On Tuesday, Starbucks said its Frappuccino Happy Hour would start Friday and last until May 14.
During the promotion, the coffee chain will sell half-priced Frappuccinos from 3 to 6 p.m. to encourage customers to purchase the icy, blended drinks as the weather warms up.
“Frappuccino Happy Hour is going to be a huge home run this year,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a call with investors last Thursday. “We’re going to bring at least one entirely new drink into Happy Hour this year that is going to be as good as Unicorn or better. And we’ve extended our hours this year on some other tactical things to really make sure that Happy Hour is set up for success.”
The new flavor is the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino, a layered drink made with extra-dark cocoa, mint sugar crystals, and whipped cream. Starbucks said in a statement that it drew inspiration from the “dark foods trend” – foods like black macarons and charcoal ice cream going viral on Instagram.
The popular S’mores Frappuccino also returning this year.
So far, the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino hasn’t had the instant Instagram success of the wildly popular Unicorn Frappuccino – though the Frappuccino Hour Hour promotion is likely to boost sales.
While Frappuccino lovers will rejoice at the news, many Starbucks baristas likely will be less than thrilled with the extended happy hour, new drink, and emphasis on the time-intensive Frappuccino.
If you’re a Starbucks employee with a story to tell, email email@example.com.
no one talks about quitting work more than starbucks baristas during a promo or frappy hour @Barista_Life_
— kat (@katter21) April 21, 2017
Last year, the Starbucks blog Barista Life published an article titled “A Barista’s Worst Nightmare: Frappuccino Happy Hour.”
“You can begin to see the horror in their eyes,” Haley Hinds wrote, recalling her coworkers’ faces in the moments before “Frappy Hour.” “Although they try to make it look like it’s easy, I think deep down, no matter how many times you have been through this, you are truly never prepared for what is coming.”
— Barista Life (@Barista_Life_) April 18, 2017
Starbucks baristas are already using social media to prepare themselves for the hectic promotion.
starbucks is trying to kill its partners. first the unicorn frap and then frappy hour around the corner??? do you want everyone to die???
— Kerr (@PoniesandPucks) April 20, 2017
The success of the Unicorn Frappuccino and more new drinks on the menu could lead to more customers than in years past. While that would be great news for Starbucks’ sales, it means baristas could be cranking out even more messy and difficult-to-make beverages.
Today my manager asked me why I don’t like frappuccino happy hour… pic.twitter.com/57RS1EIfHE
— Breanna Gibson (@24gibby) April 24, 2017
Frappuccino Happy Hour starts in 3 days pic.twitter.com/Ugs9Xng3xY
— ????Baby Loki???? (@GlitterRanger) May 3, 2017
One barista has a solution that would encourage Starbucks to keep baristas happy while increasing Frappuccino sales.
“New idea, with every Frappuccino promotion Starbucks does partners get payed time & half for it. How about it?” said Twitter user @SeagullDan_.
Starbucks has long pledged to work to improve employees’ lives, with benefits such as free college tuition and an emphasis on baristas being “connected to something bigger.” With baristas’ angst in the era of the Unicorn Frappuccino, perhaps it’s time for those perks to include a “Frappy Hour” bonus.