A recent change to Starbucks policies requires stores to display two unwrapped pieces of every food item, according to a viral Reddit thread — and it’s making employees and customers unhappy.
The thread was posted in the r/Starbucks subreddit in early March. In this unofficial community, some employees of the chain have posted about their experiences to share with customers and fans.
The post shows a photo of a fully stocked pastry case: over thirty unwrapped items piled onto plates, drying out in the open air. “Did Starbucks just decide they weren’t wasting enough food or something?” says the title.
What’s up with this? Did Starbucks just decide they weren’t wasting enough food or something?
by u/BiRd_BoY_ in starbucks
The comments are full of employees frustrated with the change. “My shift and I were so annoyed when I did the retail turn and saw that,” writes one user. “Such a waste.”
Another user replies, “Our manager told us to keep it to one [because] we can’t sell out of our pastry case (not airtight so the flies get in).”
“Yep i saw it a couple months ago when we received the picture display for the breakfast foods, then i saw the set up for the pastry case on the ipad and thought it was so pointless,” another adds.
If all of that sounds like a food safety issue, many customers agree. “That crusty looking s**t that’s been there all day is such a turn off,” one user says bluntly.
But commenters speculate that the same isn’t true for everyone. “The point is to influence impulse buys,” says one user, while another adds, “It does look more enticing when it’s more full.”
This move comes at a time when food waste is becoming a topic of conversation. Discarded food not only raises costs for stores that pass the increase on to the consumer; it also means more food has to be shipped to the area, generating heat-trapping gases from trucks and trains.
Some restaurants, like PizzaPlex in Detroit, have created policies in response to minimize food waste, while others use apps like Too Good To Go to find buyers for food close to its expiration date.
At the same time, old food doesn’t have to go to a landfill; even if it can’t be donated, it can be recycled into fertilizer.
In this climate surrounding food waste, Starbucks seems to be taking a step backward. “I’m furious over it,” says one commenter, “especially as they cited food waste as one of the reasons they stopped having sandwiches as part of the display. So now we’re just going to waste twice as many pastries?”
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