Starbucks barista and TikToker Zach Mottlow (@zmottlow) posted about a phenomenon that apparently many employees experience from customers: gender-specific beverage shame.
In a recent post, Mottlow started a conversation on a recurring trend he’s noticed at work—encountering male customers who are so embarrassed by ordering Pink Drink Refreshers that they pretend they’re ordering it for their girlfriend.
Other TikTokers said in the comments that they, too, have come across patrons like this, and can’t understand why so many people feel the need to cover up the fact that they enjoy the drink.
@zmottlow Guys I promise its ok to order yourselves a pinkity drinkity😎💅🏼 also idk why the audio messed up but just pretend like it didnt happen LMAO #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #starbucks #aprilfools #tornado #wheneverwherever ♬ original sound – zmottlow11
Zach writes in a text overlay of the video, where he stands behind the counter at a Starbucks in his work uniform, “When guys order drinks for their ‘girlfriend.’”
The TikTok is a skit re-enactment of presumably a common interaction he has with male Starbucks customers who may feel judged or ashamed for ordering “girly” beverages. The clip begins with him asking what he can get for them.
The camera then transitions to show the customer, a woman holding a finger above her upper lip with a mustache drawn on it. “Uhh, yeah can I get a Venti Pink Drink with vanilla sweet cream, cold foam, light ice…it’s for my girlfriend though,” the woman says.
Zach then smiles at the customer and says, “Oh, that’s nice of you just the venti Pink Drink for you today?”
“Yeah, that’s it, but, it’s for my girlfriend,” the customer doubles down on the assertion that the beverage is not for them but their female significant other.
“Did you want a receipt? For your girlfriend,” Zach tells the customer.
“Uhhh…no, I’m OK,” the customer says.
“And what’s the name for the order?” Zach asks.
“Uhh, my name is Sam, but my girlfriend’s name is Jessica,” the customer replies.
The video then transitions to Zach holding the Pink Drink beverage for “Jessica.” He hands it off to the customer, saying, “All right here’s the Pink Drink for your girlfriend.”
“Thanks, man,” the customer says, still holding up the finger mustache. They then proceed to exit the Starbucks and as they leave the store, Zach zooms in on them taking a giant swig of the drink.
Zach writes in a caption for the video, saying that baristas don’t have any judgment for the types of beverages folks order when they shop at Starbucks, “Guys I promise its ok to order yourselves a pinkity drinkity.”
Commenters seemed to have had similar experiences while working at the popular coffee chain. One TikTok user wrote, “‘can i get a venti pink drink, whatever that means.’” Another said that oftentimes customers will act like they’ve never heard of the drink before. “They always say ‘does that sound like smth you have here,’” the user wrote.
“’Whatever that means’ after they’re done ordering,” another quipped.
One TikToker came up with a simple solution for customers who are ashamed of the drinks that they enjoy buying from Starbucks. “Damn if theyre that embarrassed just do a mobile order,” they suggested.
Someone else remarked that they just couldn’t understand why it’s considered un-masculine for men to like Starbucks.
“It’s a stereotype like so what if a guy likes Starbucks,” a user said, to which Zach replied, “Idk man dudes just be getting embarrassed I’m like sir I promise I really could not care less if you order a pink drink.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Matt via TikTok comment and Starbucks via email.
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*First Published: May 1, 2023, 6:16 pm CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.