mango and were subbing raspberry. I can’t even count the amount of disappointed customers who tried to order it after 7pm.
  • We hit more than 300 at my store and ran out of ingredients twice...
  • How much of the powder did everyone get? I’m at a Krobucks and we got 2 bags of pink powder and 8 bags of blue powder. We already went through 1 bag of the pink powder and 3 bags of the blue powder. I’m pretty sure we’re not gonna make it till Sunday.
  • I’ve asked to be on DT tomorrow just so I can tell people we don’t have it. Telling people no is my favorite part of this job.
  • I could forgive the complicated beverage build and excessive amount of ingredients. I could even forgive the fact that our store got totally slammed and we had no extra coverage for the event. What I absolutely cannot wrap my head around is the piddly amount of product that everyone was sent. Why the FUCK would they advertise a five day promotion if they were only going to send enough product for MAYBE one day?!?!?!
  • We ran out of unicorn ingredients and my SM went to the store to buy replacements. Now we are making imitation unicorn frappuccinos with non Starbucks ingredients. I know this is not ok, but I don’t know how to proceed. My SM is not listening to anyone about it.

Other subjects discussed on the Reddit today include stations coated with a fine pink dust, customers adding horrible ingredients to an already horrible drink, and stores woefully understaffed for such a popular promotion, like my wife’s store, which had only two people on shift last night.

Many Starbucks Redditors expressed their anger/frustration/amusement over the situation with the time-honored internet tradition of image posts.


When your coworker orders 16 Unicorn bullshits for her second job.


When all you see and hear is UNICORN


Took this after leaving work today.


when your store sells 35 unicorn frappuccinos in a half hour :-)


But the best use of images to comment on the Unicorn Frappuccino goes to the mods of /r/Starbucks, who helpfully modified the header and theme of the site in honor of the special event.


So if you run into anyone who’s worked at a Starbucks in the States over the past couple of days, be sure to give them a nice big hug and whisper “venti Unicorn Frappuccino” softly in their ear. The hug is so they can’t claw or stab you.

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About the author

Mike Fahey

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, toys, snacks and other unsavory things.