Starbucks is running a limited test that allows customers to order drinks that became popular on social media through ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Over the weekend, I was excited to see one of the ads come up while tapping through Instagram stories.
When the ad comes up, you have the option to swipe up and try the drink, which of course I did.
I was served the ad for the Pink Drink Remixed, a social media creation based on the Pink Drink, which was itself initially a fan creation that was added to menus.
There are two options for ordering the drink: order ahead as you would with any mobile order, or order directly from a barista.
The ad has a QR code that the barista should be able to scan, along with a written out way to order the drink.
I wanted to test out the QR code function, so I visited the closest Starbucks near my road trip route in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The scanner was not able to pick up the QR code from my phone, though luckily I still got my order.
Starbucks says that it is getting scans from other locations in the program, so this isn't the case in every store.
The barista helping me told me that he's seen different scanning equipment at different stores, so not all locations necessarily have the same equipment.
I got to watch the worker make my drink, which consists of a Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk, topped with Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam.
The drink tastes something like strawberry short cake turned into a milkshake.
It's not my favorite, but I can see why people might like it. The drink comes out to $6.41 with tax for a venti. While I think it was worth a try, I won't order again.
Customer-created drinks on social media have always been part of Starbucks' business and introducing a way to make ordering them easier for customers and baristas seems like a necessary next step. I think this could be the future of Starbucks, once some bugs are figured out.