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Starbucks barista reveals troubling repercussions of the chain's 'unnecessary' food display policy: 'It concerns customers'

"The amount of food waste since we've started 'serving' out of the pastry case…"

Starbucks pastry case

Photo Credit: iStock

A Starbucks food policy is allegedly causing upset among customers and employees.

"The amount of food waste since we've started 'serving' out of the pastry case is insane," a Reddit user who claims to be a Starbucks barista laments in their post in the Starbucks subreddit

The post includes a photo of several pastries, like bagels and croissants, in a trashcan. 

"It's just unnecessary for all this food to be wasted," they added.

Starbucks pastry case
Photo Credit: u/Weary-Aside3121 / Reddit

It seems this all has to do with the famous Starbucks pastry case — the window that houses all of those yummy carb-based treats for customers to view. In the past, the pastries in this window were not sold. Instead, they would sit in the case for a week and then be thrown away. 

According to the employee, they are now required to sell food from this pastry case, and anything that goes unsold at the end of the day gets thrown out. This has resulted in greater food waste, they argue.

Not only that, but customers seem to not exactly be thrilled to be served out of this case because of improper refrigeration and the tendency for flies to hang out there. 

"[Our pastry case] gets flies in it constantly during the summer and so many customers complain about it," an employee said in another Reddit post. "I don't blame them honestly. From an outside perspective, I'd be concerned about them flying onto my food that I'm ordering."

Food waste is a massive problem in the United States and significantly impacts the environment and economy.

As a country, we throw out 30-40% of our food, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. This equates to 133 billion pounds of food waste per year, which is like throwing out a whopping $161 billion annually. Land, water, labor, and energy all go into producing that discarded food, so when we throw it out, we are also wasting all of those resources.

Other Starbucks employees were fired up in the comments section, with one saying, "I'm at a new store that they changed the pastry case only once a week but my last store was literally every day! The amount of food wasted is insane."

Several people commented in favor of faux replica pastries instead of real food.

"I don't get why we can't just do away with it or have replicas," one said. "[Using real food] concerns customers who see the flies it attracts, plus the food waste."

Another stated, "Thank you! I've always thought like if food waste is such a big deal, why don't they give us plastic food? I'm sure it would look 100 times better than our gross a** food coming out of the oven.

"A few people stated that their stores donate the uneaten pastries, but many also said that if employees take them, it is considered theft and a fireable offense.

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