Anyone hoping to take their caffeine cold in the form of a trenta-sized black iced tea from a Tampa Starbucks on Kennedy Boulevard Wednesday morning was out of luck.
In the drive-thru, a thirsty customer got an apology for supply problems, the suggestion of an alternate beverage and, for her trouble, a gift card for her next drink.
Turns out it’s not just computer chips, lumber, ketchup and other random-seeming items in short supply thanks to the pandemic’s seismic disruption of business supply chains and labor.
Starbucks, the ubiquitous Seattle-based coffee shop chain, is apologizing for any inconvenience to customers due to “temporary supply shortages of some of our products in the U.S,” Starbucks spokesperson Sanja Gould told the Tampa Bay Times.
Specific items in short supply vary by market and store, Gould said. But Starbucks fans are already taking to social media to lament the temporary loss of lemonade in one place, hazelnut syrup in another.
“Some Starbucks stores in the U.S. have a shortage of oatmilk and we temporarily removed oatmilk and drinks made with oatmilk from the Starbucks app until we are able to restock inventory,” Gould said via email.
The company is not out of actual coffee or cups, however.
Starbucks suggests that customers check the app ahead of time for availability and consult the barista for recommendations.
It’s not just Starbucks suffering from the fickle whims of fate. Last month, the Chick-fil-A chain announced that due to industrywide supply chain shortages, some items, like its sauces, may be unavailable.
When will “the madness” of a Starbucks strawberry acai shortage, as one Twitter user put it, end?
“We will continue to work closely with our supply chain vendors to restock items as soon as possible,” said Gould. ”A visit to Starbucks is an important part of our customer’s day and we apologize for the inconvenience.”